Majority happy to see Lib Dems play a role in government

If the key Lib Dem aims of the last five years were first to prove that coalition government can work in our majoritarian, outdated democratic system and secondly that Liberal Democrats can be trusted to govern in the national interest and deliver liberal achievements, the election campaign has brought positive news on both fronts.

It is easy to forget how coalition was talked of before the 2010 election. It was the common view of most of the media and political establishment that coalition government, if even possible, would be weak and unambitious at best.

It is therefore a remarkable turnaround for it to be considered quite widely that a coalition this time round (and particularly one involving the Liberal Democrats) would provide the most stable, moderate government.

More than that, though, polling by Lord Ashcroft has shown just how successful the Liberal Democrats have been in persuading the country that we can be trusted as a party of national government:

As I say in the tweet above, this is a remarkable achievement not just of our five years in government but particularly of the campaign. The message that we will keep the government anchored in the centre ground (where most people see themselves) has not only “cut through” but has been received not with derision but agreement.

The challenge today, of course, is for that view to translate into votes where we need them most. And that is where our effort on the doorsteps today comes into play.

* Nick Thornsby is a day editor at Lib Dem Voice.

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  • Eddie Sammon 7th May '15 - 2:43pm

    Interesting chart. I’ve just voted Lib Dem in the national and local elections, despite all my moaning. 😀

  • @Eddie [high 5]

  • The Tories and Labour are both happy to have the LibDems as their junior partner because they see them as a soft touch. With a massively reduced number of MP’s the LibDems will have very little influence in government. They really need to sort out their own problems before getting involved in another coalition.

  • @malc can you remind me of your bets again please?

  • matt (Bristol) 7th May '15 - 5:32pm

    Assuming that the majority want (or at least don’t actively mind) us in government, it would appear they must be expecting some other bunch of people to vote for us in order to bring it about…

    I want us to have meaningful influence on government for the longterm future, and continue our journey to being a party of clear-minded and regular participation in government, but that in no way means I feel we should go into government this time whatever the cost or whatever the numbers.

    Not too long now…

  • John Roffey 7th May '15 - 6:19pm

    Electoral Calculus reckon that were the closest to the final result in 2010 – it will be interesting to see if their formula is most accurate this time:

    Con: 281 [33.9%]; Lab 276 [31.7%]; L/Ds 18 [10.6%]; UKIP 1 [12.7%]; Greens 1 [5.2%]; SNP 52 [4.1%]; PC [0.6%]; Minor 0 [1.4%] andNI 18 seats.

    If they are right – the L/Ds are not going to have much influence on the next administration – NC will probably be offered [and take] DDK by Miliband [deputy doorkeeper – at No 10].

  • John Roffrey

    The LibDem total sounds about right to me. I’ve looked at all the seats they are defending and can’t see them getting more than 23, but about 8 or 9 of those could be very close.


    It’s not about the bets – in many of them I’ve backed the Tories – or my dislike of Nick Clegg as a leader, I just don’t think the LibDems know how unpopular they are. For me tonight will be a disaster for them and Nick Clegg.

  • @malc SPIN current LD spread 25.5 – 27.5

  • Tonight will be a total disaster for the Lib Dems and pretending otherwise is plain daft.

  • Tonight will be a total disaster for the Lib Dems and pretending otherwise is plain daft. I feel bad for you but it’s gonna be carnage.

  • @Silvio we are the Millwall!

  • Just got off the bus and listened to two elderly ladies discussing the election. Having derided labour as not very nice they hoped the Lib Dems do well because they helped the tories last time.It would be unfair they said if Lib Dems lost votes, so they had voted for them.

  • I am sure the Lib Dems will do well tonight. I predict in excess of 30 seats.

  • We all voted Lib Dem in the house ……. two of us were going to vote Labour ….then we met their candidate.

  • It does not matter what they like: the electorate has abandoned us in sways. 16% of our vote appears lost. Even by my low expectations, this looks to be a depressing night.

    I think we are going to miss the European Election.

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