OPEN THREAD: Your thoughts on the election campaign and the results as they come in

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Bat shit crazy.

Getting up in the dark to deliver “Good Mornings” for two hours before dawn.

This task was leavened by a vague blob in the darkness besides the A4. He was a blob of anoraks, waterproof trousers and ski hats at 7am in front of me as he approached a 4*4 which had arrived to collect him for work:

You must have covered a lot of ground

– said the A4 blob. I uttered the usual remarks with which I greet “not another bloody leaflet” complaints:

Sorry. It will all be over tomorrow etc etc

– To which A4 blob replied:

There’s no need to be sorry, mate. You have your beliefs. You stick to them.

Well, that was unusual. A philosophical filip at 7am.

Thank you, A4 blob!

Please add your thoughts on this bat shit crazy election campaign and the results below.

PS. A big shout out for the late, great Lucille Ball above.

As I have often ruminated, there are not many occasions for which some form of Lucille Ball GIF is inappropriate.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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175 Comments

  • Exit Poll: Blimey.

  • 50 Tory gains according to the Exit Poll with 1 gain for LDs.

    Disastrous for Labour.

    55 seats for SNP, increasing demands for another independence refereundum.

  • Well if the country has voted to enter the school for fools, so be it. It will be a hard five years and many won’t make it through it. I’d rather they hadn’t voted for delusion but reality will cure many and I’m afraid kill many more. What a sad state if affairs we face.

  • Revoke was a pathetic campaign idea and a betrayal of Lib Dem principles.

    Firstly it alienates people who think the best way to solve the problem started by a half-baked referendum is to have a second referendum on the withdrawal agreement, and it opens us to accusations of being “antidemocratic” which, even if silly, just stick, I’m afraid.

    Secondly it wholly legitimises the outcome of a First Past The Post election as a mandate to revoke Article 50. This was intentional but by extension the position obviously legitimises a Conservative election victory under FPTP as a mandate to continue Brexit – and probably on a minority of votes rather than a majority as required in a referendum.

    To wilfully legitimise FPTP when other forms of popular vote were better suited to solving this problem is a betrayal of our commitment to fair votes. As such, it should never have been our policy. I don’t want government by referendum in the UK but this problem, started by a referendum, has to be ended by one. I have said endless number of times: a singular critical issue such as Brexit cannot be resolved by a General Election: the clue is in the word General.

  • Shite… Not good. Looks like we need a new leader as well

  • Who’d have thought that promising to overturn the results of a democratic referendum wouldn’t go down well.

  • Yousuf Farah 12th Dec '19 - 10:32pm

    I can’t believe it. I should’ve known all along but when that exit poll came out, I was shocked. If that result is true, then just wow, we really have screwed up.

  • If the exit poll is right this is a very bad result for the party and some serious sole searching needs to be done.

  • Andrew Melmoth 12th Dec '19 - 10:33pm

    Boris Johnson will be the last Prime Minister of the UK.

  • Oh….

  • Yousuf Farah 12th Dec '19 - 10:37pm

    Scotland may as well be independent right now, there seems be no saving England from itself.

  • My thoughts haven’t changed.

    1) Never hand the Union Jack to the Tories if you don’t want it waved back in your face.

    2) There was no reason to expect large numbers of people who didn’t vote LibDem or Change in May during the previous “Last chance to stop Brexit” to vote for “the stop Brexit party” in this election. That caps it at 3.9 million votes.

    3) Reread the preamble to the constitution. It describes a party that could have smashed Johnson and Corbyn in this election and one I’d rejoin. It also includes “We believe that sovereignty rests with the people and that authority in a democracy derives from the people. We therefore acknowledge their right to determine the form of government best suited to their needs” (this means English and British people too), which mandates accepting the 2016 referendum.

    4) A very clever friend of mine said a month ago “The election is an opportunity for politicians to learn how different the country they live in is from their twitter feed.” I suspect a lot of the people leading on the left and the Lib Dems have twitter feeds consisting almost exclusively of the 3.9 million hard remain voters and Farageist trolling them. It might be a good idea to actually get off social media and go back to the old ways of keeping in touch with the zeitgeist.

  • John Marriott 12th Dec '19 - 10:38pm

    If this Exit Poll is anywhere near correct this ‘election’ has turned out, as I said, an EU referendum by FPTP. Given SNP ‘gains’, could this mean that Jo Swinson might lose her seat?

    Johnson v Corbyn for PM? What a choice; but clearly the country doesn’t want socialism.

  • I hope our MPs hang on in Scotland but will this mean Ruth Davidson swimming naked in Loch News and New Year’s eve?

    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/ruth-davidson-pledges-skinny-dip-21071065

  • Yousuf Farah 12th Dec '19 - 10:43pm

    @John Marriott
    @Michael 1
    Both of Yougov’s MRP projection polls showed that the Lib Dems will keep all their seats in Scotland, neither gaining nor losing. So based on what we know, Jo Swinson is unlikely to lose her seat.

  • Yousuf Farah 12th Dec '19 - 10:47pm

    Though on the plus side, Farage’s latest vanity project is expected to gain a grand total of nothing.

  • If the exit poll is accurate, and exit polls usually are, this is a total catastrophe for our country, our people and our party.

    Why, oh Why did our leaders fall for the SNP’s hype and support an early election? It just gave the Conservatives the opportunity to go for it. Combine that with the most ill judged election campaign, where we jettisoned a popular policy – People’s vote – and replaced it with something it was so easy to portray as extreme, and we were going backwards from the start.

    We all know Boris can’t do detail, but the one thing he can do is blag and electioneer, and we got him off the hook of having to deliver Brexit by giving him an election. Did no-one really see this coming?

    The Core vote strategy is now a smouldering wreck, and we have no cards left to play on the national stage. Thanks Jo, Thanks Mark.

    It is absolutely clear we have no one in senior position with the slightest political nous, and after a great step forward in May thanks to our councillors and a message of hope for remain, we are reduced to desperately hoping our councillors can swim against the tide next May without Remain.

    Incompetent is just too polite.

  • You should have respected democracy three years ago. Just deserts tonight.

  • @Yousuf Farah

    The point is that SNP are doing better than yougov’s MRP model in terms of seats. The exit poll has them on 55 seats – all but 4. When they had 56 seats each of the other parties had 1 each – not including Jo’s. So if we hang on in some of our Scottish seats it will be close.

  • David Jones, Not sure I agree, I think the main mistake was voting for the revoke of Article 50. If we kept on with a people’s vote we would have been fine.

  • Two LibDem election campaigns now that have plumbed depths further than 2015. Very disappointing.

  • David,
    Come May the Brexit talks will still be going, the Labour party will still be tearing itself to bits, the Tories will be red in tooth and claw coupled with a declining economy there is plenty of room for remorseful voters to make themselves feel better by voting for someone else and a lot of the else will be Lib Dems.

  • Duncan Brack 12th Dec '19 - 10:59pm

    Exit poll details has us losing all four seats in Scotland, and Brecon & Radnorshire. Probably holding all the English seats, though some are shaky, and probably gaining Richmond Park, St Albans, Winchester, Cheltenham, and Finchley & Golders Green (I may have missed some). Hopefully we do better than that – and it would be extraordinary to lose Orkney & Shetland, having won the Shetland by-election in the Scottish Parliament so recently.

  • Duncan Brack 12th Dec '19 - 11:06pm

    Sheffield Hallam a likely gain too.

  • Yousuf Farah 12th Dec '19 - 11:08pm

    Labour should just do themselves a favour and just go back to Blairism. It’s clear that Corbynism is a dead ideology, much like Socialism.

  • Duncan Brack 12th Dec '19 - 11:08pm

    And likely loss in Carshalton & Wallington. That’s how they get to 13. Let’s hope it’s better …

  • Eddie Sammon 12th Dec '19 - 11:14pm

    I voted Lib Dem in Southport via postal vote. We need an enquiry into the party’s performance. I’d get rid of the revoke Brexit position but remain pro EU of course. I think Jo Swinson did quite well on the television. There is no point replacing Jo Swinson if we don’t know what went wrong. That’s why we need an enquiry and then decide properly on what needs to change.

    I’ve heard people suggesting Ed Davey as leader, but I think he will struggle to attract Labour voters and we need both Labour and Tory voters. I would go for someone who wasn’t in the coalition.

  • Roger Billins 12th Dec '19 - 11:17pm

    Shocking. Terrible decision to call the election, to revoke and so on. Need a major rethink.

  • Sorry but Swinson has to take responsibility. She should have reached out to Labour and tried to engineer a deal where we didn’t fight each other and then split the vote. Labour should of course done the same thing.

    I really want Chukka to take charge, assuming he wins a seat

  • David Evans 12th Dec ’19 – 10:49pm
    If the exit poll is accurate, and exit polls usually are, this is a total catastrophe for our country, our people and our party.

    The Remain Alliance strategy has brought us to disaster. To get into the low 20s, we’d have needed 40%* of Remain voters to back us. This was never going to happen, particularly as we alienated a sub-section of Remain voters by going for Revoke – a truly naive, ill-thought out and utterly unnecessary shift of policy.

    We’ve had nothing whatsoever to say to Leave voters, many of whom used to be our loyal supporters. To take one example, look what’s happened to the party in the West Country, where we used to have close to a score of seats, with strong support from anti-establishment, liberal-minded voters with a suspicion of distant government in London and Brussels.

    Blind enthusiasm for a cause gets activists pounding pavement. But nous, political judgement and moderation is what we need from the party’s leaders. Sadly lacking in the last few months.

    We need to be a broad-church liberal party, not just a liberal party for Remain junkies.

  • John Marriott 12th Dec '19 - 11:19pm

    I agree with much that David Evans has said. Why, oh why did the opposition parties allow themselves to be suckered into a General Election and who, as far as the Lib Dems were concerned, thought it a great idea to lead on revoking Article 50?

    Back to the drawing board?

  • if the Lib Dem’s were an advertising agency, you wouldn’t trust your message to them would you! So many errors!

  • Allowing Johnson to have an election, when he was boxed in over brexit and the remain vote was hopelessly split? In the words of Tony Stark, not a great plan.

    Not that you will listen, I would be amazed if this is even published. Has it occurred to you, that the reason you constantly lose, is because you refuse to listen to anyone who doesn’t agree with you?

  • “I’d get rid of the revoke Brexit position” Pretty sure that decision is now out of our hands anyway!

    I think we need to work out what our non-EU related offering is to voters, and whether that is resonating enough. Europe isn’t going to be a big enough issue in 5 years time (even if Brexit is an utter disaster, I can’t see many people thinking re-joining is going to be the answer to whatever issues it has created for people).

  • Oh … where to start. A December election was always a crazy gamble, and so unnecessary. Anna Soubry called it right tonight – why did Lab and LD let Johnson have an election on a referendum issue. Also have to ask, why did the combined opposition let him away with so many lies, including that he needed an election to get his Brexit deal through – when he had done that!

  • Crumb of comfort…..LD vote share up slightly in all results so far.

  • Phil Beesley 12th Dec '19 - 11:40pm

    When Boris Johnson declared that opposed a December GE, we should all have understood how much he welcomed one.

    The Blyth Valley result, just announced, symbolises the Labour Party’s feeble campaigning in favour of EU membership at the time of the referendum and subsequently.

  • Right now we are hurting & this is not the time to do any hard thinking. Any decisions we take tonight are likely to be wrong.
    This is definitely not the time to start blaming each other.
    I suggest that we celibrate Xmas & then New Year, have a long rest & do some quiet thinking all alone before we we start shouting.

  • Yousuf Farah 12th Dec '19 - 11:50pm

    @Jackmc
    You’re mostly right and mostly wrong there. It wasn’t Labour and the Lib Dems, it was the SNP and the Lib Dems. And this is a problem with tuition fees and the coalition, people judge the past based on the present, we need to look at the time of this and what was happening. Johnson was close to getting his deal through; thanks to brexiteer Labour votes, and the numbers weren’t there for a people’s vote. The makeup of parliament needed to be changed in order for the arithmetic for a people’s vote to come about. And an election was the only way that could happen, and it also allowed a way to break the deadlock. There were valid reasons for breaking rank and calling for an election, the only regrets is Corbyn being such a terrible main opposition leader, racked with so much baggage and so many not wanting him. Of course, other things to regret are choosing to go for revoke, (which if I recall was chosen by the party members at the conference, and not something decided upon solely by the leadership, like so many people seem to be implying here). Another regret is that they ran the campaign as a presidential one, framing it all around Swinson, terrible idea.

  • For those that haven’t found it the BBC has likely constituency result based on the exit poll at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2019-50424263

    It has “likely” to lose all our 4 seats in Scotland to SNP (Orkney and Shetland 88% likely being the least likely that we will lose)

    Of interest for Lib Dems are the following (with apologies for any cut and paste errors or toss-ups of interest to us that I have missed)

    Expected at 04:00
    Ceredigion Too close to forecast winning party
    48% chance of Liberal Democrat gain, 46% chance of Plaid Cymru hold, 6% chance of Conservative gain

    forecast Expected at 08:00

    St Ives Too close to forecast winning party

    52% chance of Conservative hold, 48% chance of Liberal Democrat gain

    Expected at 03:30

    Westmorland & Lonsdale Too close to forecast winning party
    56% chance of Liberal Democrat hold, 44% chance of Conservative gain

    forecast Expected at 04:00
    Carshalton & Wallington Too close to forecast winning party
    65% chance of Conservative gain, 35% chance of Liberal Democrat hold

    forecast Expected at 03:00 Eastbourne Too close to forecast winning party
    66% chance of Liberal Democrat hold, 34% chance of Conservative gain

    forecast Expected at 05:30
    Finchley & Golders Green Too close to forecast winning party
    61% chance of Liberal Democrat gain, 39% chance of Conservative hold

    forecast Expected at 05:00
    Cheadle Too close to forecast winning party
    68% chance of Conservative hold, 32% chance of Liberal Democrat gain

    forecast Expected at 04:00

    St Albans Too close to forecast winning party
    59% chance of Liberal Democrat gain, 41% chance of Conservative hold

    Expected at 05:00

    Winchester Too close to forecast winning party
    63% chance of Liberal Democrat gain, 37% chance of Conservative hold

  • Sorry didn’t cut and paste full list:
    Lib Dems Holds
    forecast Expected at 05:00
    Oxford West & Abingdon Likely Liberal Democrat hold 99+% chance

    forecast Expected at 03:30
    Kingston & Surbiton Likely Liberal Democrat hold 99+% chance

    forecast Expected at 04:00
    Norfolk North Possible Liberal Democrat hold 91% chance
    9% chance of Conservative gain from Liberal Democrat

    forecast Expected at 03:00
    Bath Likely Liberal Democrat hold 99+% chance

    forecast Expected at 06:00
    Twickenham Likely Liberal Democrat hold 99+% chance


    Lib Dem Gains

    forecast Expected at 06:00
    Richmond Park Likely Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative 99+% chance

    forecast Expected at 03:00
    Sheffield Hallam Possible Liberal Democrat gain from Labour 86% chance

    Cheltenham

    forecast Expected at 04:00
    Cheltenham Possible Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative 92% chance

    Toss ups

    Expected at 04:00
    Ceredigion Too close to forecast winning party
    48% chance of Liberal Democrat gain, 46% chance of Plaid Cymru hold, 6% chance of Conservative gain

    forecast Expected at 08:00

    St Ives Too close to forecast winning party

    52% chance of Conservative hold, 48% chance of Liberal Democrat gain

    Expected at 03:30

    Westmorland & Lonsdale Too close to forecast winning party
    56% chance of Liberal Democrat hold, 44% chance of Conservative gain

    forecast Expected at 04:00
    Carshalton & Wallington Too close to forecast winning party
    65% chance of Conservative gain, 35% chance of Liberal Democrat hold

    forecast Expected at 03:00 Eastbourne Too close to forecast winning party
    66% chance of Liberal Democrat hold, 34% chance of Conservative gain

    forecast Expected at 05:30
    Finchley & Golders Green Too close to forecast winning party
    61% chance of Liberal Democrat gain, 39% chance of Conservative hold

    forecast Expected at 05:00
    Cheadle Too close to forecast winning party
    68% chance of Conservative hold, 32% chance of Liberal Democrat gain

    forecast Expected at 04:00

    St Albans Too close to forecast winning party
    59% chance of Liberal Democrat gain, 41% chance of Conservative hold

    Expected at 05:00

    Winchester Too close to forecast winning party
    63% chance of Liberal Democrat gain, 37% chance of Conservative hold

  • I agree with Dan M-B at 11.24pm, we need to look at our non-Brexit policies to discover which were popular. I am particularly interested in how our childcare policy cut through as it was the largest spend policy, even more than the environment which I don’t think cut through. Labour promised £26 billion for the NHS and £10.8 billion for social care while we promised £26 billion for both and the Conservatives £25.5 billion. So I expect our 1p income tax wasn’t popular.

    I think we need to deal with the austerity and benefit cuts issues better. I think we need to promise to reverse all of the £34 billion benefit cuts since 2010.

  • Chris Maitland 13th Dec '19 - 12:15am

    https://www.facebook.com/13312631635/posts/10157707559141636/?sfnsn=scwspmo&extid=1ZD0X4iYWATpLzeb

    Jo Swinson may not be our leader by morning.
    I would not mourn that. The whole strategy has been a debacle.

  • Along with a few others, I warned it was obvious that the big bus leader’s call to revoke Article 50 before the start of a General Election she helped enable, would lead to disaster. It gives me no pleasure to hear that Jo Swinson is predicted to lose her own seat, but it may turn out for the best if the shock leads to a clear out of those who are given complete control of party strategy when they so obviously cannot grasp the realities of running a national campaign.

  • Too many politicians spending time talking to like minded people on social media (and those disingenously trolling them). The lesson should be to find new ways of keeping in touch with the pulse of normal people.

  • East Dunbartonshire. I have come to think over the last three weeks that not enough attention was being paid to minding home ground. Hope I’m wrong, but I suspect there’s been some poor advice at the top of the campaign.

  • Jonathan Linin 13th Dec '19 - 12:42am

    Steady on everybody. Simple, we got squeezed out by the press and tv presenting it as Boris vs Jeremy.
    Revoke Article 50 was a red herring, nobody expected a Lib Dem government.
    If Jo makes it through the night we will have a leader with good national recognition, who has improved greatly over the course of the campaign. Let’s not go through another leadership election if we don’t have to.
    The other interesting thing, given that Labour leavers seem to have deserted English masse will to count up the leave party votes vs non leave party votes. It won’t change anything but…

  • Tobias Sedlmeier 13th Dec '19 - 12:47am

    Honest discussion is needed about why the results now are so different from the European elections only six months ago. The party needs to allow for open debate and end the stifling of internal criticism.

  • George Burn 13th Dec '19 - 1:08am

    These results are very upsetting, and don’t help soothe feet made sore by visiting hundreds of voters’ front doors.

    Of course we need to look at what we have done wrong but we also need to look forward.

    The Tories put forward a fiscal programme that was almost as deluded and irresponsible as Labour’s. Chickens will come home to roost in that one.

    And they will have to wrestle with the deep complexity of Brexit Phase 2.

    And they will be led by a prime minister with profound character flaws, who has buckled regularly in the past without a tiny fraction of the pressure he will now be under.

    On the other side, Labour are facing an existential moment: double down (again) on hard left policies or find a way back to the centre ground?

    The situation ahead will be different to the 2016-2019 period but there will still be plenty of volatility. We need to be ready to contribute to the next phase of British politics in ways that will be genuinely useful to the country.

  • There was never a 48%. Ultimately the progressive left are going to have to find a way of engaging with voters on a more local direct level.

  • chris moore 13th Dec '19 - 1:23am

    A truly depressing night, brought on by the dead-end strategy of Remain Alliance.

    We’ve got to appeal to liberal voters of all persuasion on Europe, not just Remainers.

    We’ve lost our previous core vote of anti-establishment voters in the West Country.

  • chris moore 13th Dec '19 - 1:25am

    The move to Revoke put off a sub-section of Remain voters and finished off our small lingering Leave support.

  • chris moore 13th Dec '19 - 1:29am

    Tobias Sedlmeier 13th Dec ’19 – 12:47amThe party needs to allow for open debate and end the stifling of internal criticism.

    Yes! I have been pointing out for months the serious limitations of the Remain Alliance strategy. Always politely.

    But not a message that was welcome at all on or two sites run by significant party figures. I have not infrequently been censored, giving a completely erroneous impression of unanimity about the big R A. Truly depressing.

  • Andrew Melmoth 13th Dec '19 - 1:30am

    Anyone who voted for Brexit without understanding that Brexit meant giving the hard right the power to reshape this country for generations is a fool.

  • David Evans 13th Dec '19 - 1:33am

    Paul Barker, Why do you think that kicking the can along the road yet again is the right thing to do? After all in May 2014, when it was the right time to do something, you told us “We got 6% in 1989 & 18% at the following General Election. We usually get 10-12% more in the next GE, its a consistent pattern, presumably because Voters see Euros & Westminster Elections as very different things.”

    People failed to act decisively then and we are still paying the price. Now our leader has squandered the one card we had to play.

    Please don’t side with the party establishment while they drag us ever further down to oblivion.

  • “Simple, we got squeezed out by the press and tv presenting it as Boris vs Jeremy.”

    Even if that is true, why were we in a position where we could be squeezed? Isn’t it our job as the third party to come up with something that resonates with the public, generates the buzz, lets us punch above our weight, and forces ourselves onto the news agenda? ‘Stop Brexit’ was clearly our attempt at that. It’s very hollow to say ‘oh that was a red herring because we were never going to win’ when (a) Swinson herself made a claim that she could be the next PM (b) we made it such a centre piece strategy. Policies have to be credible. If we were never going to win outright, why did we run it with so much gusto?

    The other difficulty was that remain voters had two parties to vote for at the ballot box (regardless of what you think of Labour’s flip-flop approach – it still promised a referendum). Leavers generally only had one, especially with Farage’s move to stood down in Tory seats. I wonder whether not running LD candidates in some labour ‘strongholds’ might have seen them keep their seat and reduce the Conservative majority?

  • David Evans 13th Dec '19 - 1:41am

    Paul Walters, So you consider suppressing posts on LDV – allegedly The most-read independent website by and for Lib Dem supporters – which you disagree with, and pretending that it’s OK by suggesting they post elsewhere, that’s a great example of equality, is it?

    Establishment rules – OK?

  • chris moore 13th Dec '19 - 1:44am

    Paul Walter 13th Dec ’19 – 1:32am
    Chris
    Have you heard of Twitter?
    Blogger?
    WordPress?
    Facebook?

    I have, Paul.

    But it’s too late at night for me to work out the relevance.

    Thanks for your truly sterling work at LDV.

    Keeping fingers crossed for all our close-fought seats.

  • Charles Pragnell 13th Dec '19 - 1:46am

    Not looking good in East Dunbarton . BBC Scotland are saying its on a knife edge. She is likely to loose.Expected to loose all seats in Scotland according to exit poll in Scotland. It’s not good.

  • Choosing to run on the policy of ‘revoking’ the largest democratic mandate in British history. Maybe not such a good idea after all.

  • One bright spot – Alliance Party win from DUP in North Down.

  • We’re looking at a Tory majority… disaster is an understatement. Lib Dem campaign was not the best but not as bad as some comments have suggested judging by the vote share. No significant gains (so far) but hardly falling off a cliff.

    Our Revoke position was potentially good but badly sold.. still what is done is done… now the next battle.. If Boris gets his brexit – we’ll have a real battle to save the UK and not one I’m entirely confident about

  • Charles Anglin 13th Dec '19 - 2:37am

    Tim Farron holds on

  • Labour hold Canterbury. Not much sign of massive tactical voting

  • Tobias Sedlmeier 13th Dec '19 - 2:52am

    Paul Walter: I’m a bit confused. Is the comments policy on this site such that the moderators exercise “editorial judgment” as to which comments to publish – because “the press use our website to trawl for criticism”. There’s nothing in your comments policy that suggests this approach is being taken. Your policy sets down rules and leads one to think that any comment that complies with those rules would be published.

    If there is an “editorial judgment” approach it may explain why so much of the discussion here in recent months has seemed like an echo chamber.

    I’m honestly pretty shocked, and your response about not taking lectures is deeply disappointing.

  • Charles Anglin 13th Dec '19 - 3:01am

    Chuka loses by 4k to Tories – we didnt squeeze the Labour vote

    He got 13k to the Tories 17k – but Labour got 11k

    Lessons to learn?

  • chris moore 13th Dec '19 - 3:08am

    Paul Walter 13th Dec ’19 – 1:50am
    Chris
    Thank you.
    The relevance is that you can post your views anywhere on the internet. So any use of our editorial judgement here is not censorship.

    Censorship is censorship. The fact there are other channels doesn’t negate the act of censorship.

    My posts critical of the Remain Alliance strategy were censored because they made difficult reading for the individuals running the relevant sites. Unjustified and not positive for the party.

    Let’s go back to JS Mill and the value of free debate.

    I should add LDV does a good job at letting debate flow. If only it was the norm at all party sites.

  • “Lessons to learn?”

    Yeah. You can’t just rock up to a constituency a few months before an election and put together a tactical voting campaign from nothing.

    Also pretty poor leaflets, bland messaging, lacking a narrative, the lack of decent pictures suggests a lack of organisation.
    https://electionleaflets.org/constituencies/65759/cities_of_london_and_westminster

    You can win a campaign in a seat where the electoral stars align but you don’t have the on the ground organisation. Because I once did it. But no-one in the party asked how so some of those lessons that might have been useful were never learnt.

  • George Burn 13th Dec '19 - 3:17am

    Excellent win for Sarah Olney in Richmond Park: 34k vs 26k for Goldsmith/Tories. And a 79% turnout.

  • Jo has lost her seat! 149 votes in it

  • chris moore 13th Dec '19 - 3:50am

    Awful.

  • A really mixed night for us.. Jo’s loss shows the perils of being a national leader in a very marginal constituency.

    Of course.. Boris holding his seat makes Jo’s loss even more painful

  • Really poor results in Wales. Tories win Brecon & Radnorshire by 7,000, and in Ceredigeon we are beaten into third place, 8,000 behind PC.

  • Steve Comer 13th Dec '19 - 4:15am

    Terrible news from Dumbartonshire East.
    Rafisaid “Jo’s loss shows the perils of being a national leader in a very marginal constituency”. It bought back memories of the February 1974 election, the first one in which I had a vote. Despite having to run a national campaign Jeremy Thorpe made a point of running his morning press conferences from Barnstaple in his constituency,
    This was not easy as the communication links in these pre-internet and pe-mobile phone times, and the decision was ridiculed in the national press. Yet it was the right decision and sent out two clear messages:
    1) That he wasn’t taking the constituency for granted, and
    2) It sent a message that Liberal at least were not just a LOndon based party.

    I expressed concern early in the campaign that the presentation was to too “Presidential.” I also feel Jo (understandably in some ways) did too many TV debates etc.that other MPs could have covered just as well. It looks like she was being badly advised. I’m proud of the energetic campaign she has run, but lessons do need to be learn’t. Another 200 votes the other way in Dumbartonshire East and I wouldn’t;’t have have written this post.

    I was pleased to see Tim Farron re-elected after his close shave in 2017.

  • Listening to Caroline Lucas… I have to admit.. I find it difficult to disagree with anything she is saying right now.

    I don’t want to see a Labour maj govt – but their collapse is the reason we’re looking at a maj Tory govt – the consequences of their ego and flat refusal to work with others is what we are witnessing – The Labour party has some explaining to do!

  • Have any of our converts been re-elected anywhere? Or have we just split the anti-Tory vote in their seats?

  • Dan … probably the latter I’m afraid. Though it would have made no difference to the overall result on the night i.e. Tory majority

  • The Liberal Party lost two leaders in a general elections (1922 and 1945) and Tim was close to losing his in 2017 (down to a majority of 777). Therefore the Party should have considered how much time Jo would spend in her seat. I think I read somewhere that Jo didn’t attend a hustings in her seat.

  • Mike Barnes 13th Dec '19 - 4:38am

    “The Labour party has some explaining to do!”

    Lol, it wasn’t the Labour party that raced into giving Boris the election he wanted. I seem to rememer it was the Lib Dems and SNP teaming up in the last week of October that finally bounced Labour into this election when there was still plenty more misery that could have been heaped on Boris’s minority government. The SNP gambled correctly that a quick election would work out well for them, its a shame Jo Swinson was so disastrously wrong.

    Her approval ratings ended up worse than Corbyn’s which is a stunning achievement. It took a 4 year media jihad to get Corbyn down to approval levels of -30, Swinson hit those lows just by popping up on television a couple of times.

  • @Michael BG – Jeremy Thorpe nearly lost North Devon in 1970 as well. (It may of course have been better if he had, but that’s another story).
    We’ve failed to take North Devon tonight as well of course.

  • Again .. BBC is trying to find excuses for the Labour party.. according to the BBC the result in Kensington was a failure of the remain alliance.. err… NO .. Labour refused to work with the remain alliance!

  • BBC are predicting a majority of 74 for the Tories.. the damage they can do with that!!

  • To all Lib Dems – my admiration and compliments for a hard fought campaign – to those who won.. ruddy well done! to those who fell.. I’m more sorry than you can know.. time to cry myself to sleep

  • I may have missed it, but nobody seems to have commented on the Lib Dem vote share which although not seismic, has increased somewhat, yet not resulting in any extra seats. I think this is something that needs to be commented on. Am I missing the bigger picture perhaps?

  • I know it’s a bit early to be doing this but I’m looking at those stunning majorities in Twickenham, Kingston and Richmond Park…. and then looking at how close we came in nearby Wimbledon and Esher/Walton. Sure I know we can’t take chances in our held seats, but our people on the ground must’ve known we were going to win those three seats easily. Was it really not possible to divert some more resources a couple of miles away? (or put them on a phone bank to East Dunbartonshire??)
    As I say, I know its early days and yes its easy to be wise after the event. But this is one of many questions we need to be asking in the coming days/weeks.

  • Andrew Tampion 13th Dec '19 - 5:31am

    A few random thoughts:
    First this result has not happened because of a perception among the electorate that the Liberal Democrats where not sufficiently pro EU
    Two there is likely to be a boost to the economy as a result of the end to the uncertainty over Brexit. The Tories will say look the pro-remain Parties and MPs have been holding us back and use it as a weapon to beat their opponents. It may be that this is only temporary and the economy will crash in a few years as a result of leaving the EU (although I hope it does not) but that does not matter for the immediate future. If I am right on this then a careful response is required.
    Third Liberal Democrat membership is likely to fall as a result of those new members who joined to stop Brexit leaving. It is likely that this would have also happened if Brexit had been stopped. I hope our Party’s leadership have given this thought.
    Fourth beaten by Labour into 3rd place once again in Bosworth constituency, a target seat as recently as 2015 but strongly pro Leave. An excellent candidate, Micheal Mullaney, let down by the militant pro EU majority in our Party

  • To say this is not a great night is an understatement. Now we enter the school for fools, many lies have been stated some are still being repeated amongst which are the Brexit boom, there will be no boom as the uncertainty hasn’t been removed it has merely moved onto the trade talks. Hard years lie ahead of us and to think otherwise is to embrace delusion which unfortunately many of my fellow citizens have.

  • There were many forces at work beyond our control. But a campaign offering an unattractive Leader on the ludicrous premise we could win overall, on a manifesto consisting of nope, woke and dope pretty much sealed our fate.
    And no self-consoling rubbish please about rare wins, minuscule vote increase, deposits saved or second places (20 points behind).

  • John Marriott 13th Dec '19 - 5:55am

    Just got up. Well, what can we say? Many ‘liberal’ parties in Europe would kill for 12% (+or-) of the popular vote. It might of been ‘policies’ that tipped the balance. As far as Labour was concerned, it was too many. As far as the Tories and the Lib Dems are concerned, in both cases it was just one, namely Brexit. If you drill down further you could say that the Tories’ “Get Brexit done” clearly was more in tune with the electoral psyche than “Revoke Article 50” and that truly awful “B******s to Brexit”.

    A few observations:
    By elections are NOT General Elections
    If we stick with FPTP there really is no room for more than two ‘broad churches’
    Trouble north of the border if the SNP cuts up rough
    Brexit ‘done’ by next December? The pigs are starting to fly
    Sir Ed for Leader? Yes, please!
    Now he has the keys to the toy shop, will the real Boris Johnson step forward?
    Anyone for PR?

  • We seem to have lost Carshalton somewhere along the way. It wasn’t reported but it’s on the BBC website as a Con gain.

  • I’m not normally an optimist where politics are concerned, but I do believe that the next couple of years could see major advances for our party. Johnson’s victory is very quickly going to turn to ashes: he has promised so many things that he can’t deliver; he does not have the intellectual ability or temperament to do the job; and Brexit and the way that it will develop will impoverish swathes of his new Tory voters. The challenge for us is to move on from our over-dominating emphasis on Europe and establish a narrative about what we stand for that will have a broader appeal. It is possible that the Labour Party might move back to a more social democratic position though at the moment that looks unlikely. If it doesn’t then there is a huge space in the centre of politics for us to fill, with a focus on liberalism, environmentalism, internationalism, and being pro business (particularly small businesses) and farming. I’m not a centrist, but realistically that is where we need to place ourselves at the moment.

  • In the wash up I’d like to see some thought given to the way we have been misrepresenting some of our polling positions. Take NES – no end of leaflets showing us a close second to Mogg and in the end we are a very distant third and behind labour on a night they crashed. It does little for party credibility when it is so spectacularly shown up (and was rinsed on twitter at the time), if we are believing our own hype its also a misuse of time & resource. I understand why it is done but I query if we should. Particularly if we are calling out Conservative tricks.

  • Neil Littlewood 13th Dec '19 - 6:22am

    Feels like the party has abandoned huge swathes of the country. Not winning Hallam is really bad and probably represents the worst result of the night for the party.

    I look forward to the party being about getting back to basics again. Golden opportunity lost this election to offer a moderate, sensible platform answering the complicated questions that the modern world throws up. Instead we came across as dogmatic as the rest.

    Surely we can become more than a remainer pressure group again?

  • Another near miss was Winchester. 985 behind.
    But we’ve held Orkney & Shetland, by about 10%.
    So, with only 8 seats left to declare it look like we’ll end up with 11 seats in total. The only hopes left are St Ives and Cheltenham. Not sure why they haven’t declared yet but I imagine the counters will all have gone to bed.

  • There are comments asking why the results have changed since the Euro elections. They haven’t changed. Past experience shows that UKIP general election performances didn’t exceed their total numbers of votes in euro elections despite the higher turnout in general elections – people who wanted to make points about Europe were equally or even more likely to do it in euro elections. After a few years of presenting the party as the mirror-image single-issue pre-European party, the same principle ought to apply – the total number of votes gained by Lib Dems (+ ChangeUK) in the euro elections is about the cap for the “stop Brexit” party in the general elections.

    I tried to post something pointing out that very obvious fact back in the summer but it didn’t make it past the site admins – others are also saying they haven’t had dissenting points of view reach the comments. That’s a small part of the bigger problem I posted about earlier. Too many people in politics think the country looks like their social media feed – that’s the only explanation for why Labour + Lib Dems thought they had anything to gain from an election now and why both parties seem to have focused on winning London seats at the expense of other parts of the country.

    Swinson can’t take all the blame. The correct strategy back in 2016 would be to accept the referendum result, abstain on all the related votes and fight a 2020 election on completely different issues. Not the issue that has historically been the big vote loser for the party.

  • Sadly I see the SNP have ended up on 48 seats depriving us of the sight of Ruth Davidson taking a cold dip!

    Good to see the rest of our MPs back in Scotland with the exception sadly of Jo and the gain of NE Fife.

  • Richard S, I have been saying pretty much the same thing all along. The myth is that the Remain vote was growing. I’m pretty certain a lot of number crunching will be done by the pro-EU camp and we will be sold the same myth again. Everyone and everything will be blamed except the European project.

  • Looks like many Conservative remainers could not take the idea of a Corbyn govn and returned to the fold rather than risk “wasting” their votes on LibDems. Labour basically ruined the remain option with their mad policies. The other thing, people have reconciled to leaving the EU but do not want its huge bureaucracy replicated by a big state govn here.

    For LibDem’s, there is a big space for a moderate State and moving the burden of tax on to companies.

  • Im waiting for the person to eagerly say that this is a superb result for the Lib Dems because now the majority of Lib Dem MPs are female

  • We had the correct strategy up until the autumn.

    We needed to expand it in August as Boris did. One of Lynton Crosby’s favourite sayings is that you can’t fatten a pig on market day. I would have gone with a “green skilled and prosperous” economy through better domestic policies as well as being in the EU.

    Another of Crosby’s sayings is that you need to deal with the barnacles on a ship. To my mind tuition fees was (and is) such a barnacle. And we should have gone for free tuition fees – just as the Tories advised by Crosby put up billboards in January before the 2010 election saying Cameron could be trusted on the NHS

    I think ultimately we lost significant portions of two parts of our coalition that we built up in the spring.

    Younger voters remembered the coalition and indeed I got such an ad from Labour when googling the lib Dems reminding me of the evils of the coalition.

    Older (wealthier) voters weighed up the economic damage of Brexit versus Corbyn hammering them on tax and for some at least the latter began to weigh more for them.

    We need to deal with our barnacles.

    Fatten our pigs more.

    And I hope not have a coronation for leader which we did a bit last time as there wasn’t much between Ed and Jo but some real debate and thought.

    Coronations are always bad for parties look at Brown, May etc.

    I commented before that it normally takes two elections for a party to get over a disastrous time in Government.

    The final thing is as with Kipling’s poem to treat success and failure as imposters. Election results especially under FPTP are pure fiction! And get out on the doorstep, focus through the letterboxes, streetlights mended, global warming tackled etc. etc. And success will come both through getting things done (which is ultimately what counts) and at the ballot box

  • John Marriott 13th Dec '19 - 8:14am

    @James Pugh
    Nice one, Mr Pugh. I think that you, like me, may be getting a little uncomfortable with some of the stances taken on LDV. That’s why I hope that Sir Ed gets the Leader’s job. Given what happened to Jo Swinson, the party needs to pick one, whose parliamentary majority can stand the pressure. I guess that Sir Ed ticks that particular box.

  • Martin Boffey 13th Dec '19 - 8:16am

    Can we stop banging on about Europe now please?

  • Oddly, I shan’t miss Dennis Skinner – what really did he ever achieve apart from sending aides into the House to book his favourite seat? Symptomatic of Labour complacency that they let him run again and again.

  • I see a lot of posts here saying that we should stop going on about the EU etc. My problem with this is that I am an internationalist, I am pro-European, I am an environmentalist (ie a climate change believer), I believe stidently in the defence of civil rights and so on. Are people suggesting that I (or others who feel the same) deny what I believe to be good for our society?

  • I’m not an internationalist, I don’t support the EU, I’m a vegan and worry about climate change, They’re not the same subject. Remain is just a dead issue. I suppose re-join might gain a little traction, but ultimately there are possibly not that many votes in it and progressive politics needs to engage with voters on a more day to day level. The thing about elections is this. They are national and local, not international and global. They exist as a result of the establishment of nation states and national identities, not despite them. Democracy is thus tied to the concepts of nationhood and community. Those are the areas where you have to win the fight.

  • A lot said here.
    I’m lost for any useful input.
    That Rose Garden has a lot to answer for.

  • David Evans 13th Dec '19 - 9:42am

    Paul. So it is Editorial Judgement is it? I think it is much more a policy of ‘We can do whatever we want when we don’t personally like it.’

    As for the guideline ‘We welcome a diversity of voices in our comments threads’, well clearly not so welcome if it touches a nerve in LDV Central Office. All you do is prevent people realising there are voices out there proposing a rational alternative to reverting to a niche liberal party and electoral oblivion. Instead the party ploughed on with its Revoke policy in just the same way as it ploughed on with its disastrous approach to coalition.

    Well now we are back to where we were in 1979 and if our Remain support goes back to where it came from in five years’ time, we will be back to where we were in 1959.

  • I totally agree with Glenn. The fact is that it was even said in Tudor times that England especially is a conservative country with a healthy dose of xenaphobia. IT is a sissopheyan task to get a progressive majority in this country without completely selling out like Blair.

    However, we have not helped ourselves over the last few years.
    Revoking Article 50 was a disastrous policy. The problem with our Brexit policy is that we are fishing in a small pool. Ultimately, the Leadership prioritised some short term coverage over trying to stop the Tories by standing in seats like Chingford, Kensington and city of London.

    I like Jo, but who on earth told her to say that “I want to be Prime Minister.” Year 3 children could see this was nonsense.

    The only silver lining is that we got some stunning results in very safe Tory seats like Surrey East and Epsom and ewell.

  • Richard Underhill 13th Dec '19 - 10:18am
  • Sopwith Morley 13th Dec '19 - 10:25am

    Before it all settles down, and before you coalesce around the inevitable excuses to explain your performance, perhaps you should discuss amongst yourselves how you the party can rediscover its Liberalism and Democratic values which you have put to the sword with your obsession with the EU and overturning Brexit.

  • As someone who is often the subject of ‘Editorial Judgement’ I take no pleasure in seeing today’s dawn…
    Sadly, this election was lost the moment Jo Swinson agreed to support Boris Johnson’s December election. Johnson fought the(his) election on three words “Get Brexit Done”. Allowing him to waffle and bluster his way through the campaign almost unscrutinised (Thanks BBC) played right into his hands.

    However, what’s done is done (as my mother used to say) and today I’m writing down all the promises, “50,000 extra nurses”,”Bursaries”, “40 new hospitals” etc, (on the NHS alone)…As each month passes I’m asking all those who switched to vote Tory; “How, and when, will those promises be kept?”

    It’ll be a long 5 years

  • Paul, You can say what you like – I was born into a liberal family and have been a member since 1975. Like you I spent most of my adult life fighting for, representing and accepting all the slings and arrows that hit us all the time. Sadly, I am now in a group that is a rare breed in modern Lib Dems – a group that has the experience to know that we have to face up to our party’s problems when they happen and not wait for some unspecified better opportunity that never comes before the disaster hits.

    But how you can be proud of a site that has been more loyal than loyal to a party hierarchy that has led us to the disaster we are now facing, I will never understand. I wonder if any posts suggesting that Jo got back to East Dunbartonshire were suppressed, or whether no-one thought it was worth doing. I don’t know which option is the most depressing.

    You may respond if you wish. I know and fully acknowledge that you have worked very hard and very effectively for the party over many decades, including helping get that wonderful man David Rendel elected, and I will support you wholeheartedly in that forever. I just think your, and others in the collectives’ views on what is acceptable to say on LDV are not in the party’s best interests.

    I have said enough.

  • Charles Smith 13th Dec '19 - 11:13am

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party will win a majority of 86 seats in Britain’s election, giving him the numbers in Parliament he needs to deliver Brexit on Jan. 31, an exit poll indicated on Thursday.

    The exit poll showed Johnson’s Conservatives would win 368 seats, enough for a comfortable outright majority in the 650-seat Parliament. Labour were forecast to win 191 seats, the Scottish National Party 55 seats and the Liberal Democrats 13.

    Official results will be declared over the next seven hours.

    In the last five national elections, only one exit poll has got the outcome wrong — in 2015 when the poll predicted a hung Parliament when in fact the Conservatives won a majority, taking 14 more seats than forecast.
    https://worldabcnews.com/u-k-conservatives-poised-to-win-majority-government-exit-poll/

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 13th Dec '19 - 11:20am

    Paul, I’d just like to express agreement with Ruth’s comments. I have made frequent comments on this site, expressing strong disagreement with the Party’s policy on Brexit (although I did “self censor” by refraining from doing so during general election campaigns, both this time and in 2017). These comments have always been published. Thank you for all your work for Lib Dem Voice.

  • Clearly caving into an early election was a mistake for the party.

    The Tories where becoming weaker and weaker by the month with sackings and defections.

    The party should have pursued the VONC and possibly holding it’s nose and putting Corbyn in as a temporary leader of a Gnu, but the party was not prepared to work with Corbyn albeit on a temporary basis.

    The Libdems need to seriously now look at the electoral map and what it needs to do to win back former voters and developing policies that will reach out to those communities.
    You only have to look at the South West where the Liberal Democrats “used” to be strong, it needs to look at policies that are important to these people and which will win them back over, Welfare, social housing, affordable housing, education, infrastructure and the NHS.
    If the party takes the stance of going all out on a policy of rejoining the EU, I fear they will never win back these voters.
    You need to look at the south west as a litmus paper and say right what do we need to do to win back these voters and develop on policies that will achieve that and the party will soon realise that these are the same policies that appeal to the rest of the country and the poor and working classes.
    Lessons need to be learned and strategies put in place to start building the core vote up and getting ready for the next 2 elections.

  • After all the hope and optimism of recent months, we have had a really bad night.
    Our main policy platform – Remain – is dead; Brexit will happen in seven weeks time, whether we like it or not; we need to think long and hard about a strong replacement message with broad electoral appeal, that is true to our Liberal ideals.

    A period of introspection is called for about our policies and strategy – maybe, hopefully, LibDem voice can be a platform for that part of that discussion.

  • Jo lost her seat because she was fighting for the national party and because a lot of people in Scotland think they are more likely to be able to remain in the EU and escape from Conservative rule by backing the SNP and getting independence.

    Elsewhere if the aim was to target remain Conservative seats in the south and to use high profile defections to challenge for winnable seats, this strategy seems to have failed. None of the defectors won a seat and it will be interesting to see how many (if any) stick around.

    Ultimately nothing seems to have really worked. In Scotland we held off the SNP better than Labour or the Conservatives but we lost our leader. We lost our seat in Wales. We lost more than we gained in England against the Conservatives and we failed to retake Sheffield Hallam from Labour.

    We increased our vote share but nobody is going to report this as a success.

  • Innocent Bystander 13th Dec '19 - 1:23pm

    Paul,
    I have had many of my deliberately incendiary posts published and have always admired the way you and your colleagues have operated this completely open site. Keep up the good work.
    A sensible party of the political centre is needed more than ever. I see rampant Toryism and a Labour party too purged of moderates and too tightly in Momentum’s grip to fill that void.

  • I said weeks ago that the more votes that the Liberal Democrats took away from Labour, the larger the majority would be for the conservatives. I was told that uniform swings do not apply to this election and I was wrong.

    It seems to me that by concentrating attacks on corbyn and labour leading calls about Corbyn being unnfit for PM (even though I agree) refusing to even consider a VONC and having Corbyn as head of gnu of a temporary administration contributed towards the backlash against Labour and their almighty plummet in their vote share, which has put Boris back in no 10 with a stonking majority
    The party should have concentrated in taking the fight directly to the Tories instead of concentrating on Corbyn.

    What ALL opposition parties must do now is start reflecting on the type of voters that have been lost from Labour and Liberal Democrats to the likes of the Brexit Party and voted the Tory Party for the first time (poor, working class and disabled voters)
    It is these voters that are going to decide the next couple of elections. They are not natural Tory Voters. The Tory party is going to have to take a softer stance towards this demographic and adapt policies in the hope of retaining said voters ( I cant see the Tories doing that successfully)
    Opposition parties need to start developing policies now to reach out to these voters, working together to hold the tories to account and put pressure on the government.

    The Brexit argument is done, it is clearly going to happen now, the party now needs to start concentrating on winning back those that supported Brexit but are not natural tory voters.

  • @David Evans: “I have said enough.”
    Finally!!
    LDV is a voluntary enterprise. The people who run it don’t make any money from it, and are not formally connected to the party. It’s a labour of love. They don’t have to do it. It’s not a public service. It’s a group of people voluntarily giving up their time and skills to give us a free platform to talk about the party. Of course< they are entitled to make editorial decisions, just as any website is. Personally I think Paul and the rest of the team do a terrific job, and they are remarkably free and easy about posting critical comments – actually to a fault sometimes. We too often take them for granted.
    But hey, if you don’t like it, you are of course free to set up and run your on comments site. Why don’t you do that? Then you could say what you want to your heart’s content and enable all criticisms.

  • Sue Sutherland 13th Dec '19 - 1:54pm

    I think LDV is not just a good site, it’s essential, so thank you for all your hard work everybody on the team.
    At the moment we’re all looking at our navels trying to work out how that annoying bit of fluff is still there when we’ve done everything we can to defeat it. Meanwhile truckloads of the stuff are being dumped on the country from a great height.
    The Tories have succeeded in persuading working class Leave voters that they will Get Brexit Done. Brexit has become more important to the majority of those voters than traditional, long held adherence to the Labour Party. Their emotional attachment to that party has been overcome by their emotional attachment to leaving the EU.
    Unless Johnson turns into a one nation Tory their quality of life will be diminished by a failure to invest in the services and the safety net most of us need.
    What we need to think about is how to attract that unstable vote at future elections, not spend ages thinking about where we went wrong because, basically, we were squeezed and we were fighting a losing battle to bring Remain voters to us through tactical voting. Remain lost its will to fight and Brexit won out.

  • After the initial sadness, of today’s result, I for one feel vindicated. I upheld remain as I thought it would be best for the country, everywhere, North South, Scotland etc. Relatives living and working in the North told me things are getting worse, Brexit is the only way to bring about change. So the UK electorate have given BJ a mandate, not seen for decades. We will be leaving the EU. Now as a LD party member, I accept that majority. It’s done. There is no “Remaining” there is now “Rejoin”. Time to move on and fight another battle, but this time everyone needs to listen to everyone.

  • Lord Ashcroft has produced some useful polling on how people voted according to demographics
    https://www.ukgeographics.co.uk/blog/social-grade-a-b-c1-c2-d-e

    Among De groups Liberal Democrats did very badly at 7% when you consider that the Tories managed 43% of this group (people who are not natural tory supporters) then this is something that really needs addressing pretty quickly and to begin the fight back and winning these people back for the next election.
    Policies need to be adapted now and plugged constantly at every opportunity as it is this demographic which is going to determine the size of the Tory Majority at the next election. The party needs to start reaching out now and get peoples attention.
    The same is so for C2 again a poor result for Libdems at 9% compared to the Tories 50%
    Due to the size of the Tory Majority it is probably going to take 2 more election cycles to remove the Tories from power, the first to eat into the Tory majority and the 2nd to remove them completely.
    The work needs to start now.
    That’s my advice, for what it is worth lol

  • I am a natural liberal democrat, and find the FPTP system totally unfair, but I could never vote for a party that for some unfathomable reason embraces the completely un-liberal and un-democratic EU politburo.

  • Just want to join in the love being expressed for LDV. On days like this, what would we do with out it??
    And RossMcL’s point is well made: I don’t think it’s generally understood by users that this site is NOT an official organ of the party but is run entirely by volunteers, like Paul, who give huge amounts of time and energy to maintaining it with no motivation other than a desire to facilitate discussion by their fellow LDs. I think all of us, and perhaps especially those of us who use the site every other day, should always bear that in mind.

  • John Marriott 13th Dec '19 - 7:40pm

    I’m sorry that David Evans appears to be less than enamoured with the LDV editors. I too have sent stuff in, which sometimes disappears without explanation or is deemed too long or subject to what they call ‘flood protection’ (?), which requires my waiting anything up to four hours before it appears. That more or less disables my iPad for internet surfing for that time if I decide to wait.

    Paul and Mark, as well as the formidable Caron, when approached, have always been willing to engage. They run a tight ship, although I still reckon that a few regular contributors seem to get away with it at times. That said, I would still support those, who appreciate having this outlet for their opinions, even if some of them might occasionally be in need of diplomatic editorial ‘control’.

  • LDV is a good site, which is why despite being outside the LD mainstream, I keep returning. Obviously, as with any site, editorial decisions can occasionally be irksome. But that is horses for courses.

  • What can we do in future?

    1. The Lib Dems need to give up the pretension of being a national party. Under FPTP it’s pointless contesting every seat. We need to do tactical deals with non-Tory parties. We have more chance of success focusing all our resources on a smaller number of realistic seats and adopt Gorilla tactics.
    2. Consider having a primary system like in the USA, only one candidate chosen from either Labour, Lib Dems, Greens, NHS party etc should stand in a GE seat, selected by a combined membership and registered supporters.
    3. People should consider creating a pro-democracy movement Hong-Kong style to fight to make the UK into a real democracy with PR, elected upper-chamber, federal system etc. Remember the Tories wouldn’t be in power (and Brexit going ahead) now if we had PR, they have a minority of the votes.
    4. Start a BDS campaign against foreign oligarch owned Tory supporting newspapers. Try to persuade advertisers to abandon them.
    5. There is scope to oppose Brexit but I think we should have challanged the validity of the so called referendum more strongly on these grounds: a. Cameron only got 36% of the vote, he didn’t have the democratic mandate to order a referendum. b. Over 1 million foreign citizens from the commonwealth were allowed to vote but EU citizens were not. c. The question was void for uncertainty. d. 16 & 17 year old were allowed to vote in the Scottish referendum but not in the EU referendum, age discrimination, unfairness. Plus many other reasons.

  • Tony Harris 18th Dec '19 - 8:15am

    Paul. Hear! Hear! I have always found LDV happy to host some ‘difficult’ topics and to treat them fairly. Keep up the good (independent) work.

  • Christopher Clayton 18th Dec '19 - 7:43pm

    I have only just arrived here. I read many of the posts made at the time of the declaration but not the later ones, so maybe I will have missed relevant things. BUT ulness I am making a mistake i ask why I seem to be the only person, Lib Dems, News announcers. even The Electoral Reform Socity, who knows that ‘we’ have not got 11 but 12 MPs!

    What seems to be overlooked is ‘our’ gain in Northan Ireland by our sister Party, Aliance NI. Or is there any reason why precedent will not be followed by Stephen Farry MP. In the past an Alliance MP has taken the Liberal Whip and sat with the LDs in the Commons. We have had a former Alliance MP on the LibDem benches in the Lords for a number of years.

    If I am right, would it not be of benefit to report that we have zero net losses, as well as gaining a million votes, a 4% gain, which is greater than the Conservatives at 2%?

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  • User AvatarMarco 9th Aug - 10:55am
    @Richard Easter “ The argument that the more voters see of a leader, the more they will think highly of them didn’t work for Swinson.”...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 9th Aug - 10:53am
    A well-worked-out scheme for a national Social Contract was offered as a motion for this autumn's Conference to the Federal Conference Committee by ourselves, the...
  • User AvatarKaterina Porter 9th Aug - 10:05am
    We British never seem to want to look abroad. We should look at that and variations of it. Finland, Uganda, etc As for paying for...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 9th Aug - 9:50am
    @ Catherine Sorry about the typo.