Reaction to the General Election Review

Welcome to our whistle-stop tour of the coverage of our General Election Review. If you’ve missed our earlier pieces, you can read the document here.

The Mirror has a poll at the end of their piece. 28% of respondents say they’d vote for us in the future. I’ll take that.

The BBC quotes Tim Farron’s response:

The review – carried out by members of the party’s Campaigns and Communications Committee – made a string of recommendations to help the party fare better in any future coalition.

These include that Lib Dems should make it clear they will only automatically vote for legislation covered by the coalition agreement, and that the “wider party” should be represented in the negotiations.

Tim Farron, who replaced Mr Clegg as leader, said: “Blame and criticism can provide short term satisfaction, but do nothing for a future vision.

“This report is about setting a way forward, recognising the mistakes we made, and learning from them.”

BBC Wales points out the comments that the party election broadcasts were not helpful in Wales:

The review said: “Our party election broadcasts did not show enough distinctive reasons to vote for the Liberal Democrats and, in the main, did not feature Liberal Democrat spokespeople.

“They made little sense in Scotland or Wales – where the message gave no reason not to vote for the Nationalist parties.

“They were also poorly integrated with our campaign on the ground.”

The review recommended the party “keep the use of Scottish and Welsh variations” of UK party political broadcasts for Scotland and Wales.

The FT points out the lack of polling:

For many politicos, the 2015 general election proved that you should never pay too much attention to opinion polls. The Liberal Democrats have now drawn almost the opposite conclusion.

An internal inquest into the party’s disastrous electoral performance has found that a lack of research left it “flying blind”, with little factual basis for its political messaging. The Lib Dems conducted “no polling activities of note” in the first two years of coalition government “as a result of dwindling funds”, according to the review published on Friday.

The Independent’s Nigel Morris must have led quite a sheltered life:

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  • Bill le Breton 19th Feb '16 - 9:22pm

    May I suggest we keep comments on this review in one place: where the chair of the review team has written his piece on the review and is looking for comments?

  • Bruce Hosie 20th Feb '16 - 9:21am

    I find the continued talk of the next coalition so depressing and defeatist. Have we learned nothing, we need to stick to our core policies and be very clear that in future it will be a vote by vote basis for support to any other parties, we have to earn back some credibility and trust with the voters. I swear I just don’t think a single lesson has been learned, I give up some days I really do.

  • It is now only 22% and falling.
    Overall local election results indicate we are coming off the bottom, but only just.

  • Thomas Shakespeare 20th Feb '16 - 3:19pm

    Hi Bruce,

    I doubt whether I’ll be able to convince you that coalition was the right decision. However, if you look at the report, most members disagree with you. If the only lesson you think there is to learn is that we should never go into coalition, then I think you’re being a little harsh on the report. I will point out that there are significant downsides to being in a vote-by-vote government. The most obvious one is that the government is much less stable and potentially one vote away from collapse. At a time of economic uncertainty, strong, stable government was vital. Unstable government also undermines the cause for proportional representation, where parties co-operate, and gives the smaller party (Lib Dems in this example) less influence as we have no ministers.

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