Tag Archives: Lib Dem Leaders

Post-war Liberal leaders in perspective

There have been ten leaders of the Liberal Party and its successor the Liberal Democrats since 1945 as follows. I have resisted the temptation to rank them 1 – 10, but my top three are revealed later. The roll of honour is as follows;

Clement Davies 1945 -56

A reluctant leader who led a depleted parliamentary party in a chamber dominated by Labour.  He was credited with keeping organised Liberalism alive during one of our darkest periods.

Jo Grimond 1956 -67

A youthful breath of fresh air who oversaw a mini-revival with famous by-election victories at Torrington and Orpington. Ultimately his vision of a non-socialist progressive alternative to the Conservatives would falter with the return to power of Labour under Harold Wilson.

Jeremy Thorpe 1967 -76

Flamboyant and energetic. At the February 1974, General Election with the country polarised and the powerful miners on strike led the party to an amazing 20% of the vote but only 14 seats due to FPTP. Eventually, scandal affecting his personal life would force his resignation.

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