After five years in the political wilderness, something has to change. From the cataclysm of GE2015, to the disappointing results in GE2019 – these have not been easy years for the Liberal Democrats.
But it has not been all bad. Between these challenging bookends we have had several high points: historic local election gains; coming first in London and second nationally in the European Parliament Election of 2019; not to mention a wave of high profile defectors who almost doubled the size of our Parliamentary Party.
Despite the challenges, almost every year it has felt like there has been a road back to recovery for our party.
But why have we not been able to capitalise on these opportunities better? Despite growing our popular vote by c.4% in the 2019 GE, we fell backwards in terms of our number of seats.
What will it take to re-establish ourselves as the third force in British politics? What’s the route to government – and is that something we should even be thinking about right now? Why can we make gains in local and European Parliament elections, but not translate that into General Election gains? Do our problems lie in messaging and policy or capacity and delivery? How can we grow our party at all levels? In short: what’s next for the Liberal Democrats?
These are challenging questions, and to answer them we will need to speak with change-makers, critics and friends in and around our party. That’s precisely what we have started doing. As of the time of writing we have spoken with eight such experts. These conversations will soon be available as full transcripts and also in audio format.
We hope that you will enjoy listening to or reading them, and that you’ll be able to join us in the adventure of building the future of the Liberal Democrats.