History

Michael Meadowcroft, 1942-

Michael Meadowcroft was Liberal MP for Leeds West from 1983 to 1987, confounding sceptics to win a solidly inner-city seat by using the community politics approach which he had helped to develop over the preceding fifteen years. He was the main, indeed very nearly the only, philosopher of applied Liberalism within the old Liberal Party […]

Bill Rodgers (Lord Rodgers), 1928-

Bill Rodgers – one of the Gang of Four who founded the SDP, and now (as Lord Rodgers of Quarry Bank) the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords – was born in Liverpool on 28 October 1928 and named William Thomas Rodgers. His father was employed for forty years by the […]

Shirley Williams (Lady Williams), 1930-

As the byelection car cavalcade drove slowly through a council estate in Warrington, Shirley Williams, microphone in hand, was drumming up support for SDP candidate Roy Jenkins. Standing precariously on the front seat, her head and shoulders poking through the sun-roof, Williams was in her element. As she passed a broken-down car, its grease-stained owner […]

Journal articles

Tories and the Coalition

Review of Ken Clarke, Kind of Blue: A political memoir (Macmillan, 2016); David Cameron, For the Record (William Collins, 2019); Oliver Letwin, Hearts and Minds: The battle for the Conservative Party from Thatcher to the present (Biteback Publishing, 2017).

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The shock of coalition

Review of Edward Fieldhouse, Jane Green, Geoffrey Evans, Jonathan Mellon, Christopher Prosser, Hermann Schmitt, and Cees van der Eijk, Electoral Shocks: The volatile voter in a turbulent world (OUP, 2020).

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Women and the Liberal Democrats

Review of Dr Elizabeth Evans, Gender and the Liberal Democrats – Representing Women? (Manchester University Press, 2011)

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Events

Coalition: Could Liberal Democrats have handled it better?

The 2015 election decisively ended the Liberal Democrats’ participation in government. Did what the party achieved in coalition between 2010 and 2015 justify the damage? Could the party have managed coalition better? The meeting marks the publication of the autumn Journal of Liberal History, a special issue on the policy record of the coalition.

Speakers: David Laws (Minister for Schools, 2012-15), Chris Huhne (Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, 2010-12), Akash Paun (Institute for Government).

Chair: Jo Swinson (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment Relations, Consumer and Poster Affairs, 2012-15).

Survival and success: the first 25 years of the Liberal Democrats

This year, 2013, marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Liberal Democrats. From near-annihilation to entry into government, the years since 1988 have been a roller-coaster ride for the party.

Discuss which factors were important in the survival and success of the Liberal Democrats, and speculate about the future, with:

Duncan Brack (Editor, Journal of Liberal History): on leadership and policy

Mark Pack (Liberal Democrats online campaign manager, 2001 and 2005): on campaigns

John Curtice (Professor Politics, Strathclyde University): who votes for the Liberal Democrats?

Cllr Julie Smith (Vice Chair, Lib Dem Policy Committee): on the impact of coalition

Chair: Paddy Ashdown (Chair, 2015 general election campaign)

A Liberal Democrat History Group fringe meeting

(note this is outside the conference secure area no passes necessary)