Journal articles

Analysing the 2015 and 2017 elections

Review of Philip Cowley and Dennis Kavanagh, The British General Election of 2015 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016);
Philip Cowley and Dennis Kavanagh, The British General Election of 2017 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)

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Jo Swinson as leader

Interview with Jo Swinson on her period as leader of the Liberal Democrats.

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Vince Cable as leader

Interview with Vince Cable on his period as leader of the Liberal Democrats.

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Events

General Election 2019: Disappointment for the Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats entered the 2019 general election campaign buoyed by their best opinion poll ratings in a decade, a second place showing in the recent European Parliament elections, impressive local election results in England and high-profile defections from the other parties. The party had a dynamic, young new leader in Jo Swinson and a simple, clear message: stop Brexit. But the party’s campaign gained little traction and the results were hugely disappointing.

Discuss the 2019 election with Professor Sir John Curtice (Professor of Politics, University of Strathclyde) and James Gurling (former Chair, Federal Campaigns and Elections Committee). Chair: Wendy Chamberlain MP.

The meeting will be hosted online on Zoom and also broadcast to the History Group’s Facebook page. You must register in advance to participate via Zoom (and be able to ask questions); to register, click here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Participation via Zoom is limited to the first 100 registering.

Update following meeting: John Curtice’s presentation to the meeting is attached here: John Curtice 080720

Election 2017 – a missed opportunity?

The Liberal Democrats entered the 2017 general election campaign with high hopes: they were the only major UK-wide party unequivocally to oppose Brexit, and the campaign followed months of encouraging local government by-election results. But the outcome was a disappointment: a further fall in the vote from the catastrophic result in 2015, and four losses out of the eight seats that had been salvaged then – though this was offset by the recapture of eight seats which had been lost in 2015 or 2010.

What went wrong? Was it a failure of leadership, of positioning or of campaigning? Or was the party simply swept aside by the rising Labour tide?

Discuss the result and the implications for the Liberal Democrats with Professor Phil Cowley (co-author of The British General Election of 2017) and James Gurling (Chair, Liberal Democrats Federal Campaigns and Elections Committee). Chair: Baroness Grender (Paddy Ashdown’s second-in-command on the 2015 Liberal Democrat election campaign).

The AGM of the Liberal Democrat History Group will take place first, at 6.30pm, followed by the speaker meeting at 7.00pm.