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    Nick Clegg and British liberalism: revival, betrayal, or repositioning?

Nick Clegg and British liberalism: revival, betrayal, or repositioning?

The Liberal Democrats’ rightward shift in the decade since The Orange Book has helped make the Cameron-Clegg coalition possible. Peter Sloman asks whether we should see it as a revival of classical liberalism, a reflection of neoliberal influences, or simply a recalibration of the party’s existing thought.

One of the most fruitful debates in British political studies over the past […]

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    The importance of local parties and incumbency to the electoral prospects of the Liberal Democrats

The importance of local parties and incumbency to the electoral prospects of the Liberal Democrats

Support for the Liberal Democrats plummeted since they formed a coalition government with the Conservative Party in 2010. However, Craig Johnson points out that the LibDems are polling relatively well in marginal seats and are earning and spending more post-2010 than post-2005 in their strongest areas. This suggests they may still be able to retain electorally relevant share of their seats […]

The road not taken and the ‘bad faith’ thesis: Why a Liberal Democrat-Labour coalition never happened in May 2010

Many have suggested it was the LibDem lack of good faith which scuppered a deal between the party and Labour in 2010 and not the political facts of the day. Bill Jones explores those awkward five days in May and argues that there were more compelling reasons for the LibDems to take the road they took.  The publication last year of Andrew Adonis’s […]

The Rennard scandal highlights the reluctance of politicians to address murmurs of wrongdoing and the tendency for tribalism to affect their responses

Unlike most sex scandals, the allegations concerning Lord Rennard also raises questions about the integrity of our politics, in particular how politicians respond to rumours of impropriety and alleged abuses of authority, writes Nicholas Allen. Most political scandals involve sex, money or power. The saga of Lord Rennard and what might be called ‘Grope-gate’ has nothing to do with money, as […]

2014 will be the year of living nervously for all of Britain’s main political parties

Looking ahead to what 2014 holds in store for Britain’s main political parties, Eunice Goes writes that this year will test David Cameron’s leadership skills to the limit with the European parliament elections, the Scottish referendum, and potential interest rate hikes by the Bank of England looming. On the other hand, she predicts life will not be much easier for the leader […]

Men only? The parliamentary Liberal Democrats and gender representation

The Liberal Democrats have both the lowest percentage and number of women MPs among the main parties. With those seats vulnerable due to their slim majorities, Elizabeth Evans questions whether a parliamentary party dominated by white men that claims to stand for equality can claim credibility.  This article was originally published on the Democratic Audit blog. The recent announcement by Sarah Teather […]

Electoral system dynamics are fundamental to understanding why comparisons between the FDP and the Liberal Democrats are ultimately somewhat misguided

The recent German elections saw the demise of the FDP, the junior coalition partner whose support had plummeted while serving in government. This has prompted comparisons with the situation in which the Liberal Democrats find themselves. However, Adam Evans writes that, because the two parties operate in radically divergent electoral arenas, there are limits to how far one can take these comparisons […]

How smaller parties fare in coalition: Lessons for the Liberal Democrats in the run-up to 2015

The Lib Dems face the “unity-distinctiveness dilemma”: they must defend the overall coalition record whilst also emphasising distinct achievements. In a recent paper based on international case studies, Akash Paun & Robyn Munro set out five lessons for the Lib Dems as the party seeks to avoid electoral collapse in May 2015. As the UK coalition government heads towards its endgame, the two parties of […]

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
This work by British Politics and Policy at LSE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.