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Introducing the Liberal Democrats

Key Message

The Liberal Democrats are working to build a stronger economy in a fairer society, creating opportunity for everyone.

Recent History

The Liberal Democrats were the third largest political party in British politics behind the Conservative Party and Labour Party. This place has been taken by the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP)

In 2010, the Liberal Democrats entered into a coalition government with the Conservative Party which cost them dearly in the May 2015 General Election. The number of Members of the European Parliament was reduced to just one in the 2014 elections. The number of local councillors, always the strong base for the Liberal Democrats, was also reduced.

After the 2015 General Election, the “fight-back” started and the party saw hundreds of new members join the party. They also gained a new leader in Tim Farron.

In the snap-2017 General Election the party increased its numbers. It lost its former leader Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam who had been a strong voice for them on Brexit but regained Vince Cable, who is the current leader and Jo Swinson who had been popular.

The aftermath of the 2017 General Election saw the resignation of Tim Farron. Despite his party gaining seats from 8-12, although many hoped for more, he felt his personal beliefs had been compromised and he could not continue as leader.

  • Death of Charles Kennedy

On 1st June 2015, Charles Kennedy former Liberal Democrat Leader died at his home in Fort William aged just 55. Read about his political career and tributes from colleagues and friends here

  • Leadership Contest – 2015

The resignation of Nick Clegg on 8th May 2015 triggered a leadership election within the party. Tim Farron MP and Norman Lamb MP put their names forward and Mr Farron was elected. Find out about them here

Leadership Contest – 2017

Following the resignation of Tim Farron the party was in need of a new leader. The spotlight fell on Jo Swinson and former candidate Norman Lamb for a time but in the end Vince Cable, who had returned to Parliament after being beaten in the 2015 wipe-out became the Leader of the Liberal Democrats unopposed.

Key People in the Liberal Democrats

  • Leader of the Liberal Democrats- Sir Vince Cable MP
  • Deputy Leader and Shadow Foreign Secretary – Jo Swinson MP
  • Shadow for Exiting the European Union, International Trade and First Secretary of State – Tom Brake MP
  • Shadow Health Secretary – Norman Lamb MP
  • Chief Whip and Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – Alistair Carmichael MP
  • Shadow Home Secretary- Sir Ed Davey
  • The twelve Liberal Democrat Members of Parliament are:
    • Sir Vince Cable MP – Twickenham
    • Jo Swinson MP – East Dunbartonshire
    • Sir Ed Davey MP – Kingston & Surbiton
    • Stephen Lloyd MP – Eastbourne
    • Christine Jardine MP – Edinburgh West
    • Wera Hobhouse MP – Bath
    • Jamie Stone MP – Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross
    • Layla Moran MP – Oxford West & Abingdon
    • Tom Brake MP – Carshalton & Wallington
    • Tim Farron MP – Westmorland & Lonsdale
    • Norman Lamb MP – North Norfolk
    • Alistair Carmichael MP – Shetland & Orkney

What the party stands for

In Government we created more than 2 million jobs, helped business to create more than 2 million apprenticeships, and gave 27 million people an £825 tax cut.
Only the Liberal Democrats will finish the job of balancing the books on time, in full and fairly whilst growing the economy in order to create jobs and fund the public services on which we all rely.

Our plans would borrow £70bn less than Labour and cut £50bn less than the Conservatives. We would also protect the education budget from cradle to college, invest in the NHS and cut taxes by a further £400 for millions of workers.

Labour are lurching dangerously to the left on a path of reckless borrowing, while the Conservatives are lurching dangerously to the right on a path of reckless cuts.

Only the Liberal Democrats can keep Britain on track.