Where did it all go wrong for The Liberal Democrats ?

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nw1

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Olga Maitland and Teresa Gorman - two right wing women Tory MPs not shy of publicity, but both suddenly went very quiet for no apparent reason. Gorman's been dead a few years, and it's been so long since I heard of Maitland I assumed she'd died too, but apparently not.

The Tories do seem to have an awful lot of T(h)eresas, and most of them tend to be pretty right wing. Theresa May is actually the most palatable of the lot.

A bit like when they had all those youngish right-wing Michaels (Heseltine wasn't one of them, to make that clear) in the 90s.
 
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185

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imo.. Libdems slowly went wrong after Charlie Kennedy was booted. Then fell apart after Clegg's coalition.

Paddy Ashdown... popular
Charles Kennedy... popular
they got rid of him, then
<LDP goes downhill>
Moan Campbell...nope
Clegg... Drives bus off the cliff
<bus is in 307 pieces>
Tim... nice but dull
Vince the Cable guy... zzzz
<pieces of destroyed bus are on ebay>
Some bloke called Joe
Then some accountant type called Ed with a red stapler.

Perhaps, what I'm getting at, is personality and distinctiveness - something that stands out is key to appealing for the wider vote.. ie- not just satisfying party members.
 

nw1

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imo.. Libdems slowly went wrong after Charlie Kennedy was booted. Then fell apart after Clegg's coalition.

Paddy Ashdown... popular
Charles Kennedy... popular
they got rid of him, then
<LDP goes downhill>
Moan Campbell...nope
Clegg... Drives bus off the cliff
<bus is in 307 pieces>
Tim... nice but dull
Vince the Cable guy... zzzz
<pieces of destroyed bus are on ebay>
Some bloke called Joe
Then some accountant type called Ed with a red stapler.

Perhaps, what I'm getting at, is personality and distinctiveness - something that stands out is key to appealing for the wider vote.. ie- not just satisfying party members.

One could say we've had quite enough 'personality' in politics with Johnson and Trump, that someone safer (though some might say duller) would be a welcome change!
 

MattRat

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One could say we've had quite enough 'personality' in politics with Johnson and Trump, that someone safer (though some might say duller) would be a welcome change!
Safe means different things to different people though.
 

Typhoon

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One could say we've had quite enough 'personality' in politics with Johnson and Trump, that someone safer (though some might say duller) would be a welcome change!
I'm sure it has come up before on this Forum that we tend to alternate 'personality' and 'grey' for PM.

Johnson - personality in spades
May - grey
'Call me Dave' - personality
Brown - grey
Blair - personality
Major - (possibly 50 shades of) grey
Thatcher - personality
Callaghan - grey
Wilson - personality
Douglas-Home - grouse moors grey
SuperMac - personality (well for the fifties)
Eden - don't know (I think he is only known for Suez)
Churchill - personality
Attlee - grey but effective
Churchill - personality
Chamberlain - grey
(Probably breaks down before then although Baldwin did try and come across as 'Uncle Stanley' I understand.)

Clearly a lot of my very superficial descriptions are influenced by the times, but there does seem to be a pattern (and we clearly know less about the earlier PMs because of the media at the time).

Tim... nice but dull
I always thought that Farron at least had some energy about him. It was religion that did for him.

If Kennedy had remained as leader it might have hastened his untimely death.
I tend to agree but he might have a more positive legacy if he had died 'in post' in the same way as John Smith has. (Not much use to him or his family, of course). He is now largely forgotten, unfortunately. I would be more likely to vote for him than Ashdown, there was a spark that the others do not have.
 

nw1

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I'm sure it has come up before on this Forum that we tend to alternate 'personality' and 'grey' for PM.
Yes, that seems to be about right.
Johnson - personality in spades
May - grey
'Call me Dave' - personality
Mind you, did he have much personality? Less grey than May, I guess.
Brown - grey
Blair - personality
Major - (possibly 50 shades of) grey
Thatcher - personality
Callaghan - grey
Wilson - personality
Douglas-Home - grouse moors grey
SuperMac - personality (well for the fifties)
Going a bit off topic, but on-topic for rail, are Macmillan (a class 86), together with Churchill (a class 87), the only prime ministers to have had a modern loco named after them? Did any others have a steam loco named after them? I suspect there was a steam Churchill.

Glad no-one tried to name a loco Margaret Thatcher. That would have been very divisive. And a Boris Johnson loco would accelerate out of the station in a bluster before promptly breaking down and blocking all lines for at least four years - particularly those which lead to the Channel Tunnel. ;)
 

Typhoon

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Yes, that seems to be about right.

Mind you, did he have much personality? Less grey than May, I guess.
Cameron was less grey than Brown! He tried to show personality 'hug a hoodie', 'chillaxing', going down the pub for meetings (and leaving his daughter there), pretending to be interesting in football, hugging huskies in the arctic, trying (and failing) with The Big Society and 'yoof' programmes. He tried to be 'one of us' (but not too 'one of us').

Going a bit off topic, but on-topic for rail, are Macmillan (a class 86), together with Churchill (a class 87), the only prime ministers to have had a modern loco named after them? Did any others have a steam loco named after them? I suspect there was a steam Churchill.

SR Battle of Britain class 21C151 Winston Churchill - Wikipedia

but more importantly you can still travel on one:
Locomotives - Winston Churchill - RH&DR - Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway (rhdr.org.uk)

To try to keep it on thread, there is apparently a locomotive called David Lloyd George on the Festiniog Railway, and you can buy a model of it (Bachmann Collectors Club - Ffestiniog Railway Double Fairlie 'David lloyd George' FR Lined Red,Ffestiniog Railway Double Fairlie 'David lloyd George' FR Lined Red (bachmann-collectorsclub.co.uk))

What chance a locomotive called 'Sir Ed Davey' (or after any of the recent LibDem leaders)? The best chance might be a Menzies Campbell if South Eastern units continue to be named after athletes.
 

nw1

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Cameron was less grey than Brown! He tried to show personality 'hug a hoodie', 'chillaxing', going down the pub for meetings (and leaving his daughter there), pretending to be interesting in football, hugging huskies in the arctic, trying (and failing) with The Big Society and 'yoof' programmes. He tried to be 'one of us' (but not too 'one of us').
And just came across completely insincere and a bit of an idiot, IMO...
Thanks, I knew there would have been a Winston Churchill steam loco.
To try to keep it on thread, there is apparently a locomotive called David Lloyd George on the Festiniog Railway, and you can buy a model of it (Bachmann Collectors Club - Ffestiniog Railway Double Fairlie 'David lloyd George' FR Lined Red,Ffestiniog Railway Double Fairlie 'David lloyd George' FR Lined Red (bachmann-collectorsclub.co.uk))
Actually now you mention that, I have a feeling there was a 47 named David Lloyd George. At the time I didn't know he was a prime minister though.
 

Typhoon

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And just came across completely insincere and a bit of an idiot, IMO...
Certainly, and not the only Old Etonian to do so!
Actually now you mention that, I have a feeling there was a 47 named David Lloyd George. At the time I didn't know he was a prime minister though.
Oh yes! And bringing it right back on thread (thank you for that). 'Where did it all go wrong for the Liberal Democrats' - when Lloyd George split the party in 1916! As a Liberal, he became Prime Minister and leader of the coalition government, the last one to hold that position (Churchill had been a Liberal but crossed the House and became a Conservative minister). Throughout the twenties and thirties there were two Liberal parties, leading indirectly to the rise of Labour as the main opposition party. His was the first 'Cash for Honours' regime of note. Johnson has got nothing on him! He is chiefly remembered for introducing sick pay and unemployment insurance.
 

Gloster

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Great Central Railway 9P 1167, built September 1920, was named Lloyd George. Shortly after the Grouping the name was removed, supposedly (and this is probably actually accurate) because Sir Frederick Banbury, last chairman of the Great Northern and a Conservative MP, was strongly oppposed to the Grouping and blamed Lloyd George for it. Not particularly admirable behaviour, particularly as Banbury had had an A1 named after him shortly before.
 

Sm5

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Going a bit off topic, but on-topic for rail, are Macmillan (a class 86), together with Churchill (a class 87), the only prime ministers to have had a modern loco named after them? Did any others have a steam loco named after them? I suspect there was a steam Churchill.
Several suggested painting the first letter off the name of DVT 82205 might qualify as a name for Gordon Brown.

:D

Actually now you mention that, I have a feeling there was a 47 named David Lloyd George. At the time I didn't know he was a prime minister though.
47409



Naming any locomotive after a Prime Minister since 1979 is just asking for trouble. Indeed any historical PM is at risk from the current trend of placing modern insinuations onto historical figures based on todays global beliefs being historically revised on to their colonial beliefs and practices at the time.

Indeed i’m surprised some of our preservedsteam locomotives haven't found themselves in the cross hairs.. yet.
 
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Gloster

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Naming any locomotive after a Prime Minister since 1979 is just asking for trouble. Indeed any historical PM is at risk from the current trend of placing modern insinuations onto historical figures based on todays global beliefs being historically revised on to their colonial beliefs and practices at the time.

Indeed i’m surprised some of our preservedsteam locomotives haven't found themselves in the cross hairs.. yet.
Wasn’t there a suggestion thirty-plus years ago from someone, possibly on Edinburgh Council, that 60009 Union of South Africa should be renamed? (This was in the days of apartheid.) I do remember that the reaction in the journal of a national society was of such an unpleasant character that it became a major reason for me not renewing my membership.

EDIT: A quick skim through H.C.Casserley’s book on loco names suggests that, other than two of the LT electric locos (named after Disraeli and Gladstone), the London, Brighton & South Coast was the only company to name locos after politicians.
 
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Sm5

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Wasn’t there a suggestion thirty-plus years ago from someone, possibly on Edinburgh Council, that 60009 Union of South Africa should be renamed? (This was in the days of apartheid.) I do remember that the reaction in the journal of a national society was of such an unpleasant character that it became a major reason for me not renewing my membership.

EDIT: A quick skim through H.C.Casserley’s book on loco names suggests that, other than two of the LT electric locos (named after Disraeli and Gladstone), the London, Brighton & South Coast was the only company to name locos after politicians.
60009 ran with the name Osprey for a while, followed by a period as 60027 Merlin.59861084-9AC2-49E2-A231-2D9DF2CF1004.jpeg
 

deltic

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Two stunning by-elections wins in recent months in very different parts of the country suggests that the phoenix might be rising from the ashes or at least a return to the days of being seen as a good recipient of protest votes. It has also gone from being the most male dominated party (in terms of MPs) - all 8 MPs elected in 2015 were male - to being the least with 9 out of 13 MPs being women.
 

brad465

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I saw someone make this joke about the Lib Dems:

"The Lib Dems are like the lonely guy you sleep with to punish your partner for not doing their share of the housework. They know they are being used but they are grateful anyway."
 

MattRat

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Two stunning by-elections wins in recent months in very different parts of the country suggests that the phoenix might be rising from the ashes or at least a return to the days of being seen as a good recipient of protest votes. It has also gone from being the most male dominated party (in terms of MPs) - all 8 MPs elected in 2015 were male - to being the least with 9 out of 13 MPs being women.
They are also distancing themselves for the Conservatives and Labour and becoming a true opposition, not just Labour lite. I think we might see another election like 2010 again, and I'll take that over a pure Labour or Conservative government. Hopefully they've learned their lesson though and will make it harder for their coalition 'partner' to throw them under the bus, although I get the feeling both Labour or Conservatives will be trying just as hard to make a 2015 situation again.
 

Butts

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They are also distancing themselves for the Conservatives and Labour and becoming a true opposition, not just Labour lite. I think we might see another election like 2010 again, and I'll take that over a pure Labour or Conservative government. Hopefully they've learned their lesson though and will make it harder for their coalition 'partner' to throw them under the bus, although I get the feeling both Labour or Conservatives will be trying just as hard to make a 2015 situation again.

Don't get carried away, The SNP are likely to eclipse the LD's in terms of seats by some considerable margin.
 

bavvo

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Don't get carried away, The SNP are likely to eclipse the LD's in terms of seats by some considerable margin.
Not in england :lol:

Seriously though, thanks to FPTP it would take a huge swing for them to ever get more than a handful of seats. The question for them now is whether they will retain their current wins and also beat off the challenge from the greens who could still take the protest vote mantle from them.
 

Gloster

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Seriously though, thanks to FPTP it would take a huge swing for them to ever get more than a handful of seats. The question for them now is whether they will retain their current wins and also beat off the challenge from the greens who could still take the protest vote mantle from them.
I can’t see them keeping North Shropshire at the next election as there were too many issues specific to the by-election and Conservative voters are likely to return to their normal habits. They might just hold Chesham and Amersham if HS2 is still a live issue.
 

Acfb

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Not in england :lol:

Seriously though, thanks to FPTP it would take a huge swing for them to ever get more than a handful of seats. The question for them now is whether they will retain their current wins and also beat off the challenge from the greens who could still take the protest vote mantle from them.

I think the North Shropshire by election was really a massive protest vote against the Conservatives/Johnson and wasn't even to do with lib dem policies per se among the most unnatural lib dem demographics you would think of. I would listen to the New Statesman podcast on this as it was quite intuitive.

I think if the Lib Dems are sensible with targeting at the next election they could gain up to 20 seats from the Tories. Most of these seats are in South East as well as a few other long shots such as Harrogate and Knaresborough.
 

brad465

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I can’t see them keeping North Shropshire at the next election as there were too many issues specific to the by-election and Conservative voters are likely to return to their normal habits. They might just hold Chesham and Amersham if HS2 is still a live issue.
I think they'll hold it if Johnson is still in power for the next election (less likely now though) and/or he's done enough damage to "The Shires" through his un-conservative behaviour, regardless of how HS2 plays out. The Lib Dems are taking advantage of Conservatives focusing on their new "Red Wall" seats at the expense of their own "Blue Wall"; one can't be all things for all people.
 

jon0844

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The Lib Dems are taking advantage of Conservatives focusing on their new "Red Wall" seats at the expense of their own "Blue Wall"; one can't be all things for all people.

Surely the Tories aren't going to actually focus on red wall seats, besides talking a lot and making promises that will likely never actually happen?
 

Gloster

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Surely the Tories aren't going to actually focus on red wall seats, besides talking a lot and making promises that will likely never actually happen?
But for many in the Conservative party that is focussing on the red wall seats. It is a bit of a balance, but if they can persuade enough red wall voters to stay with them they could keep at least some of those seats. Their trick will be managing to say things that please the red wall voters, but don’t come to the ears of traditional Tories in the heartlands and put them off, and vice-versa.
 

D365

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Surely the Tories aren't going to actually focus on red wall seats, besides talking a lot and making promises that will likely never actually happen?
They’ll have to buckle up if the Lib Dems or Labour finally figure out how to reestablish themselves as a viable option.
 

Noddy

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Seriously though, thanks to FPTP it would take a huge swing for them to ever get more than a handful of seats. The question for them now is whether they will retain their current wins and also beat off the challenge from the greens who could still take the protest vote mantle from them.

An interesting point though is big by-election wins in the 92-97 parliament, led by an unpopular Tory government (with big internal divisions over Europe), resulted sequence of increasingly bigger wins (in terms of number of MPs) in 97 (despite the dominance of Blair), 01 and 05. They did this by focusing heavily on winnable seats, using their by-election tactics and not spreading themselves too thinly which I think crept in the 2010 (share went up but they lost seats). At the next election I suspect they’ll choose 30 or so seats they think are most winnable, focus on those and defending their existing seats, with the hope that they’ll overtake the SNP and get the extra publicity, funding and committees that come with being the third placed party. Whether they achieve that will be dependent on whether the SNP have a 2017 or 2019 election.

I can’t see them keeping North Shropshire at the next election as there were too many issues specific to the by-election and Conservative voters are likely to return to their normal habits. They might just hold Chesham and Amersham if HS2 is still a live issue.

Tim Farron has managed to hold on to Westmorland in recent years despite the kicking in the press (and internally) about his religion, and the problems the Lib Dems have had more widely. So I wouldn’t write them off just yet-it will largely be dependent on how much of a visible, campaigning, MP Helen Morgan is.
 
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backontrack

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They'll win some small-c voters, take some rural seats, and go into coalition with the Tories again.
 

Typhoon

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They'll win some small-c voters, take some rural seats, and go into coalition with the Tories again.
Surely that depends on who the Conservative leader is for a start. Johnson - no chance (I think Johnson is going to start having trouble filling some of his ministerial positions). Others - it may depend on whether the LibDems deem them electable, they wouldn't want to be tied to a leader who is not obviously popular with the electorate. They would do well to remember how they became the fourth-equal largest party rather than the third.
 

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They'll win some small-c voters, take some rural seats, and go into coalition with the Tories again.
Unlikely. I don't think they will make that mistake again in a hurry after the catastrophic result for them last time round. Besides, after Johnson is ousted the tories are likely to get a hardline right winger who would have nothing to offer to the Libs Dems since no Tory will offer PR or closer ties with Europe in any form. The best bet for the Liberals would be to remain outside government and just support specific bills if it matches their policies. A coalition with Labour might be possible, but doesn't look like Labour want to even consider it. From Labours perspecitve, discussion of electoral pacts and coalitions in public is itself damaging as it makes it look like you already have accepted you can't win a majority.
 

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Unlikely. I don't think they will make that mistake again in a hurry after the catastrophic result for them last time round. Besides, after Johnson is ousted the tories are likely to get a hardline right winger who would have nothing to offer to the Libs Dems since no Tory will offer PR or closer ties with Europe in any form. The best bet for the Liberals would be to remain outside government and just support specific bills if it matches their policies. A coalition with Labour might be possible, but doesn't look like Labour want to even consider it. From Labours perspecitve, discussion of electoral pacts and coalitions in public is itself damaging as it makes it look like you already have accepted you can't win a majority.
True, but without an electoral pact is there any real chance that Labour could defeat the Conservatives at the next election? Is it not more likely that the only way of getting rid of the Tories as quickly as possible is for the all the opposition parties to enter into a pact for the next election, with agreement on what should be done in a short parliament to follow, new electoral arrangements having been put in place as almost the first act of the new government? This would require a massive change of heart for Labour, and the realisation that in future they would be likely to have to make agreements in order to govern, but wouldn't that be better than being shut out for long periods as the Centre and Left remain divided whilst the core Tory vote holds up and keeps them in power?
 
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