Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘1983 general election’

Tom McNally on the Near Perfect Storm of 2010

Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 16th February, 2010

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, Tom McNally, was the guest speaker at the Kettner’s Lunch in the National Liberal Club today, giving an overview of where the party stands in the run-up to the General Election. He asked for Chatham House rules to be respected regarding some of the fine detail (probably very wisely, given all the media-driven speculation about hung parliaments), but the broad, publishable message he had was that the 2010 General Election presents a ‘near perfect storm’ for the LibDems, given the the public’s weariness with this Labour government and its distrust of David Cameron and his crew. Indeed, this could be the best opportunity Britain’s third party has had since 1983, when the Liberal-SDP Alliance scuppered its chances by spreading itself too thinly, so that it only emerged with 23 seats despite getting over 25 per cent of the vote. Much has been learnt about targeting since then. Were the party to poll over 25 percent this time, it should reap anything up to 100 MPs. If such an eventuality happens (quite possible given the party’s usual increase in voter appeal during an election campaign), then the impetus towards a fairer voting system would be considerable.

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