At time of writing, MBC understands that the British Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems), have lost over 690 Councillors from the Local Authority elections held recently, and the loss of 9 major Councils, including Liverpool and Hull. Their share of the vote has fallen to 15%, a figure not seen since the days of the collapse of the SDP in the 1980’s.
By choosing the Conservatives as their ally in the UK Coalition Government, the Lib Dems chose political expediency, under the guise of moral purpose for the benefit of the country, over their own survival. In business, is not one of the core initial lessons – “live on to fight another day”? On this showing, a repeat of this performance at the UK General Election, could all but wipe out the party – undoing 30 years’ worth of deliberate and progressive electoral gain. The Lib Dems are, at the activist level, a centre left party. Their leadership, for a couple of years now, are from the “Orange” wing of centre-right near Conservatives. Again, in business, this would be to mis-understand your client base – are you in the right marketplace? They have been given a complete drubbing. With fundamental disagreement in the Lib Dem ranks about how to conduct the national finances, and how fast and far to exercise deficit reduction in UK national spending, they are very likely to find that their activist base will thin out significantly. Every party – or organisation – needs its grass roots, it’s “worker bees”. The Lib Dems had a more natural allegiance to the British Labour Party. The deficit reduction plans to be agreed between the two, would likely have more than satisfied the UK Bond markets; confidence in government would have remained.
Everything is always to play for: we are four years away from a General Election in the UK – yet the decision to join with the Conservatives could inadvertently have been the Hari kiri moment for the Lib Dems.