General Election 2017 Liberal Democrats Politics

Being a Liberal Democrat In This Election

The Lib Dems won't be winning much in this election- but they are the only party to offer a truly liberal vision for Britain.

Hannah Maddams

Naked Politics Blogger

I’ll be honest here: I’m not expecting much this election. Obviously there’s zero chance that Tim Farron will win an outright majority and we become the governing party. Quite frankly there’s no hope that we could even replace the current opposition. At this point if we just got a few more seats we’d consider the election a great success! The best that the party can hope for is putting a dent in the either of the two major parties and that the more liberal conservatives and centre left Labour MPs look to us as a solution after becoming disillusioned with the current direction of their parties.

That, I believe is the appeal the Liberal Democrats will have this election, it will be the best choice for the those who believe that Theresa May has taken a stance that leans into UKIP territory, for those who do not agree with a “hard” Brexit or the removal of Britain from the single market, and for those who can’t bear further austerity where it is unnecessary- such as the harsh removal of free school meals.

On the side of Labour, the Liberal Democrats can draw in support from those who can not support Jeremy Corbyn and feel that their party has become deeply fractured and unrecognisable. There are those with concerns that Corbyn provides weak leadership and has created tension within the party. These supporters can find refuge in a stable and united Liberal Democrats.

The appeal also comes from not just choosing an individual either. The Conservatives and Labour have placed so much emphasis on May and Corbyn and their ideals rather than the party policies, which is after all what the electorate votes for. The Liberal Democrats have focused the campaign on the heart of the Liberal values which is that of a tolerant and fair society. In a recent BBC piece the remain voting constituency of Bath was described as “coming home” to the Liberal Democrats after feeling politically lost since the Conservative takeover of Bath at the last election.

Following on from this, after the recent horrific and tragic events in Manchester and London Tim Farron has showed himself to be both a compassionate and a strong leader in the face of increasing threats to our country. His speech was raw and emotional, but one which comforted a shocked and devastated nation. In the face of Theresa May being unravelled by the lack of policing due to her cuts and Jeremy Corbyn failing to say that he would take action when necessary, I am even more convinced the Farron and the Liberal Democrats have the understanding, strength and willingness to deal with such a threat.

 That is not to say this party is perfect, there is room for improvement in everything and I don’t agree with everything in the party manifesto- not every supporter is going to. However, a liberal vision is the one I prefer. That is the only advice I would offer to those struggling this election, to ask yourself which vision, which future is more preferable and suits you. What the Liberal Democrats can offer is a more hopeful future that does not swing the country so drastically so as to create division, but one which moves it forward together with its best interests at heart. That listens to the people and is always working to provide a tolerant and equal society which works for the majority of our citizens. Supporting the Liberal Democrats this election is not in the hope of any great victory. But I believe in a liberal, tolerant society and the Lib Dems are the only party offering a hopeful future without division and without austerity. What gives me hope is following the call of a snap general election, membership of the Liberal Democrats topped 100,000. Thousands more are seeing better alternative to the extremely opposed positions of the two major parties and are, like me, hoping for this party to someday be in a position to provide us all with the more promising future I believe in.
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