The Liberal Democrats (and predecessors) were for a long time the third party in the Westminster party system. The party won 62 seats in 2005, and 57 seats in the 2010 parliament. This was achieved by taking seats from both Labour and the Conservatives, and by being able to exploit popular issues not represented by the two main parties, for instance in opposing the 2003 Iraq war. Nevertheless, their ascent was not problem free and variously involved the perception of internal ideological and policy conflict, and some high-profile changes of leadership. The party’s development peaked with participation in the 2010–2015 coalition government as junior partner to the Conservative Party. The experience of government proved near fatal for the Liberal Democrats. The party was reduced to a rump of eight MPs in the 2015 general election, and only rose to 12 in 2017 after a lacklustre campaign.
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- The Liberal Democrats
Dr Alistair Clark
- Macmillan Education UK
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