political

Were Lib Dems right to go into coalition? What the public thinks

The recent polling by YouGov shows plenty of potential for Liberal Democrat support to grow, especially given the skew in positive answers to the very sort of people David Howarth and I identified as a potential new, larger core vote for the party:
YouGov polling on coalition

However, as I wrote in Liberal Democrat Newswire #65:

The absurdly huge surge in traffic since the general election to my list of extreme Tory policies which the Lib Dems stopped in coalition shows how much mileage there apparently is in looking backwards. Each time the Conservatives now do something extreme and controversial, it’ll be very tempting to point back to 2010-15 and say, ‘see, we were right all along – look at what we stopped then compared with what’s being done now’.

Tempting (very tempting – hence my retweeting of this), but will it be the wise thing to do?

In 2010-15 Labour never resolved whether to defend its past record in government or to apologise for it – and Labour’s struggles were no unique problem. The Conservatives after Thatcher faced similar problems too, to take just one other example from political history. Will the Liberal Democrats regularly reminding people of what the party did just before its most crushing electoral defeat really be wise?

The very posing of the question reveals my doubts over a simple piece of finger pointing at history. This will be a major strategic choice for the party to get right.

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