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Lib Dem 2015 general election review published

The post-mortem into the Liberal Democrat general election result has been published today, and you can read it in full below.

What went wrong with the Liberal Democrat polling and key seat intelligence?

Paddy Ashdown's famous election night promise to eat his hat if the exit poll was right was based on a genuine belief, soon shown to be horribly wrong, that the Liberal Democrats would do much better in the party's target seats. more

There’ll be plenty more to write about this in due course, especially given the number of practical recommendations it contains. Those look good on first reading, although there also seems to be a bit of a gap in them over the need for the party to innovate in its grassroots campaigns techniques and to overcome the problems with understand what data in Connect was telling us  which I wrote about here (the report seems to agree with the rest of the analysis in that piece, and adds to it in other areas).

But for the moment here’s James Gurling, chair of the party’s Campaigns and Communications Committee:

In the aftermath of the May 2015 election, the Campaigns and Communications Committee of the Liberal Democrats was tasked by the Federal Executive with reviewing the election.

In the process of conducting this review, we received feedback from over 7,500 party members, in addition to conducting interviews with a wide range of people involved at all levels of the party. I would like to thank everybody who has donated their time, skills, and experience to this process.

The size of the response was overwhelming, and so too was the optimism, hope, and belief in the capacity of the Party to sustain and rebuild itself in the months and years to come.

Here is Tim Farron also on the report:

It is a credit to our party that we can take such a long hard look in the mirror.

To me, this review is about setting a blueprint for our future. It is from this moment we can set ourselves a clear vision for rebuilding, and creating the election winning force we know we can be.

Blame and criticism can provide short term satisfaction, but do nothing for a future vision. This report is about setting a way forward, recognising the mistakes we made, and learning from them.

We must also remember that many dedicated, passionate and committed Liberal Democrats worked tirelessly throughout the campaign. There were many great things we did together, and we should not allow the dark cloud of the result to completely encompass the many good things that happened.

We should also recognise the incredibly positive impact the Liberal Democrats had in Government. I will never let people erase the things we were able to achieve. This country is better for having had Liberal Democrats in Government. The massive strides forward we made in child care, gay marriage, international aid, child poverty, and lower tax for working people would simply not have happened if we had not been there.

It is clear that business as usual will not simply deliver us victory. We must change, adapt and learn. We will work hard and fight ward by ward, seat by seat. Liberal Democrats have been knocked down before, but we refuse to get knocked out. This is how we fight back.

Liberal Democrat general election review

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