This year has been an intriguing one for the Liberal Democrats; they received their highest poll ratings ever going into an election, subsequently lost 5 seats, formed the first coalition for over 30 years with the Conservatives, and most recently went back on their NUS Pledge and voted to increase the cap on tuition fees to £9,000.
Speaking to Emma Lester, SUSU Liberal Democrat Party Secretary, she’s unsure “that the liberal democrats will completely recover from this. They are essentially seen by many as the Conservatives now… I don’t have membership [to the party], but I almost bought it after the election “success” if that’s what you want to call it. I am so glad I didn’t though. I cannot defend Nick Clegg or Vince Cable anymore. All respect I had for them has been totally lost and I don’t blame others for feeling the same.”
James Mansfield, also of the Liberal Democrat party added, “shame on the Liberal Democrat MP’s who voted for [raising the tuition fees]; they have been played brilliantly by the Conservatives, and it does little to oppose the idea that they are merely propping up the Tory agenda.” However, when asked if he would vote for another party, he said, “I’ve always been a supporter of the local campaigning of Ed Miliband, […] but locally, I believe the Liberal Democrats still do a lot for the community, and I would be hesitant to take my vote from them locally.”
Despite their opinions on the national party, the SUSU Liberal Democrat Party will continue to work with Liberal Youth, the student wing of the Democrats, campaigning for the science not stigma initiative this term, as well as promoting and providing information for the AV referendum vote in May.