Liberal Democrats


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Related to Liberal Democrats: Democratic Party, Liberals

Liberal Democrats,

British political party created in 1988 by the merger of the Liberal partyLiberal party,
former British political party, the dominant political party in Great Britain for much of the period from the mid-1800s to World War I. Origins
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 with the Social Democratic partySocial Democratic party
(SDP), former British political party founded in 1981 to offer a centrist alternative to the more extreme positions of the then ruling Conservative party on the right and the opposition Labour party on the left.
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; the party was initially called the Social and Liberal Democratic party. The Social Democratic party, which was formed in 1981 by politically centrist members of the Labour partyLabour party,
British political party, one of the two dominant parties in Great Britain since World War I. Origins

The Labour party was founded in 1900 after several generations of preparatory trade union politics made possible by the Reform Bills of 1867 and 1884,
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, joined with the Liberals in 1981 in an electoral alliance, and in 1983 they won 23 seats in the House of Commons. In 1987 the alliance won 22 seats, and the next year the parties merged. In the 2001 and 2005 parliamentary elections the Liberal Democrats won 52 and 62 seats respectively. The 2005 result was the largest number won by the group since the predecessor Liberals gained 158 seats in 1924. Although the party lost several seats in the 2010 elections (despite increasing its overall share of the vote), it entered the government in coalition with the Conservatives, who had secured only a plurality. Nonetheless, the party remains something of a minor party in British politics, its centrist position threatened by Tony BlairBlair, Tony
(Anthony Charles Lynton Blair), 1953–, British politician, b. Edinburgh. An Oxford-educated lawyer, he was first elected to Parliament in 1983 as the Labour party candidate from a district in N England.
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's movement of the Labour party away from socialist positions in the 1990s and David CameronCameron, David William Duncan
, 1966–, British political leader, b. London. Educated at Eton and Oxford, he worked for the Conservative party's research department beginning in 1988, became an adviser to two high-ranking government ministers, and headed corporate
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's moderation of the Conservative party in the 2000s. Its ability to win seats also has been hampered by Britain's lack of proportional representation. Although the party secured a referendum on an alternative voting method through its participation in a coalition with the Conservatives, voters rejected the proposal in 2011. Nick CleggClegg, Sir Nick
(Nicholas William Peter Clegg), 1967–, British politician, grad. Cambridge (M.A., 1989), College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium (M.A., 1992). Of British, Russian, and Dutch descent, he worked for the European Commission (1994–99) before he entered
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 became party leader in 2007, but stepped down in 2015 after the party suffered large losses in seats and vote share. Tim Farron succeeded Clegg as party leader. Although the party, opposed to Brexit, gained some seats in 2017, Farron stepped down as leader, and Vince Cable succeeded him. Cable resigned in 2019 and was succeeded by Jo Swinson, the first woman to lead the party. Despite an increase in its share of the vote in 2019, the party lost a seat overall, and Swinson (who lost her seat) resigned as leader.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In its extreme form, this realignment has assumed the replacement of Labour by the Liberals, or the Alliance, or the Liberal Democrats. (22) What has been clear from the electoral evidence is that a resurgence of the Liberals is likely to be achieved at the expense of the Conservatives.
Supporters of the pro-Yeltsin Russia's Choice bloc, led by Deputy Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar, have tried to minimize their December defeat by emphasizing that once all the votes were counted, Russia's Choice had won more seats than the Liberal Democrats in the new parliament.
The main parties on Kirklees Council - Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats - are fielding 24 candidates with the Green Party 22.
Ms Williams said: "The Welsh Liberal Democrats will make Wales a world leader for patient care.
In national opinion polls, support for the Liberal Democrats has collapsed from an average rating of 21 per cent in early 2010 to a lowly 10 per cent - it has been stuck at 10 per cent for more than 12 months.
Following the local elections on May 5 the Liberal Democrats have 11 councillors in Redcar and Labour have four.
The Labour leader said Nick Clegg's decision to take his party into coalition with the Conservatives was a "tragic mistake", and declared himself ready to co-operate with Liberal Democrats "in Parliament and outside it" to oppose the direction in which the Government is taking Britain.
Yes, the Liberal Democrats ran Liverpool for 12 years from 1998 to 2010 but this was at a time when the Labour government ensured our core cities and especially northern urban areas were well-supported, as these areas are where people suffer the greatest levels of deprivation.
HOW dare Sophie Daldry - presumably a Liberal Democrat supporter - say that my dad's letter to the people of Wavertree was political opportunism.
Labour have 27 of the 62 seats, compared to the Tories with 20, Liberal Democrats 13, Independent one and Respect one.

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