Liberal Democrats Party
The United Kingdom Liberal Democrats Party, commonly referred to as the LibDems are the original party of The Left in Britain, but are said by the UK media and sympathisers to be "centrist" and socially liberal. The party has 8 MPs (7.9% of the national vote) at Westminster.
The Liberal Party had been in existence for 129 years and in power under leaders such as William Ewart Gladstone, H. H. Asquith and David Lloyd George. During these times in government, the Liberals are credited with the welfare reforms which led to the initial creation of the British welfare state. During the 1920s, the socialists, in the form of the Labour Party, replaced the Liberals as the largest opponent of the Conservative Party.
The Social Democratic Party, which split from Labour in 1981 because of the latter's move towards towards the far-left, eventually merged, in 1988, with the Liberal Party and they became the Liberal Democrats. The two parties had formed the SDP–Liberal alliance in parliament for seven years prior.
Nick Clegg, Member of Parliament for Sheffield (Hallam), was elected leader in 2007. At the 2010 United Kingdom general election, the Liberal Democrats won 57 seats with 23% of the vote, making them the third-largest party in the House of Commons behind the Conservatives with 307 and the Labour with 258. No party having an overall majority, the Liberal Democrats joined a coalition government with the Conservative Party, with Clegg becoming Deputy Prime Minister, and other Liberal Democrats taking up ministerial positions. However, the Conservative Party then proceeded to campaign against them on key LibDem manifesto pledges, such as student fees and desperately needed electoral reform, and trashed them in other areas too. The result was near wipe out at the UK General Election on May 7, 2015, leaving them with just 8 seats. Nick Clegg held his own seat but resigned as Leader the following day.
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