Yet another false dawn? An examination of the liberal democrats' performance in the 2010 general election

David Cutts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Following the first leaders' debate, the Liberal Democrats poll rating surged and remained high throughout the election campaign. There was an expectation that the party would perform much better than in 2005 and bridge the 'credibility gap'. The reality proved to be much different. Here we explore the factors that shaped the Liberal Democrat vote in the 2010 election. Using seemingly unrelated regression models, we identify continuity with the past: importance of local election success, first-time incumbency and Liberal Democrat incumbents building a personal vote. We also provide evidence that the Liberal Democrats failed to advance in those new types of area that proved so fruitful in 2005. Using the 2010 BES, we also show that party identification mattered and Clegg proved to be a valuable asset to the party. However, the credibility problem proved once again to be a significant barrier to the party achieving an electoral breakthrough. © 2011 The Author. British Journal of Politics and International Relations © 2011 Political Studies Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-114
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

Keywords

  • Credibility
  • General election
  • Leadership effects
  • Liberal Democrats

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