The Liberal Democrats have today published their review of the 2015 General Election.
Completed by the Campaigns and Communications Committee, chaired by James Gurling, the review examines last year's campaign and provides a clear vision for the rebuilding of the party.
In the process of conducting the review, the group received feedback from over 7500 party members. 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.
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:
“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.”
Party President, Baroness Sal Brinton said:
“This report came out of a disastrous election for the Liberal Democrats, but it represents an important step forward in rebuilding our party. It doesn't just show up our failures, it highlights our successes and the parts of our campaigning we must focus on improving over the next four years.
“The Lib Dem Fightback is still going on, and we owe it to all of our members - not least the 20,000 who joined after polling day last May - to revise, relearn, and rebuild.
“Most importantly, we will learn from our failures in 2015 and look forward to the important battle that we're facing in 2016. We must take the fight to the Conservatives and win the referendum to keep Britain in Europe. We must ensure that Liberal Democrats are represented in Scotland, Wales, London, and councils up and down the country. And we must make sure that starting now, we work to increase the number of Liberal Democrats in Westminster.”