by Stephen Tall on May 10, 2010
One of the least known facts about the last parliament, and which deserved to be more widely publicised, was that the Lib Dems were either in first or second place in 250 constituencies across the UK – which made the media’s tired and almost exclusive concentration on Labour and the Tories for most of the last five years all the more irritating.
Well, for all the disappointment of last Thursday’s election results, the party has by one measure at least made a big stride forward, as Anthony Wells’ UK Polling Report makes clear:
The notional 2005 figures had the Lib Dems holding 62 seats and in second place in 188. Following the 2010 election the Lib Dems hold 57 seats, but are in second place in 242. On the 2005 notional figures the Lib Dems were within 10% of the winning party in 31 seats, now they are within 10% in 45 seats.
So there are now 299 seats in which the Lib Dems are either the incumbents or the challengers: that’s almost half the entire UK.