Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
9 September 2010updated 27 Sep 2015 2:14am

Lib Dems: how are you going to fight the next election?

Questions for Nick Clegg's party to mull

By James Macintyre

The next general election is probably still several years away, which may explain why it has not been much discussed in the media so far. But it is the Liberal Democrat annual conference at the end of next week, so that can serve as a hook for a couple of questions that the Lib Dems should start thinking about.

— Are the Lib Dems planning to go into the next election as an independent political force?

— Are they going to field candidates against senior Tories on an opposing ticket (and are the Tories going to field candidates against Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam? Or will there be a deal, a slate system)?

— Is the Lib Dem leader going to team up with the Tory leader during the TV debates at the election?

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

Many will say it is too early to consider such questions. But with the potential “double whammy” next May looming for the Lib Dems — heavy defeats in the local elections and possible defeat in the Alternative Vote referendum amid a potential identity crisis for the third party — Lib Dem delegates gathering in Liverpool next week may want to start putting their thinking caps on.