Lib Dems braced for complete wipeout in European parliamentary elections
Top party figures advised to say that winning no seats was ‘expected’.
An internal Liberal Democrat document reveals that the party is braced for a complete wipeout in the European parliamentary elections.
Senior party figures have been briefed to say that a failure to win any seats should be “expected” at this stage in the electoral cycle for a governing party.
The document, the contents of which have been leaked to the Guardian, advises Lib Dem spokespeople about what to say if the party wins between no seats and two seats in Strasbourg.
In that scenario, the document advises party figures to say: “Disappointed with the result but the party remains resolute and this was expected at this point in the electoral cycle.”
Amid rumblings about Nick Clegg‘s leadership, the document also says that the party’s best hopes are to win five seats in Strasbourg – more than halving the 11 seats the party won in 2009.
A wipeout, or even a dramatic reduction, in the Lib Dem contingent in the European parliament would represent a serious blow to Clegg’s authority. The deputy prime minister, who made his name as an MEP, may face calls to end the coalition with the Tories – or even to stand down.
- The Guardian,