Who we are

Your local party

Rugby Liberal Democrats represent the Liberal Democrats within the parliamentary constituency of Rugby & Bulkington, as well as on Rugby Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council.

We are a broad mix of people from the local community, but we all share a passion for making our local community a better place.

We currently have nine Rugby Borough Councillors and one Warwickshire County Councillor within the constituency. We are working hard to increase this number further.

If you are like us and want to improve your local area, you are an ideal person to work with us delivering a few leaflets, taking part in action days or even to consider becoming a candidate to be a Councilor. For more information see talk to us.

The party

The Liberal Democrats can claim claim to be both the oldest and the newest of Britain's main political parties.

Whigs, Liberals and Radicals

The formation of the Liberal Party is genrally held to have been in June 1859, when Whigs, Peelites and Radicals joined togetehr to form the new party.

The Liberal Party held power for much of the next sixty years, most notably under Gladstone and Asquith.

The SDP and the Alliance

After the defeat of Labour in 1979, internal conflict within the Labour Party led to many of its most respected leaders, like Roy Jenkins, Shirley Williams, Bill Rodgers and David Owen to leave and set up the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Within months the new SDP and the Liberals had formed an alliance, which went on to fight the 1983 and 1987 elections in joint campaigns. After the 1987 election, the Parties voted to merge, and formed the Liberal Democrats in March 1988.

Liberal Democrats

The new party established itself during the 1987-1992 Parliament. It gained more by-election seats than any other opposition party during tha Parliament, out-polling the Conservatives.

A record number of Council seats were won in the local elections.

At the 1997 General Election the party won 46 seats, nearly doubling its number of MPs.

At the following general election in 2001, th total rose again to 52 MPs and the party received an increased share of the vote for the first time since 1983. Both the number of MPs and the share of the vote we received rose again in the 2005 Gneral Election.

Liberal Democrats also did well in the elections to the European Parliament, Scottish Parliament and Welsh Parliament in the late 1990s and 2000s.

2010 - into Government

The 2010 General Election resulted in a hung parliament. The Conservatives were the largest Party but without an overall majority. Our position during the campaign had been that we would allow whichever Party had the greatest mandate to seek to form a Government. We reached an agreement for a five-year coalition with the Conservatives. The agreement was ratified by Lib Dem MPs and by the Federal Executive.

Survival and Recovery

During the 2015 election campaign fears of a Labour and Scottish Nationalist coalition in the event of a hung parliament swayed many voters towards the 'safer' option of a Tory vote, and the Conservatives won with a small overall majority. The Liberal Democrats shrank from 57 MPs in 2010 (with 23 per cent of the vote) to eight in 2015 (with just 7.9 per cent of the vote).

The morning after the 2015 general election, Nick Clegg resigned as leader of the party, and was replaced in July by Tim Farron.

Following the 2016 referendum of EU membership, the Liberal Democrats did not abandon their unapologetically pro-European platform. The party stood true to its values of liberalism and internationalism, becoming the rallying point for millions who had voted to Remain in the EU in 2016.

Running an optimistic campaign to build an Open, Tolerant, United future, the party made relatively small gains in the 2017 General Election, and Tim Farron stepped aside and Vince Cable became leader.

The General Election in 2019 proved particularly difficult for a party now led by Jo Swinson, and though the party gained 4.2% vote share, representing 1.2 million more votes than 2017, the party did not succeed in gaining seats in Parliament.

In June 2021, the Liberal Democrats pulled off a stunning by-election victory in Chesham and Amersham, overturning a 16,000 majority in a seat that has always voted Conservative. The result is a major boost for the Liberal Democrats after their poor performance at the 2019 general election and brings their total number of MPs at Westminster to 12.

In December 2021, the Liberal Democrats pulled off our second seismic by-election win this year, overturning a majority of 22,949 in North Shropshire, a seat the Conservatives have held since its inception. Helen Morgan is our newest MP.

What we stand for

"The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality, and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity."

Liberal Democrat Federal Constitution

"We will always be a proud Liberal party: Defending individuals. Nurturing community. Protecting civil liberties. Championing the environment. Patriotic. Internationalist. And yes, always pro-European."

Rt Hon Ed Davey MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats 2020 -

"If you think that our country is headed in the wrong direction and you want to change that, you need to act too.

Shouting at the television is not enough. You need to join us.

If you want an economy that works for people and for our planet.

If you want to build a richer, greener and safer future.

If you want to keep our family of nations united."

Rt Hon Jo Swinson MP and leader of the Liberal Democrats 2019-2020

"People who say they don't know what we stand for, or that we are irrelevant. Anyone who doubts the relevance of the Liberal Democrats should reflect on the three great disasters perpetrated by the two main parties in recent years: the war in Iraq; the banking crisis; now Brexit."

Sir Vince Cable MP and leader of the Liberal Democrats 2017-2019

"We are the party that sees the best in people, not the worst. We are the party that believes that the role of government is to help us to be the best that we can be, no matter who we are or what our background.

"That's why we will stand up for the individual against the state. lt is why we will stand up for the minority against the majority. And it is why we will stand up for the outsider against the establishment. We will see people as individuals not as opposing tribes, lined up against each other across borders. We will favour cooperation over isolation. We will stand up against the abuse of power, for entrepreneurship and individual endeavour. And we will see immigration as a blessing not a curse and value the contribution every single individual has to make to this beautiful country of ours."

Tim Farron MP and leader of the Liberal Democrats 2015-2017

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