General Election 2015: For our country’s sake, vote Liberal Democrat on May 7th

My last two election blog posts have tried to retain a certain degree of party neutrality, looking dispassionately at the likely outcomes in marginal seats and wishing candidates of all parties the best of luck.

But now, with less than twenty four hours until the polling stations are open, is the time to be clear as to my views. Put simply, if you are in a seat where the Liberal Democrats can win, then, for the sake of our country, I urge all sensible people to vote Liberal Democrat.

One of the best lines of the campaign was when Nick Clegg said that he wanted the Liberal Democrats to be able to give a heart to a Conservative led government, or a brain to a Labour led government. We all laughed, because it was a funny Oz analogy, but it also had a ring of truth.

Those in the centre and on the left of British politics, even if they viscerally oppose the Liberal Democrats, know how much worse the last five years would have been had the Conservatives ruled alone. And those on the right, even though it pains them to admit it, know that the economic recovery would have been much slower and chaotic had there not been the stability of the coalition.

In the last few days, the media have been making their views known, and – on the right and left – they have been clear, Britain is better off having Liberal Democrats in government:

Many of the Government’s achievements are owed to the Liberal Democrats. The party has been “a force for progress”. The Coalition deserves another chance. The Independent

The country would benefit from Liberal Democrat “moderation” in Westminster” – in seats where the Lib Dems are challenging “we would vote tactically for them.” The FT

The best hope for the country is for the Conservatives to team up with the Liberal Democrats again. Vote for Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam. The Times

“…the next Commons would be enhanced by the presence of Lib Dem MPs.” Vote for the Liberal Democrats in Tory-facing seats. The Guardian

Nick Clegg and his Lib Dem colleagues deserve to stay. Tory supporters in Labour-Lib Dem marginals “may wish to vote for the Lib Dem candidate”. Sunday Times

Where only the Lib Dems can beat Labour, “give the Lib Dems your vote this time”. The Sun

The best hope for Britain is with a continuation of the Coalition. The Economist

Lib Dems tempered Tory excess and delivered the last government’s greatest success with a tax-free allowance worth £800. The People

“In some seats there may be good tactical reasons to vote Liberal Democrat.” Evening Standard

“Mr Clegg does deserve credit – and respect – for taking uncomfortable decisions…in order to maintain a strong and stable government. Having undertaken much of the heavy lifting, they [the coalition] have earned the right to complete their mission.” Yorkshire Post

This election is going to be the tightest in generations. No one party will achieve an overall majority. The British people don’t trust David Cameron or Ed Miliband to govern alone. But they do, and have done time after time in opinion polls, want stable government which includes the Liberal Democrats as a balancing influence to avoid a lurch to the extremes of left or right.

That can only happen if enough Liberal Democrat MPs are returned tomorrow to form an influential, sensible, stabilising group in the House of Commons.

Think about it. Look Left, Look Right, Then Cross. Vote Liberal Democrat.

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