The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, environmentalism, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, European integration, banking reform and civil liberties.
The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party. The two parties had formed the electoral SDP–Liberal Alliance for seven years before then, since the SDP's formation. The Liberals had been in existence for 129 years and in power under leaders such as Gladstone, Asquith and Lloyd George.
Nick Clegg was elected Leader in 2007. At the 2010 general election, the Liberal Democrats won 57 seats with 23% of the vote, making them the third-largest party in the House of Commons behind the Conservatives with 307 and Labour with 258. No party having an overall majority, the Liberal Democrats joined a coalition government with the Conservatives, with Clegg becoming Deputy Prime Minister and other Liberal Democrats taking up ministerial positions.
Famous quotes containing the words liberal and/or democrats:
“The right honourable gentleman caught the Whigs bathing, and walked away with their clothes. He has left them in the full enjoyment of their liberal positions, and he is himself a strict conservative of their garments.”
—Benjamin Disraeli (18041881)
“Do you know I believe that [William Jennings] Bryan will force his nomination on the Democrats again. I believe he will either do this by advocating Prohibition, or else he will run on a Prohibition platform independent of the Democrats. But you will see that the year before the election he will organize a mammoth lecture tour and will make Prohibition the leading note of every address.”
—William Howard Taft (18571930)