This Month, I interviewed Vince Cable, the former MP for Twickenham from 1997-2015 as well as from 2017-2019 and former Liberal Democrat leader from 2017-2019, as a part of the Politics Relaxed Podcast. We asked him about his experiences with David Cameron as a part of the 2010 coalition between the Lib Dems and the Conservative party that Cable was a part of

Here is one question about the state of the current Liberal Democrats, and the effect the coalition had on the current party

Interviewer: You lost your seat in 2015, do you think your party’s decision to go into a coalition with the Conservatives in 2010 caused this, as many of your party’s more left-wing voters did not support the cuts that occurred?

Vince Cable: That’s not the reason I lost and why most of my colleagues lost. The decision to join the coalition was very controversial, some of us were very uncomfortable about it, though we supported it because of the political logic and the political logic was of two forms. One was the numbers in the 2010 election, it was the only way to form a stable government and the second is we were in the middle of a raging financial crisis and we felt it was in the national interest to work with people who we didn’t necessarily like, but we had no alternative.

 No, we did suffer some considerable political damage from doing that, but actually if you look at the arithmetic, the reason why I lost in Twickenham wasn’t because I think 3000 people switched from the Lib Dems to Labour or the Greens in protest, some did, but actually, I would have still got back if that was the only factor. What happened is that during the 2015 election campaign, the Tories basically stabbed us in the back, I mean they sent personalised letters to everybody in Twickenham, and indeed in all of our Lib Dem seats saying if you vote for Vince Cable or the Lib Dems, you’re going to get a socialist government with the Scottish nationalists and people in Twickenham and elsewhere got very alarmed and they panicked and switched to the Tories.

So that’s what did flip us, I mean had it just been disaffection with the coalition cuts, we would have lost some seats but we’d have got back with 30 MPs rather than 8 and if you do the electoral analysis, that’s what they tell you.

But in the events, I think people realised in 2015 that they made a mistake, and they’d been rather conned, and when I stood again in 2017, I got back with an enormous majority, I think over 10000, and I get people on my doorstep saying “well we did make a mistake, and we shouldn’t have voted against you” and I got back in again

You can listen to the rest of the podcast at