The UK Liberal Democrats gained 1.2 million votes and increased their share of the vote 4% nationally and increasing in every region of the UK, but suffered defeat as the party leader Jo Swinson lost her seat and the party returns one seat fewer compared to the 2017 General Election.
Under a proportional system, the Liberal Democrats would now have 84 MPs. But instead, the Conservative party of Boris Johnson won an absolute majority of seats in the next Parliament after the Labour party recorded their worst election result in decades.
Jo Swinson narrowly lost out on retaining her MP seat in East Dunbartonshire by just 149 votes which also meant she had to step down from the leadership of the party.
Relinquishing her role, Mrs Swinson delivered a speech in London where she said: “I’m proud in this election to have fought for what we – and millions of people – believe is the best future for our country: remaining in the European Union.”
“So I did not shirk the debates and the phone-ins, I turned up to the interviews, and I stood up proudly for our beliefs. I’m proud that Liberal Democrats have been the unapologetic voice of Remain in this election, giving people the chance to choose to stop Brexit,” she said.
“Obviously it hasn’t worked. And I, like you, am devastated about that. But I don’t regret trying.”
She continued by adding: “one of the realities of smashing glass ceilings, is that a lot of broken glass comes down on your head. I am proud to have been the first woman to lead the Liberal Democrats, and even more proud that I know I won’t be the last.”
Under the Party Constitution, if the Leader loses their seat, the Deputy Leader in the Commons and the President jointly take on the role of co-interim Leader. Baroness Sal Brinton (also an ALDE Party Vice President) as current Party President has assumed this joint role until 1 January, when the newly-elected Party President Mark Pack will take office. A new leader will be elected next year.
Four new Lib Dem MPs were elected for the first time alongside seven who were successfully re-elected. Parliament will resume this week.