By Jake Nichol
The Liberal Democrats centred their election campaign around the biggest question of our times, Brexit.
But it did not precipitate the breakthrough they had desired.
The night proved mixed, with former leader, Nick Clegg losing his seat yet Vince Cable, former Business secretary and current leader, Tim Farron,
The party’s main promise, which garnered most media attention, was to hold a referendum on the Brexit deal, which is negotiated 11 days after the election.
The party wish to give the people the final decision to either accept what is put to them, or to reject and stay in the European Union.
As for immigration, it has been making the case that immigration can be a force for good, and that migrants should not be blamed for the strain on Public Services.
It has vowed to re-establish the ‘Dubs’ scheme, and bring unaccompanied child refugees to Britain to be resettled.
This puts the party at odds with every other party, who have all pledged to leave, come what March.
Farron has been aiming to try and rebuild the party following its 2015 demolishment, especially in the South-West, where the Conservatives focused their campaign, and wiped their, at the time, coalition partners out.
He has been trying to appeal to Conservative and Labour voters who voted Remain as the only option to maintain the Union, and stay in Europe.
Polls have had the party hovering around the 10% mark, which is about what they got in the last election, when they got eight seats.
The second biggest campaign theme has been the state of the NHS and Social Care, which the Tories have decimated. It proposes to add 1p to income tax to help pay for Healthcare overall, although that is quite a minimal amount.
For far too long, Mental Health has not been given parity of esteem compared to Physical Health and the party pledge to bring into line both sets of waiting times.
Elsewhere, they propose to kick-start infrastructure spending by investing £100 billion, and unlike the Tories, it is fully costed.
In 2015, the u-turn on Tuition fees made in Coalition, hurt the party, and this round, they want to reinstate the maintenance grant for the poorest students, as well as a £7 billion investment in the school budgets.
As for taxation overall, the party wishes to undo much of the cuts to corporation tax, capital gains and maintain the triple lock for pensioners.
Housing has been a damaging area for the Tories, and the Lib Dems have pledged to build 300,000 affordable homes, and ensure that renters ensure that their properties are fit for habitation.
Climate -wise they aim to build at least 10 new ‘Garden Cities’ around the UK, and ensure that the country comes to meet its obligations.
Suspending Arms Deals to Saudi Arabia is the cornerstone of Defence and Foreign Policy, as is sticking up to Trump, as well as only using the military as a last resort.
Overall, then the Liberal Democrats have run a campaign that you would expect. They have returned to core values and ideology, a truly centralist campaign.
Farron has put his foot in it a little too often for comfort, but anything better than the drubbing received in 2015 is a good result. If the party does the same as in the last election, or worse, it is only a matter of time before Tim Farron is replaced.