Can Lib Dems stop the Tories?

Liberal Democrats release their manifesto

Business Insider

Tim Farron and Nick Clegg face losing their seats in Lib Dem election humiliation

Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron and his predecessor Nick Clegg are both at serious risk of losing their seats at the general election.

Conservatives in Farron's Westmorland and Lonsdale seat are confident of pulling off a remarkable victory in Cumbria, while a drop in Lib Dem support in Sheffield Hallam has Labour confident that it can unseat Clegg, party sources have told Business Insider.

The Telegraph's Ben Riley-Smith reported last week that Cumbrian Tories are working on a "take-out Tim" strategy to unseat the Lib Dem leader and win back the Westmorland and Lonsdale seat the party lost in 2005.

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The Lib Dems want to "Change Britain's future", but the past continues to haunt them

The Lib Dems are not just trying to win over voters, they are trying to win back the trust of young people in the general election.

While in government with the Conservatives between 2010 and 2015, the party made a u-turn on their tuition fee promise. Instead of scrapping them, as pledged in their 2010 manifesto, they voted to triple the tuition fees with their coalition partners.

The tuition-fee elephant in the room is "the Liberal Democrat Iraq", the New Statesman argues. The effect is still reverberating seven years later, with no recovery of the student vote for the party - stagnating at 12 per cent.

Mark Williams, one of the party's nine MPs, said they have to be "honest about their mistakes". The Ceredigion MP, who, along with current leader Tim Farron, voted against tuition fees and the bedroom tax, told BBC Radio Wales: "It will take time for the party to build up to regain that trust.

"Having been the nice guys of British politics for a long time, then to be given the responsibilities of government and make tough decisions and make mistakes, let's be honest enough and say that we got it wrong in several instances - we made mistakes.

"But we are where we are, we have to move on - I hope people will trust the sincerity that some of us have tried to show in the party, because it is genuine."

The Guardian notes that Tim Farron's party is aiming to entice young voters with "a wealth of offers". In their manifesto, "Changing Britain's Future", the party promises to invest an extra £7.5 billion in education. The Lib Dems plan to oppose grammar schools, reverse education cuts and ensure that per-pupil budgets grow in line with class sizes.

They will also restore housing benefit to young people, bring in bus passes for 16 to 21-year-olds with a two-thirds discount, and lower the voting age to 16 if they gain power, according to Metro.

From the legalisation of marijuana to the end of diesel cars, the Lib Dems are setting out their stall to be the new opposition party - warning that Labour is not capable of holding Theresa May to account, the Telegraph reports.

At the top of their list is Brexit. They want to fight to remain in the single market and will give British voters the final say over an exit deal, claiming a bad deal would "wreck the future for our children". They are proposing a second referendum for voters to have this final say at the end of the two-year negotiating period with the EU.

Speaking at the launch, Tim Farron told voters to "imagine a brighter future".

Putting Brexit at the heart of their manifesto, the Lib Deam leader said: "You don't have to accept Theresa May and Nigel Farage's extreme version of Brexit that will wreck the future for you, your family, your schools and hospitals.

"In the biggest fight for the future of our country in a generation, Jeremy Corbyn's Labour has let you down by voting with Theresa May on Brexit - not against her.

"The Liberal Democrats want you to have your choice over your future.

"You should have your say on the Brexit deal in a referendum. And if you don't like the deal you should be able to reject it and choose to remain in Europe."

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