Much discussion focused on the question of whether Liberal Democrat voters should feel betrayed. It's a bizarre idea, since their party has long supported proportional representation, which — for better or for worse — would make coalition governments commonplace. And with coalition governments, compromise is inevitable — even more so than usual, manifesto commitments will be broken.
I imagine the 'betrayed' Lib Dem voters fall into three categories:
- those who hoped for a coalition with Labour
- those who hoped to remain in principled opposition
- those who thought the Lib Dems could win a majority
According to today's report from the BBC, it seems that the assembled party activists have recognised this:
Lib Dem activists have "overwhelmingly" backed leader Nick Clegg's coalition deal with the Conservatives.
The new deputy prime minister is reported to have received a standing ovation from Lib Dem activists at Birmingham's NEC. Party sources said no more than a dozen of the 2,000 delegates opposed the deal in a show of hands.