I made a conscious decision not to write about the general election campaign during the official campaign period.
Actually with everyone knowing the date of the election it seemed as though the campaign ( by all parties ) began in about November or December,
Like many people I did not expect us, the Liberal Democrats, to do as badly as we did. I expected us to halve our number of seats, and I thought that it was being pessimistic at that.
So the Parliamentary Party can now concentrate on pushing our own values, supporting those issues that e believe in and opposing those that we don't.
Now that the Conservatives have a mandate, given to them by the people, I expect some unpopular developments. In fact, there was even some talk at the weekend of resurrecting "the snoopers charter" which we, in coalition, opposed, but can now reappear.
The coalition may have had it's detractors, but the Conservatives had to moderate some of their policies while it existed, and many of our policies were enacted. And at least we will never ( or rarely ) hear that horrible phrase "the ConDems" again.
But despite the abysmal results in the Parliamentary election, the Liberal Democrats are still here. Indeed our party membership has gone up by 10% since Thursday as over 5000 people have joined the party. I don't know, but suspect that many of these are former members re-join as we are now cleaned of "the taint" of the coalition.
So we will rebuild, albeit from a low point , and will continue to promote Liberal values in all parts of society.
Finally, I think Nick Clegg did the right thing in accepting the blame for the performance. A genuinely nice bloke who despite the "Deputy Prime Mininster" title, has had his hands tied for the last 5 years.
In 2010 I placed a bet on who would be his replacement ( luckily an open-ended bet with no time restrictions) . I won't say who I bet to be his successor, but at least I still have a possible winner! (insert smiley thing here)
(Oh, I'll post about the results in Scotland in a later post )