The Liberal Democrats held their autumn conference in Bournemouth between 19th and 23rd September.
By all rights, it should have been a wake, following their disastrous May 2015 general election results. They have been reduced from a party of coalition government to a fringe party with just 8 MPs. They are no longer the third biggest party in Westminster – it is now the SNP by some margin – and no longer entitled to ask two questions at PMQs. They have noticeably fallen off the radar of television chat and panel shows.
But the mood was overwhelmingly optimistic. The theme of the conference was LibDemFightback, and there are signs to show just that. The Bournemouth conference hall was packed for the key speeches, party membership numbers are continuing to climb and have passed the 60,000 mark, and new party leader Tim Farron has an abudance of enthusiasm and dedication.