The electorate did the Liberal Democrats a favour

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Distinguished people such as Peter Kellner and Stephen Tall predicted that the Liberal Democrats would get 32 seats at the general election. That was what I was hoping for.

But imagine if that is what we had got. Nick Clegg would still be leader, probably. We might have been involved in some sort of government deal making. Messrs Law and Alexander would still be ruling the roost. We would have limped on.

But I think the electorate has done us a favour. The grassroots now rule the roost. I believe and hope those grassroots are now younger and more diverse.

I think we will come out of this as a refreshed, vigorous and clearer Liberal party, rather than just limping on.

I mourn the loss to our parliament of many hard working and passionate Liberals. I acknowledge the pain being felt by many who worked really hard in the campaign.

But I think it does us good to occasionally be kicked up the backside by the great British voter.