One could argue that the Liberal Party would have come back on it’s own – and perhaps it would. But the SDP caused the biggest shake up of the British political scene imaginable. The British people were crying out for an alternative to Thatcherism, and a Labour Party in the grip of Militant was not it. Had the Liberal Party of the day been in good enough shape at the time, there would have been no need for the SDP.
Alliance and eventual merger between the Liberals and the SDP could never have happened had it not been for the fact that so many of our core values were essentially the same. If the marriage had not been so appropriate, many more leading SDP figures would have returned to Labour once Kinnock had weeded out the hard left. As it is, many leading SDP figures are now leading Liberal Democrats.
The Liberal Democrats, and the British political scene, are richer for the contibutions of the SDP. We are not just Liberals – we are Liberal Democrats. We should focus more on the things that unite us.
For anyone who diagrees with this – there is always the continuation Liberal Party. I believe they have a handful of councillors somewhere…