Laura Kuenssberg shock: How political editor predicted Lib Dem humiliation for Swinson

Throughout the 2019 campaign, then-Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson had continually attempted to convince the electorate she would be able to make it to Downing Street without needing to be propped up by any other party. In the election many experts said revolved solely around Brexit, the Lib Dems firmly believed they would be able to “scoop up the angst, frustration and votes” from parties such as Labour and the Tories. But as the campaign continued and Ms Swinson endured a series of embarrassing interviews, the Lib Dems bold campaign to get to No 10 appeared to be dwindling.

According to Ms Kuenssberg, the BBC Political Editor, Ms Swinson and her party made the move to try and soften its approach by admitting it would not actually get into power.

She claimed the party then became the “only party to stop the Tories” by collecting enough seats in pro-EU seats across the country.

Although the Lib Dems said they may not be able to get enough seats for Government, they still refused to prop up any Tory or Labour administration to push either into power.

In November, Ms Kuenssberg wrote for the BBC: “A few weeks ago, the Liberal Democrats were boldly suggesting that it was realistic for Jo Swinson to bid for No 10.

“Anything was possible they claimed. Politics is fluid and changing. Millions of people feel the big parties are on two other planets and have let them down.

“The Lib Dems stood ready to scoop up their angst, frustration and their votes.

“And today? Well, the Lib Dem leader is still trying to press on with that line. But things have, by her own admission, changed a lot.”

She added: “Ms Swinson admitted that the party has been squeezed – so, as things stand, it is a “big step” to imagine that she has a chance at No 10.

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“And, listen carefully, she is shifting her message to the country somewhat, to present herself as the person who can stop the Conservatives getting a majority.

“Sources inside the party concede now that after the withdrawal of the Brexit Party in Conservative seats, what might have been a wildly unpredictable four-way race, has moved to a scrappy national two-way – with the SNP separately dominant in Scotland, and the third smaller UK-wide party eagerly trying to nibble at the margins to get in.

“With Labour yet to make any big breakthrough in the campaign, the Lib Dems claim they are the ones who can nab seats from the Conservatives.

“So Lib Dem votes in marginal seats are the ones that could prevent Johnson from a clear run at five years in office.”

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Ultimately, the Lib Dems’ pro-EU stance failed to register with voters and saw the party endure a torrid night in December.

Boris Johnson’s “get Brexit done” message resonated with the public, who overwhelmingly backed his Conservative party.

The night ended in total humiliation for Ms Swinson too as she lost her seat in Scotland to the Scottish National Party and was forced to stand down as leader.

Labour equally suffered, with its calls for a second referendum on Europe again not achieving the required backing from voters.

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