The Liberal Democrats, often shortened to Lib Dems, are a centre to centre-left social liberal political party in the United Kingdom. The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party. The two parties had formed the electoral SDP–Liberal Alliance for seven years before then. The current leader of the party is Nick Clegg. At the 2010 general election, 57 Lib Dem MPs were elected, making them the third-largest party in the House of Commons, behind the Conservative Party with 307 and the Labour Party with 258. The Liberal Democrats formed a coalition government with the Conservative Party, with Nick Clegg as Deputy Prime Minister and other Liberal Democrats in the cabinet.
Promoting social liberalism, the Liberal Democrats voice strong support for constitutional reform, electoral reform, civil liberties and rights, and higher taxes for public services. The party president's book of office is John Stuart Mill's On Liberty, which defended individual rights while attacking the tyranny of the majority and the despotism of custom. The party objects to state limitations on individual rights and favours a welfare state that provides for the...
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