Libs hold onto just 14% of their 2010 votes.
Will the Lib Dems be using deposit insurance next time round?
Looking at this result and at the general tenor of local by-election results that they've been having (at least in those seats where they're not a serious contender) the likely toll of lost deposits is likely to be well into three figures at GB£500 a pop.
Easily. I'd imagine they'll still stand in all GB seats (ex. against the Speaker in Buckingham), they have to at least try and remain credible, but the next election will end up being a massive drain on funds for them through deposits.
If they want to go with their incumbents strategy they keep clinging on to, they'll have to figure out who they can afford to cut loose. I.E, what's the point in spending money to defend Leech in Manc' Withington, sitting on a majority of less than 2,000 in a seat with plenty of students, when there's Hazel Grove, an open seat, just down the road, where they'll need to hold the Tories back.
And even when this sort've worked in Eastleigh, they still lost more vote share than the Tories and went from 47% to 32%. They were very lucky that UKIP threw the kitchen sink at Eastleigh and the Tory candidate was a dud.