First some background for US readers. (Who will, I'm sure forgive me if I'm telling them things they already know.)
The UK has two levels of Government, national and local. We are currently governed nationally by a coalition of Conservatives (who got the most seats in the last national election but not enough to form a government on their own) and Liberal Democrats (who came third nationally).
One of the most prominent Lib-Dem politicians is Vince Cable.
On Thursday we had local elections in many areas, as well as a vote on changing the way we vote nationally.
The Liberal Democrats took a sound beating, losing seats just about everywhere. Both the Conservatives and the Labour Opposition, by contrast, gained seats.
My theory on why the Lib-Dems got a kicking but the Conservatives didn't is that you don't kick a dog for barking. The conservatives have just done what everyone knew the conservatives would do whereas the Lib-Dem voters, rightly or wrongly, feel betrayed by their party's turn around on just about everything. Again rightly or wrongly it's perceived that the Lib-Dem idea of compromise in coalition is that where they have substantial agreement with the Conservatives on policy they will adopt the Lib-Dem policy and where they have marked disagreements they will adopt the Conservative policy.
This was accidentally confirmed by something I heard ten minute ago in a BBC interview with Vince Cable who started an answer to a question about the Conservative party with
"We are working for them...we are working with them in coalition, so...".
Hard not to see some truth in that little slip.