The Lib Dems were this close to doubling their seat-count last month

The party's performance in the recent election was modest at best, but they almost doubled their number of seats.

In the end, the Liberal Democrats won 12 seats, up from the eight they won in 2015, although they went into June’s election with nine seats having won the Richmond by-election in December.

The key loss of the night was in Sheffield Hallam, where former leader Nick Clegg lost his seat, but the return of Vince Cable and Jo Swinson brought good news to the party.

Looking at the seats in which the party came second with data from ‘Election Polling’ shows just how close the party was to doubling their number of seats.

The closest contest in which the party came second was Fife North East, in which the party’s Elizabeth Riches came just two votes behind the SNP’s candidate, Stephen Gethins.

Their next closest second-place was in Richmond Park, where the party lost the seat it had gained in 2016 by just 45 votes.

They also came second in Ceredigion, with the party coming in second behind Plaid Cymru by just 104 votes, and second in St Ives, ending up only 312 votes behind the Conservatives.

This means that if the Liberal Democrats had won over an extra 469 voters spread perfectly for them across these seats, Tim Farron’s party would have doubled their representation in parliament. Such an outcome would have also cut the already slim Conservative-DUP majority by two.

This analysis indicates how close the party were to doubling their seat-count, but it also shows us an anomaly of the UK’s voting system, that a few hundred votes here and there can make all the difference.

The full set of data from 'Election Polling' can be accessed here.

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