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Like in our lifetime, slim to none chance. First person to link to the Rage Against The Machine/Lib Dem thread dies.
They've been growing in stature election-on-election, tend to be noticably different in views/policies to the major two parties, and through changes in the style of elections (e.g. the 3x90 minute debates) they're being given a lot more attention.
It obviously wouldn't happen anytime soon, as it'd be a slow process to say the least, but I can't see why it wouldn't be possible.
(Final point- if proportional representation was ever used in future elections, Lib Dems as it stands would gain roughly twice as many seats in parliament as they currently have. Probably.)
The current FPTP Westminster setup is utterly ridonculous.
There's a real possibility that there could be a 4% difference in the nationwide vote percentage between Labour and the LibDems, but a 400% difference in the number of seats.
Let's have a play with the rough and ready swing calculator @ http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/swing-calculator
Quick UNS calculation gives us:
Con 38% = 315 seats (+117)
Lab 28% = 241 seats (-115)
LD 24% = 65 seats (+3)
Others 10% = 11 seats (-1)
NI = 18 seats(nc)
This gives us a Hung Parliament, with the Conservatives 11 seats short.
Wonder if the Cons would fancy cosying up to the crew of 11 Others (SNP+PC+Green+Randoms, or SNP+PC+some NI MPs, or some other concoction) in order to sieze power and govern with a 'majority', thus avoiding the need to dealing with the LibDems and their demands for much needed constitutional reform.
In this scenario constitutional reform might still be thrust upon the Tories. Not by the LibDems, but by a Referendum in Scotland that's wondering how it got to be ultimately governed by a party that could only muster 2 or 3 MPs in the whole of Scotland.
There are alot of reasons why not winning this election might not be the worst thing to happen to a party, all told.
...damn DiS downtime, burying my ranty rants.