Paddy Ashdown has written to members of the Liberal Democrats on what has been an extremely hard night for the party. His letter is below:
Last night was a bitter night for Liberal Democrats. Perhaps most bitter of all, the results do not do justice to your hard work, dedication or passion.
You have fought the campaign of your lives, and I am incredibly proud of you.
Let us remember what we fought for - liberal values, offering a vibrant, positive, and hopeful alternative for our country.
The forces of decency, moderation, unity, respect for others and progressive politics are weaker this morning. But they are not lost, and they must not be lost.
However painful this defeat, our fight for all this party stands for must continue.
In 2010 we put the country before our party, and we should be very proud of everything that we, Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats have achieved.
These will be tough days ahead for our party, and they could be tough times for our country too.
But Liberal Democrat resilience has battled through time and time again, and I genuinely believe that, while diminished in Parliament, our voice will be heard again and is needed now more than ever.
I look forward to fighting that fight alongside you.