One of the defeated Labour MPs I heard interviewed about it last month described wandering aimlessly around his community, which was also his former constituency, wondering whether the people he met and who hailed him had actually voted for him.
There is a disturbing element of adulation about being elected, which is not really quite what it seems. By the same token, there is an even more ferocious element of personal rejection about not being elected - especially when you used to be elected by the same people.
It may not actually be personal at all, but it certainly feels as if it is.
Now spare a moment for those who stand for the leadership of their party, especially a party of 60,000 members, many of whom you know. And if you manage to avoid a kind of personal irritation about it - and Clegg and Huhne failed to, certainly during the campaign - then your closest supporters will be happy to generate some for you.
Perhaps it was no coincidence that two out of the three potential leadership contenders for the Lib Dems managed, by a combination of luck, personality and hard work (and not being in Scotland) to hold onto their seats. I don't know.
Both Norman Lamb and Tim Farron would make brilliant and inspirational leaders, and I'm glad I'm not either of them right now, as the people they consider their friends make up their minds about them.
So let me just say the basis on which I'm making up my mind.
It all depends what you believe the fundamental element is that the party lacks. Is it charisma, inspiration and campaigning genius? I ask this because this seems to be the main message I read on social media, and I don't believe it is true.
Of course we need campaigning. How could we not? But so many times over the past 15 years or so, I felt the great vacuum at the heart of the party's campaigning. I don't think I could bear, nor could the party survive, another decade of campaigning on empty.
The party swooped through the first decade of the century armed with nothing new too say, and nothing whatever to say about public services - beyond the fact that we wanted them to be 'fair'. We had not thought through what Liberalism meant for economics after the crash. We had not thought through how to make public services more effective, and were catapulted into government without being armed with a big idea about what to do.
Sometimes we didn't even have a small idea. And where we asked some policy panel laboriously hammer out a compromise, it never really filtered through into what the party said.
So here is my contention. The party may have a campaigning problem, but it has a far bigger and far more urgent intellectual problem.
Nor are we alone in this. No party can aspire to government without a clear proposal for creating prosperity (not just redistributing prosperity), and the political left has been missing one of these for nearly four decades.
It is the historic destiny of the Lib Dems to provide this, if we survive, but no amount of campaigning on empty will magic it into existence.
I might be wrong about this. Tim Farron might be the leader to create the kind of intellectual ferment of ideas we so badly need as a party. But I'm inclined to think that Norman Lamb is marginally more likely to. I watched him listening and thinking and finally acting effectively at the Department of Health as a minister, and the government shifted as a result.
We need to start thinking again, and that's why Norman has my vote.
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