Earlier this month, Tim Farron appeared to cast doubt on the idea of forming a ‘progressive alliance’ where the Greens, Labour and the Lib Dems work together to stop the Tories. The Liberal Democrat leader said that (while he held the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas in high regard) ‘the only plausible route of any kind towards the Conservatives not winning a majority is a Liberal Democrat group’.
But was Farron’s issue simply that the suggested alliance was with the wrong parties? Mr S only asks after being passed Lib Dem campaign literature from the Tees Valley mayoral race. The Lib Dem candidate Chris Foote Wood has campaign material which — rather surprisingly — suggests the public consider giving one of their first or second preference votes to Ukip or the Tories (the remaining candidates). The reason? To defeat Labour.
A Lib Dem spokesman insists the party is against pacts: ‘Our position is very clear, every Liberal Democrat vote is a challenge to Theresa May’s Hard Brexit agenda. We do not support pacts or deals with any other party.’
But given Farron’s claim that he provides the real opposition to May, it’s a curious situation when a Lib Dem campaign suggests voters consider turning blue…