According to the Times today (£) the Liberal Democrats are putting up a serious challenge to Labour in the Manchester Gorton seat. We know that’s true, of course, because we are running a pretty vigorous campaign. Key people in the party are making it known that they are clearing their diaries and heading there as much as they possibly can. However, it’s good to hear serious journalists taking serious note of what they are being told:
With the vote less than three weeks away, party sources said that the Lib Dems were stronger than they had been in the Witney by-election, when Tim Farron’s party lost but achieved a 19.3 per cent swing from the Tories.
Losing would be a disaster for Labour and would rank as one of the great by-election shocks. The 31 per cent swing required for a Lib Dem victory would be the eighth largest since the war, according to Matt Singh, an election analyst.
The Guardian quotes a campaign briefing written by the Party’s Deputy Campaigns Director Dave McCobb:
But a briefing for senior Lib Dem officials and campaigners – written by deputy director of campaigns Dave McCobb – says the party’s messages on Brexit, including calls for a second referendum on the outcome of negotiations, are winning over voters in a seat where more than 60% voted remain in last June’s Brexit referendum.
McCobb says the Lib Dems are making up ground fast and are on 31%, with Labour on 51% – a level of support that is, he says, “running well ahead of where we were in the Witney byelection [where the party leapfrogged Labour and Ukip to come second in October last year in David Cameron’s former seat] and approaching Richmond Park levels of support at this stage.”
But someone doesn’t seem to have noticed this:
Labour sources remain relaxed about the seat
Let’s show them.
If you want to help pull off an historic Lib Dem result, here’s how to help.
All the talk about this by-election seems to be about the race being firmly between us and Labour. With 19 days left to polling day, we can turn this from a solid to a sensational result. Who’s up for it?
* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings