Change UK plan to grab the Lib Dems’ money, members and policies – leaked memo

The Mail has published a leaked memo from Change UK which sets out its current strategy in relation to the Lib Dems.

It is a bit of a shock.

We were hoping that there would be co-operation between Change UK and our party.

However, the one page of the memo (it’s not clear if there are more unleaked pages) makes it clear that the authors want to stamp out the Lib Dems and, basically, replace us. They basically want to grab our money, members and policies. There is only a small measure of co-operation on “certain issues” mentioned at the bottom of the page.

Change UK have not denied the veracity of the memo page, which appears to have been written before they thought of the “Change UK” monicker (they were still calling it “NP” – presumably “New Party”).

We have to hope that the “reality therapy” of the forthcoming elections lead to a tempering of the Change UK view. Given that this memo is perhaps a month or two old, then it suggests that the Change UK strategy/tactics are not working because there has hardly been a tsunami of defectors from the LDs to Change UK, as the memo seemed to have hoped for.

Here’s what the memo says:

LD STRATEGY

Objectives

Single party, brand, entity and leadership team for progressive politics at the next General Election including all progressive traditions (centre-left, One Nation and Liberal).

No mergers, pacts or alliances.

Strategy

1. Win over LD activist and members to the TIG/NP cause – to win over as supporters;
2. Attract support and resources from LD backers – to win over and help provide resources.

Tactics

1. Grow TIG so HoC numbers exceed LDs
2. Illustrate TIG exceeds the support base of the LD
a. Grow supporter list to byond 100,000 (current number of LD members)
b. Grow twitter followers beyond 244,00 (LDs currently on 244,100).

3. Connect with key LD backers
a. Approach top 6 individually by May
b. Secure public support of previous LD backers

4. Show bona fides on key LD issues
a. Interventions on Electoral Reform
i. Westminster Hall or Adjornment debate led by a TIG member
ii.Op-Ed on a LD online platform
iii TIG EDM
b. Highlight interventions of TIG members on civil liberties issues
i. Example – Shaminma Begum

5. Advertise public pledges of support by LD members/activists
a. Highlight any LD councillors supporting TIG/NP
b. Draw attention to any ex-LD PPCs joining TIG/NP
c. Encourage LD public figures to advocate transferring to TIG/NP

6. Where appropriate, TIG and LD MPs to co-operate publicly on certain issues
a. Brexit – CU/AS/GS fortnightly working group?
b. Mental Health – LB and NL etc

Tim Farron commented wisely:

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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69 Comments

  • John Marriott 25th Apr '19 - 9:48am

    I’m not sure what I make of TIG. I actually ran into their leader (literally) as I was exciting a pub in Cambridgeshire a couple of years ago when I was down for a college reunion ( apparently, she and her hubbie used to run it). She seems genuine enough. But what worries me is that logo she’s been apologising for. Four black lines? As someone said, it looks a bit like the Mueller Report. So, what IS the party’s real name if those four lines conceal a redaction?

  • Arthur Bailey 25th Apr '19 - 10:22am

    Perhaps it would be better for them to do as the SDP did all those years ago, and join the Lin Dems, who have the membership, the support and the organisation, to help get rid of the strength of the Tories and Labour.

    Because they think they can take over the Lib Dems, does not mean that they could take over the membership because I for one would never support or vote for them. I may have disagreed with the Party over the Brexit policies, but I am still, and always will be, a Lib Dem member and no upstart band of homeless MPs will get my vote

  • Jayne Mansfield 25th Apr '19 - 10:23am

    The logo looks like a barcode for the tipsy.

    Who knows what a Freudian would make of it?

  • It’s not a shock at all, it’s exactly what several of us have been saying they would do since before they even named themselves. We were told to shut up.

    Are LDV going to stop publishing articles by them now it’s explicitly revealed to be part of their backstabbing strategy (as opposed to just suspected by people like me)?

  • Valerie Menzies 25th Apr '19 - 10:24am

    Change UK Party mainly come from Labour & Tories who have very different election tactics from the Liberal Democrats!!

  • nigel hunter 25th Apr '19 - 10:37am

    As you say this is ‘old news’ when a new party is on the starting grid (hurdles) ready to win. Thru the race you either get stronger or your energies run out you fall at the hurdles. Lessons are learnt and wisdom appears (hopefully) and reality dawns. Let’s see what happens’starting with the local elections.

  • Whilst obviously disappointing, nothing in this “plan” should come as any great surprise – so why oh why have Vince and other leading Lib Dem parliamentarians seen fit to invest so much time in such an elaborate courtship ritual with these people?
    Meaningful cross-party cooperation requires a measure of mutual trust and respect, common interests and values – and reciprocity!

  • nigel hunter 25th Apr '19 - 10:53am

    I notice it was leaked to The Mail. Not the greatest lover of us or remainers. Is this a divide and conquer the opposition to Brexit?
    We are not loved by the big boys Labour Tories where TIGs MP.s come from..
    They are ,therefore,of the OLD parties who still think of FPTP, not new at all.I will like them more if they campaign for STV.

  • Richard Underhill 25th Apr '19 - 10:53am

    Tim Farron: “The project helped us get 26% of the vote and turned the UK into a genuine 3 party system”
    Yes, but that was under a First Past The Post election for the House of Commons.
    As Liberal Party David Steel said at the time it was not quite enough,
    SDP elected leader Roy Jenkins resigned, to be followed by David Owen, unopposed.
    Labour got 28% after a terrible campaign, a CND leader, “the longest suicide note in history” and numerous lost deposits.
    As on another thread, standing down for another party in euro elections implies not offering candidates in one or more ENTIRE REGION/S. Euro-elections have deposits to save or lose. What sort of candidate/s would want/accept that?
    Would the TIG offer to stand down in Greater London or Scotland when they are trying to demonstrate the extent of their support, after not standing in the upcoming local elections?
    BBC tv journalist Jo Coburn (Politics Live) suggested offering candidates, but not trying very hard. Please, live in the real world. Please try considering the careers of Robin Day and/or Ludovic Kennedy, or of Ludovic Kennedy interviewing Robin Day on television. What experience did they have which others lack?

  • Bernard Aris 25th Apr '19 - 10:56am

    The only things advantageous to the TIG is:
    *) parts (half) of them weren’t in the coalition, so not guilty of the Tuition Fee fiasco with the then students; and
    *) they were all Remainers in 2016;

    But the thing is, even with the 3700 applicants for an MEP candidacy fot TIG Umunna brags about in the Independent of April 22d, that still doesn’t add up to a sufficient number to do serious canvassing (d66 has started canvassing from 2015 at Dutch elections, and we learned in a hurry it takes a lot of people!)

    And once inside the Europartliament as “Non Inscrit”, that is: not affilliated to any existing group (they shun ALL such “Old Politics backroom deals”) the are totally marginalised; and miss out on Europarliament (EP) facilities and staffing subsidies; you just have extremely limited speaking slots, and the EP has NO interruptions when another MEP is speaking.

    D66 tried the same (“Non inscrit” because we were going to renew it all from inside) at the 1979 EP elections; we were out in the cold and had zero influence.
    We got nowhere very fast, and rued our choice for the remaining 4 years and 9 months.
    And, having achieved nothing of our over-ambitious profiling goals, the voters kicked us out at the very next Euro-elections.

    Even if Brexit is next November, TIG won’t have achieved anything; that in itself will be humiliating.

    watch my upcoming article this afternoon about the D66 experience in “going it alone” in the Dutch and Euro-Parliament; it was humiliating, sobering indeed!

  • This unremarkable bunch of has beens and nover will be’s are destined to be a footnote in some future politics student’s PhD. Stop giving them any thought and the oxygen of publicity. Focus on our task: gains in the locals of 200-400 seats, carry that momentum through to the Euros and elect a new leader, untarnished by the coalition. Preferably Layla Moran.

  • Jennie
    I agree not a shock at all. These are career politicians. In some cases facing deselection. Not one of them dared resign their seat to give local voters a chance to back or reject their new party. They need to make big splash to survive and a ready made base to capitalise on it. This is why they will not make formal pacts with other political parties. They are trying to replace not compliment the Lib Dems.

  • @ David Raw:
    “I suspect the TIGs will get a cold blast of reality in due course once the novelty has worn off … “

    Let’s hope that good sense will ultimately prevail – but meanwhile, due to our collective failure to coordinate our campaigns for the European Parliament Elections, I fear that “a cold blast of reality” will be delivered to all the UK pro-Remain parties following 23 May.

  • I think their tactics as in Change UK’s are appalling and I wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole. What they are doing in trying to get hold of or getting hold of activists, members and supporters details may be a breach of data protection. As I said before their aim is to destroy the Lib Dems and it time the Party wised up to it.

  • David Evershed 25th Apr '19 - 11:53am

    Interesting that the political party that Change UK most hate are not the Conservatives or Labour but the Liberal Democrats.

    Understandable since the Lib Dems are their closest competitor for votes and Change UK personnel come from Labour and Conservative so still have feelings for their old parties.

    Lib Dem leadership should have foreseen this and planned a response.

  • I’m not surprised but I am disappointed.
    I thought a new party would help to create new thinking leading eventually to Electoral Reform.
    The thing is though that Liberalism is more than a mere Political Party. It is a way of thinking. Almost a moral philosophy.
    During the last months and years of Brexit I have considered leaving for a much more dynamic remain Party.
    But a. There aren’t any
    b. I am a Liberal. I can’t contemplate being anything else.
    The new Party doesn’t know their political opposition weĺl enough to know that Liberals are different and special.
    And I doubt we’ll ever go away.

  • The one thing this Memo tells us is that a newly formed party with no major names and few minor ones as MPs, really believes it has a chance of destroying us. Ten years ago it would have had no such delusions.

    I don’t think Change UK will be able to do it, but the fact they think they can and are trying to, shows how far we have allowed ourselves to fall, and how important we get the 300 to 400 gains needed on May 2nd to force ourselves into the media spotlight once more. Then we can really make progress in the Euro Elections.

    Let’s get out there, knock on doors and really do it this time.

  • David Westaby 25th Apr '19 - 12:47pm

    This is an old document written when this group were flushed with the adrenaline of leaving their respective parties. I am sure some realty is already dawning. We should keep a cool head and continue to liase with this group – obviously with a the reservations this document deserves. Who is going to gain from fights within the centre ground? The fact it was leaked to the Mail speaks volumes.

  • Sandra Hammett 25th Apr '19 - 1:13pm

    So no coordination in the EU elections then. Wonderful to hear that it won’t just be the leave vote that is split.

  • Paul Barker 25th Apr '19 - 1:14pm

    Change are being silly & nasty but worst of all is their lack of ambition. We are facing a Historic opportunity to reshape British Politics & Change want to replace Us as 3rd Party; its both unrealistic & feeble.
    Both Tories & Labour are weaker than they have been since the 1930s & we saw what an Alliance could do in 1981.
    Hopefully a bracing dose of Reality over the next 4 Weeks will help Change to embrace real change.

  • Tonights result from Shrewsbury may well be a harbinger of how well or not so well we may do next week. 2017 second place 14% behind Labour. We should hope.

  • nvelope2003 25th Apr '19 - 2:25pm

    Somewhat as predicted but it is a warning that we need to get our act together. Just because we have always done something does not make it right now and there are some unpleasant people on this site which does not help.

  • David Becket 25th Apr '19 - 2:28pm

    I initially welcomed the Tiggers and hoped that we could do business with them.
    I was wrong. I should have researched the characteristics of Tigger:

    Tigger’s personality in the cartoons is much like his personality in the book. He is very confident and has quite an ego, he often thinks of himself as being handsome, and some of his other comments suggest he has a high opinion of himself. Tigger is always filled with great energy and optimism, and though always well-meaning, he can also be mischievous, and his actions have sometimes led to chaos and trouble for himself and his friends. Also, he often undertakes tasks with gusto, only to later realize they were not as easy as he had originally imagined. His best skill is bouncing.

  • David Becket 25th Apr '19 - 2:36pm

    I should have added my information came from Wikipedia

  • Peter Martin 25th Apr '19 - 2:40pm

    @ David Becket,

    “I initially welcomed the Tiggers and hoped that we could do business with them…..”

    I don’t like to say “I told you so” but…………

  • This ‘memo’ is clearly quite old, because it refers to TIG/NP. I guess than NP stands for ‘new party’ so the document pre-dates the internal TIG decision on its party name. There is also no evidence on who wrote it (though they are clearly familiar with Parliamentary procedure), or if it was ever agreed.
    HQ can probably date it quite accurately from the stated number of 244,100 Lib Dem Twitter followers (the current number is 249,362).
    Therefore, don’t jump to conclusions.

  • Paul Barker 25th Apr ’19 – 1:14pm………………Change are being silly & nasty but worst of all is their lack of ambition. We are facing a Historic opportunity to reshape British Politics & Change want to replace Us as 3rd Party; its both unrealistic & feeble………..

    Or, perhaps, they are being realistic; this party is hardly the most seaworthy vessel afloat. They have burnt one set of boats, by leaving their respective parties, and their only real hope of survival is to keep fuelling their current publicity.

    This party had, prior to 2010, a left of centre policy; post 2010 it tried to attract a right of centre vote. The voting history of the TIGs show them as RoC so maybe they see that vote as their future.

  • Mick Taylor 25th Apr '19 - 4:17pm

    Why is anyone surprised that Change is carrying on as they always did in their former parties? They see the Lib Dems as competition for the votes they think they have a right to.
    Given the history of the MPs who have joined, it is inconceivable that they would do anything else but try to destroy us by capturing our vote, our members and our money. That’s what their former parties have tried to do for years.
    The deal we made with the SDP was fractious enough and consumed vast amounts of time and energy that detracted from real campaigning. I see no chance of a deal with this lot, so we should now concentrate on maximising our vote on May 23rd and treat Change with the contempt they have now shown they deserve.

  • So the Lib Dems are now looking at sixth possibly seventh place in the Euro Elections. Media coverage is nearly zero and nobody seems to care what the party has to say. My oh my those chickens have certainly come home to roost for a party that just couldn’t wouldn’t apologize for the dreaded cruel Coalition years.

  • It isn’t exactly surprising, but I still think it was right of us to offer the hand of fellowship to MPs who at least appeared to be taking a principled stand. The biggest red flag was that they weren’t proposing anything that contradicted anything we stand for, and yet had decided they’d rather be in a new party than join ours.

    Being optimistic, this was simply because they thought they stood a better chance of persuading Europe loving Labour/Tory voters to vote for an independent, or a new party than for us, and because it’s easier to promote something ‘new’ than to face questions about why they’ve switched to a party that they were criticising until recently.

    Being more cynical, many of those involved fancy their chances at leadership, and they would know that you can’t go straight for one of the top jobs when you defect to another party. That goes double for many of their candidates. The example that jumps out to me if Rachel Johnson. There was talk of her being a LibDem candidate at the last general election, until someone pointed out that even a Johnson can’t just state their public support for a party then expect to be fast-tracked into becoming a candidate, even if they do get easy media coverage. I suspect the lack of having to put in the hard yards has appealed to many who wanted to stand as a candidate for them, but it’s also going to be their undoing.

  • Paul Barker 25th Apr '19 - 7:33pm

    Can we have no more wild assertions about how well or badly we Weill do in a Week or 4 Weeks time, no-one knows, we will just have to wait & see. The situation with the European Elections is unprecedented with 2 brand new Parties standing & Local Elections 3 Weeks earlier, its no surprise that Polls are inconsistent.

  • John Marriott 25th Apr '19 - 7:38pm

    @Silvio
    I’m confused with your critique of the Coalition. You can’t keep blaming something that, to be honest, is probably the best a small party like the Lib Dems could hope for. Let’s be honest, if we ever do get a system of voting that truly reflects diverse political opinion in this country, we shall probably have to accept coalitions. If you really want the Lib Dems to have a piece of the action that’s probably the only way you are going to get it.

  • @Paul Barker

    That’s a bit of an odd comment coming from you, you have spent the last 9 years that I know of commenting on polls and local election results and predicting how well you’re going to do in upcoming elections 😉

  • @Paul Barker. “Can we have no more wild assertions about how well or badly we Weill do in a Week or 4 Weeks time, no-one knows, we will just have to wait & see.”
    You are right on the first part Paul – let’s stop the speculation. But respectfully you’re wrong that ‘we just have to wait and see’. NO – we can actually influence the results – there are 7 days left. We should all be out there campaigning, doing everything we can to maximise the LD vote.
    I always imagine there are members/supporters who read LDV but never actually campaign. To those people, PLEASE make this the election that you get involved. There will be a local party near you that is desperate for your help. Delivering leaflets, knocking on doors, phoning voters, folding leaflets, addressing envelopes, helping on polling day, giving a donation to fund one last leaflet. So many ways to help – you can pick the one you want to do. But please do it. You can help make next Thursday a success, which will then run on to the Euros, and (hopefully) the Peoples Vote.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 26th Apr '19 - 12:25am

    Am very appalled by the memo. Am very heartened by colleagues.

    It is easy for the ones who have sneered at these as individuals, in our party, thanks to this they can gloat. Those above are few like this, who were and are full of rather patronising jibes about decent moderate members of parliament.

    It is harder to accept this when you are , like me, and many here, by nature an open minded person with little agenda or tribal venom. That is most Liberal Democrats. We are today very angry at the TIG Change mps and therefore we can add a lot to this.

    We can say we are the ones who are correct to praise the SDP, unlike those few who sneer again at those , centrists, as they are called, by these who sneer, as if a real awful description.

    We can say we are able to welcome people and not judge them.

    And we can say we were and are fools who were duped.

    I am glad for the decency of Pauls Barker and Walter, on this, and David Becket.

    When you realise you are a fool and have been fooled, it is gloomy without friends.

    You know you are not a Tigger but can identify with…Eyore!!!!

  • Ronald Murray 26th Apr '19 - 10:03am

    I am surprised we are concerned about these people or even expect them to join us. Even their party name is hijacked from an excellent campaigning organisation they do not even agree with each other. Better they campaigned as individuals and we fight their seats. They are hardly the calibre of the SDP Gang of Four which after long negotiations merged with us.

  • David Garlick 26th Apr '19 - 10:26am

    The Key point is that they have no vision, no ambition and nothing from them so far gives them any credibility. I was all for cooperation to defeat the ‘F’ in the Euro elections. It now seems that would be foolish, if not yet pointless.

  • @Lorenzo.

    Lorenzo, you say, It is harder to accept this – the TIG memo – when you are , like me, and many here, by nature an open minded person with little agenda or tribal venom. That is most Liberal Democrats. We are today very angry at the TIG Change mps and therefore we can add a lot to this.

    It’s an archetypal experience: the open-hearted, generous person deceived by someone/ those out for their own (narrow) ends.

    Liberal-minded people are rightly credulous and generous, until that’s proved wrong.

    I’ve thought we should exercise caution towards TIG, but also be ready for co-operation, if this is possible. I’m still of that view. But their sense of entitlement is suggests they are not very clued in about the challenges of being a small party in the FTPT electoral system.

    Unless they get a further avalanche of new MP recruits, I don’t see them getting anywhere on their own.

  • Silvio 25th Apr ’19 – 5:14pm
    So the Lib Dems are now looking at sixth possibly seventh place in the Euro Elections. Media coverage is nearly zero and nobody seems to care what the party has to say. My oh my those chickens have certainly come home to roost for a party that just couldn’t wouldn’t apologize for the dreaded cruel Coalition years.

    @ Silvio,

    You do enjoy your anti-Lib Dem rant. But why do you always throw in bogus claims about Lib Dem electoral prospects. Don’t you realise that that undermines what ever else you have to say?

  • nvelope2003 26th Apr '19 - 1:20pm

    Silvio (Berlusconi ?): Recent opinion polling seems to indicate that few of the electorate are influenced by Lib Dem participation in the former Coalition Government in their attitude to the Liberal Democrats. Corbyn and Brexit have polarised the voters and it looks like the Conservatives will lose out to the Brexit Party and Labour to the Greens with the loss of their leftish Remain supporters.

  • Peter Hirst 26th Apr '19 - 2:19pm

    Assuming this document is genuine and reflects Change UK’s current views and not one or two individuals, it is politically naive as it gives little room for manoeuvre should the electorate not endorse this newly formed Party. It seems to be born from the adrenaline that comes from leaving the toxic two other Parties and wanting to make an impression. It would be better looking at the soft voters of Labour and Conservative support and those who do not normally participate in elections.

  • chris moore 26th Apr '19 - 3:05pm

    Above all, it oozes entitlement.

    It shows no understanding of the enduring strength of liberalism as a philosophy and motivator or of the Liberal Democratic Party.

  • By the way Silvio did you know Change are only on 3% and the Lib Dems are on 11%. It’s worth checking your facts again. Did the Labour Party or its then members of Change ever apologise for supporting the dreaded cruel invasion of Iraq. No I thought not.

  • I was briefly interested in the possibilities around TIG but if Farage ‘wins’ any euro elections (with a quarter of the votes of a third of the population) and all the Tigges manage to do is split the remain bite further, they’re toast. They’ve already selected some unfortunate candidates, without headline success the ringleaders will be unelected again at the next GE and devoid of any philosophy the whol project will likely crash.
    Boo boo.

  • Peter Watson 27th Apr '19 - 8:20am

    @marcstevens “did you know Change are only on 3% and the Lib Dems are on 11%.”
    Assuming you mean the YouGov poll published yesterday, then a little caution is needed when interpreting those figures. When asked “which party would you vote for?”, the Lib Dems are one of the parties prompted in the list of options (along with Labour, Conservatives and SNP/PC) but Change UK is not. It is uncertain how much this might depress the figures for parties only shown to those who choose “some other party”, but I vaguely recall Anthony Wells at ukpollingreport.co.uk discussing this a few years ago in the context of Lib Dem & UKIP voting intention.

    However, given that Change UK doesn’t seem to stand for anything apart from anti-Brexit and the notional “shared values” of a few ex-Labour and Conservative MPs, it is interesting how many voters seem prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps it reflects a desire for a centrist party, no matter how vaguely it might be defined, which does not have the baggage of the Lib Dem name.

  • marcstevens 26th Apr ’19 – 10:08pm…………… Did the Labour Party or its then members of Change ever apologise for supporting the dreaded cruel invasion of Iraq. No I thought not……………

    The Labour leader (Jeremy Corbyn) apologised for the Iraq war years ago on behalf of the Labour party.
    He said Iraq posed ‘no military threat’ to the UK and that decision makers must face consequences
    “The Labour leader, who voted against the 2003 invasion, described the war as the most “serious foreign policy calamity of the last 60 years” as he described meeting families of military servicemen and women who lost loved ones, Iraqi citizens and war veterans. Corbyn said: “I apologised to them for the decisions taken by our then government that led this country into a disastrous war.

    BTW…In view of the ongoing disaster that is Libya, have the LibDem party, and it’s its then members, ever apologise for supporting that war?

  • Brexit are managing 14% as “some other” party.

    Of course on 3% in a poll with a margin of error of +/- 3% means you could be on 0%! Imagine what would be been said by the likes of Silvio if we were on 3%!

    While I am biased I thought we had one of the best news conferences/launches with the Euro campaign launch yesterday – a clear bold slogan (finally!) and finally the slogan on the podium so people will see it! While CHUG was just terrible with their terrible logo and branding!

    While all parties have their problems and issues to deal with – I would venture that Labour and the Tories and indeed CHUK now do have rather more than the Lib Dems do!

  • marc stevens 27th Apr '19 - 11:12am

    Corbyn wasn’t the leader of the Labour party at the time that was Tony Blair and I don’t believe he ever apologised for it. You’ll have to ask Clegg about Libya and other members on here, I am not a member so the question as posed to me is superfluous.

  • Change UK is not a real political party. It is 11 MPs facing deselection who have set themselves up as a limited company. The stuff about replacing the Lib Dems is old hat. It was first fed to the media at least two years ago, when there was talk of the Lib Dems “bed-blocking” and the need for a “new centre party” that would replace the failed Lib Dems. Where is the Change UK membership? Recall the formation of the SDP, whose launch was accompanied by a nationwide network of phone-banks that established a mass membership from day one. The SDP never attempted to target Liberal members or donors, as far as I can recall. There was cooperation right from the word go. What does Change UK stand for? Well, their only known policy paper (not democratically agreed, as far as I know) calls for young people to be forced to join the Army. Their MPs also have a record of slavishly supporting US foreign policy, and some of them at least continue to defend the Iraq war. Whatever Change UK are, liberals they are not. They appear to be authoritarian centrists, very much in the mould of Dr David Owen who, like Chuka Umunna, was an advocate of conscription and an enthusiast for US foreign interventionism. While we agree on Europe, there is little else that unites us. I say that Change UK is ripe for strangulation at birth. They openly seek to take our voters and resources. We have to stop them. We strangled the Owenites at birth, and we strangled Renew at birth at the recent Monmouth West by-election (a group talked up by sections of the media). Change UK must surely be next on the list for figurative infanticide. Vince tried his best to forge a positive relationship with this group, and was rebuffed.

  • marc stevens 27th Apr ’19 – 11:12am……………..Corbyn wasn’t the leader of the Labour party at the time that was Tony Blair and I don’t believe he ever apologised for it. You’ll have to ask Clegg about Libya and other members on here, I am not a member so the question as posed to me is superfluous……………….

    You asked, “Did the Labour Party or its then members of Change ever apologise for supporting the dreaded cruel invasion of Iraq. No I thought not.”

    So now it’s not the Labour party it’s just Blair who has to apologise; so you have just moved the goal posts .
    As for…” I am not a member so the question as posed to me is superfluous.”..It didn’t stop you asking about Labour!

  • Alex Macfie 27th Apr '19 - 3:15pm

    David Evans: “a newly formed party with no major names and few minor ones as MPs, really believes it has a chance of destroying us.”
    And that will be its downfall because its complete lack of any sort of grassroots activism means it has absolutely no chance in reality of doing so. I suppose I can understand why they might THINK think they have such a chance. From one or the other of the two main parties, mostly in safe seats, they haven’t really had to worry about needing to campaign locally the way small parties do. So they think that the only thing that matters is the national picture, and they are being encouraged in this delusion by the political commentariat pumping the party up without regard for its complete lack of any presence in any elected chamber beside the HoC, where none of them have been elected under the new party banner.
    It’s a bit like David Owen’s so-called “continuing” SDP, which was promoted by the commentariat as an equal rival to the Lib Dems (despite lagging behind the Lib Dems in both national opinion polls and most elections), until it got fewer votes than the MRLP in a Parliamentary by-election, killing any lingering pretence it had any claim to be a serious contender. Its presence delayed the Lib Dems’ recovery from political laughing stock, but no more than that. It only held on as long as it did because of a good performance in the Richmond (Yorks) by-election, which was in one of the few areas of the country where it did have some residual local strength. Change UK’s lack of any sort of local presence anywhere means it will die much sooner. The fact that it does register some small share of the vote in national opinion polls is purely because of it being over-hyped by the national media. But it will find that in real elections, the so-called “baggage of the Lib Dem name” matters much less than the effects of actual local campaigning (ALL political parties have baggage, unless they are new, in which case no-one knows what they stand for).

  • Paul Barker 27th Apr '19 - 4:58pm

    I think we have established that The Change strategy so far is a bit rubbish but after The coming Elections they may see sense & realise that they have to co-operate to survive. I still believe that an Alliance of Us, Change & The Greens ( at least outwith. Scotland) could do very well. At the very least putting our 3 Votes together would give us around 20% but the potential is far greater if the experience of The 1981 Alliance is anything to go by.
    I dont want to wait 5 or 10 Years for our Recovery to get us back in the game, I want it in Months.

  • Paul Barker 27th Apr ’19 – 4:58pm……………. At the very least putting our 3 Votes together would give us around 20% ……………………..

    Not really. After all, you are all chasing the same sort of voter,so ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ is nearer the mark..

    As for….”I don’t want to wait 5 or 10 Years for our Recovery to get us back in the game, I want it in Months”..Despite your weekly prophecy of a glorious revival it has been close on 5 years since the 2015 disaster and there has been no major change. However, your hope for a recovery in months could still happen; it’ll just be lots and lots of months.

  • nvelope2003 28th Apr '19 - 8:27am

    expats: I got the impression at the time that the Alliance of the Social Democrats with the Liberals was greater than the sum of its parts and attracted more support because of that so I think some sort of alliance now could benefit the Centre/Centre left but clearly the so called Change UK are not interested and they will probably spoil the chance as there does not yet appear to be much evidence of a real Liberal Democrat revival. In 1981 the Liberals were not doing well either until the SDP came along.

  • Tony Greaves 28th Apr '19 - 12:51pm

    That is absolutely not true. The Liberal Party was steadily building from the existential at the end of the 1970s after the Lib-Lab Pact.

  • nvelope2003 28th Apr '19 - 8:22pm

    Tony Greaves: Liberal support rose from between 8.2 % and 12% in 1979 to about 12 % although Gallup did have some unusual figures of 14 – 18 %. In February/ March of 1981 support rose dramatically to 26%

  • The current Polling evidence suggests that Change take about half their Votes from Labour with the rest split equally between the Tories & Us. Its reasonable on the figures so far that an Alliance of Us, Change & The Greens could get around 20%, even if we added no others. Thats double what we get on our own & would take us a lot closer to catching Labour.
    I also believe that there is a good chance that we could repeat the performance of The Old Liberal/SDP Alliance which added around 15% to the Liberal Vote in 3 Months. We are recovering on our own buts its painfully slow, an extra 1% every 5 Months or so.
    This matter will have to be looked at seriously once the coming Elections are over, in 4 Weeks.

  • Peter Watson 28th Apr '19 - 11:30pm

    @Paul Barker “Its reasonable on the figures so far that an Alliance of Us, Change & The Greens could get around 20%, even if we added no others.”
    For Westminster voting intention, Friday’s Yougov poll gives that grouping 19% and Saturday’s Opinium poll gives it 14%, jockeying for third place with Farage’s Brexit party (and that is without adding UKIP voting intention) rather than Labour for the top spot.
    In the longer term, those Brexit + UKIP votes won’t be going anywhere near Lib Dems / Change / Greens but might return to Labour and the Conservatives depending on how Brexit pans out.

    In the shorter term the lack of credibility of the newer parties means Lib Dems really ought to do very well in the local elections. There is a risk that any such success will be overshadowed by the results of the european elections a couple of weeks later, probably giving victory to Brexit parties south of the border and ammunition for supporters of independence north of the border, albeit with enough ambiguity in terms of turnout and Lab+Con votes to allow all sorts of different interpretations.

    I suspect that in a month’s time, things will be no clearer than they are now! 🙁

  • Change UK seem to have benefitted from their strategy at our expense if the latest polls can be believed. The Brexit party keeps going up and the Conservatives keep going down.

  • chris moore 30th Apr '19 - 2:51pm

    nvelope2003 30th Apr ’19 – 11:56am
    Change UK seem to have benefitted from their strategy at our expense if the latest polls can be believed. The Brexit party keeps going up and the Conservatives keep going down

    @nvelope2003:

    That would be worrying if it was true. but it isn’t

    Here are the comparative figures from the last eight UK GE opinión polls:

    Lib Dem- Change 11-3, 6-4, 9-5, 8-5,10-3, 7-9, 11-3 10-1

    This in a month when Change has had ample uncritical publicity and the Lib Dems relatively little.

    The Lib Dems just need to beat on against the current. Change UK are not sweeping everything before them. They do not have momentum, nor councillors , nor active rank-and-file members, nor policies

  • nvelope2003 30th Apr '19 - 3:24pm

    Chris Moore: I was referring to the polls for the European Parliament election on 23rd May 2019, not a possible UK Parliament General Election which may not be for another 3 years.

  • Richard Underhill 15th May '19 - 7:56pm

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/05/15/change-uks-lead-scotland-eu-election-candidate-tells-voters/
    I also heard this on BBC radio 4 PM programme tonight. He was quite clear that even being number one on the list did not make it likely that he would be elected.
    Of course, in the list system, if he were elected he can resign and be replaced by number two. He said he would.

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