Lib Dems target Labour remainers

So we’re doing the sensible thing and going after the votes of Labour voting Remain supporters in the next few days.

We have the help of numerous actions and comments by senior Labour figures over the past three years, most especially Bailout Barry himself. You haven’t been allowed to forget that Labour Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner told Tory Minister James Cleverly that Labour were trying to bail the Tories out on Brexit.

Just in case it has slipped your mind for a nanosecond, here is the actual clip:

The Huffington Post reports that candidates and campaigners will be stepping up their efforts to persuade Labour supporters to back us in this election:

The eight-page document is being sent to candidates and grassroots activists as Vince Cable’s party aims to convince “increasingly soft” Labour votes.

The document, which is to be issued with Labour attack leaflets, collates pro-Brexit quotes from Labour’s frontbench MPs, including from supporters of a second referendum, such as Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry.

It also outlines in detail the party’s voting record on a second referendum and soft Brexit options, underlining that Corbyn’s MPs were whipped either to abstain or to vote with the Tories on 29 key Brexit votes.

Pro-EU Labour activists reacted with dismay when Corbyn refused to back a remain stance in the party’s Euro elections manifesto, with the leader sticking to the line that a second referendum would be “an option” if cross-party Brexit talks fail.

The local elections, meanwhile, saw the Lib Dems win more than 700 seats, leaving Cable confident of gains in the May 23 EU-wide poll.

They have a quote from Ed Davey:

The single biggest issue people are concerned about at these European elections is the mess and chaos Brexit will cause.

Despite being just days before poll, the Labour leadership is still caught in infighting over whether the party stands for Remainers or not. The hard truth is this; Jeremy Corbyn has aided and abetted this Tory Brexit mess. Corbyn is a friend to the Tories, not Remainers.

We know that Remain support is coalescing around us. Change UK are pleasant enough people, but they just don’t have the campaigning experience to put together a national election campaign. A small but revealing example. Last night there was a hustings in my home town of Livingston. Change has five candidates left on their election list after their top of the list candidates decided to back the Liberal Democrats as the strongest Remain party. Three of the candidates went to those hustings. The others could surely have found a better use of their time knocking on some doors or going to different events.

We are in a good position at this point to have a very good result. If it’s a spectacular result, we send a message to May and Corbyn that the country can’t ignore – we have changed our minds and want to remain in the EU. The stakes are high, so get out and do everything you can to get us the best possible result in the remaining week.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Labour voters should think which message they want to send to the Labour Party. If they want to send the message “You’re doing fine, keep up the good work!”, they should definitely vote for Labour. If they want to send the message “Make up your mind and come off the fence!”, they should vote for a party with a more clear vision.

    If they want, they can always go back to the Labour party after it has decided which direction it will take. But before that, send the message that it needs to make that decision, otherwise it never will.

  • There’s a point about dishonesty as well. David Martin, Labour MEP and their top candidate in Scotland, said today that membership of the EU was ‘non-negotiable.’ That’s an extraordinary thing to say while his party is /literally/ negotiating with the government to deliver Brexit!
    Then there’s the YouGov poll yesterday which asked how clear are the different parties’ stance on Brexit? Only 13% said Labour’s was clear. (The Brexit party figure was 59%, UKIP 48%, LD 41%, Greens 34%, CHUK 31%, Tories 17%). A useful reminder that voters pay very little attention really – and this is why we have been absolutely right to ‘keep banging on about being anti-Brexit’ for the last few years.

  • “Three of the [CHUK] candidates went to those hustings.”

    Given that CHUK are now on well within the margin of error of 0% in Scotland (1% in the latest yougov subsample) may be they were hoping to double their vote. Or at least persuade each other not to jump ship!

    Reports on twitter of a CHUK rally (well OK meeting) elsewhere in the country where five CHUK candidates addressed an audience of three!

    Going well for them, isn’t it!

  • If memory serves this is the third article on Gardiner’s remarks being taken out of context.
    Now Labour have walked away from May’s intransigence, time, perhaps, to change the record.
    As for entering into the talks the old remark about “Jaw, Jaw…” seemed to apply.

  • I think LibDems need to be careful not to evangelize too much in this election.
    Remainers care very deeply about our membership of the EU and if they get the feeling that is being used for ulterior ends it could backfire. Vote LibDem in this election, because it is an unequivocal remain vote and can’t be misinterpreted, is a far more subtle message. The long term benefit will attach or not as the case may be. Country before Party is where we should be at.

  • @expats

    1. It doesn’t take Barry Gardiner’s comments out of context

    2. Labour’s official policy is to “respect the referendum” and deliver Brexit – albeit not one that they see as a Tory one.

    3. To get a referendum we need more Labour MPs voting for a referendum. This means frightening them at the Euro elections – the Greens (and CHUK if there is anyone still left voting for them) are easily dismissed as electorally irrelevant – us less so. It would be a psychological blow if we beat them into second place and it would be nice if one of the firmly Remain parties got close to the Brexit party.

  • nvelope2003 18th May '19 - 2:40pm

    The Labour Party are the opposition. They will oppose whatever the Government propose. Many Labour members support the Government’s Withdrawal Bill but will not vote for it because it is much more fun upsetting the Conservatives. They want to honour the Referendum result but they are unlikely to get a deal which is much different from the one on offer. The Liberal Democrats oppose leaving the EU and are the only party to have consistently supported the European project since it began. The Labour Party under Gaitskell opposed joining the Common Market when Britain first applied and many of them are agnostic about it. I suspect some Labour remainers feel that way because Conservatives are leavers. Most Conservative voters hate the EU and anything foreign except alcohol, cheap goods etc. Is it any surprise that some Remainers feel that the Leavers are backward looking and living in the past. We can never be a sovereign state in any meaningful sense because the world is run from Washington, Beijing and Moscow so we need to be part of the EU unless we want to be a satellite of the USA and have to join in all their wars.

  • Hmm… so if we’re targeting Labour remainers, I wonder why HQ’s priority addresses to deliver to in the ward I recently fought are mainly in fairly plush Tory/LD or Tory areas and hardly any in the Guardian-reading-Labour bijou terrace bits?

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