Lib Dems will not go into coalition – Farron

Tim Farron has done what I’d been hoping and ruled out the Liberal Democrats going into coalition with either Tories or Labour.

This means that the Tory argument that Corbyn, Sturgeon and Farron will get together and do a deal with the Loch Ness Monster to crash the stock exchange (ok, maybe the last bit of that was an exaggeration) is shown to be nonsense. People can vote Liberal Democrat with confidence knowing that we will do everything we can to oppose the Tories and Labour on Brexit.

It also has the advantage of putting to bed at the earliest stage of the campaign the endless questions about who we would go into coalition with and what would we compromise on. This has dominated questions to Lib Dem leaders in past elections and it is good that we have eliminated it. There is no way that we could credibly do a deal with either. Providing serious issue by issue opposition is what we will be doing.

Here’s what Tim said in an email to party members:

I want to make this clear.

The Liberal Democrats will not enter into any coalition deal with either Theresa May’s Conservatives or Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party.

On Thursday 8th June, every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to change the direction of our country and stop a hard Brexit.

The reasons for this decision are simple.

Under no conditions can we sign up to Theresa May’s Hard Brexit agenda; a hard Brexit will be a disaster for Britain. It risks crashing our economy and leaving us isolated on the global stage.

And Jeremy Corbyn would be a disaster for the country – he has no plan for the country, our economy and offers no leadership – and as Labour leader, every time it has mattered he has given Theresa May a blank cheque on Brexit.

Over the next 46 days, we’re going to offer the British people a real alternative and a vision of a Britain that is open, tolerant and united.

Together, we are going to elect more Liberal Democrat MPs and change the direction of our country.

Let’s make it happen.

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

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  • This hits just the right note for the situation now. We should steer every conversation back to talking about The Country or talking about Us.

  • Katharine Pindar 22nd Apr '17 - 11:26pm

    It’s good to see that Tim is keeping a cool head and providing logical reasoning about why we should not contemplate coalition with either May’s or Corbyn’s party after the General Election, supposing such a faint possibility should even arise. It’s a time of great excitability in our party, and of much needling from journalists, so cool clarity from our leader is much appreciated. Thanks to LDV editors also for the up-to-the-minute news.

  • Ian Patterson 22nd Apr '17 - 11:44pm

    Labour’s great idea. Four new bank holidays for Sts George, David, Patrick and Andrew Days. A pulsating policy for the 2020’s!

  • Thank god! We need another coalition like we need a hole in the head. We can maintain our independence much more easily with a minority government.

  • Sue Sutherland 23rd Apr '17 - 12:16am

    Ian, oh dear I’m secretly hankering after a Magna Carta day!

  • Frank Hollis 23rd Apr '17 - 1:05am

    Tim’s email doesn’t rule out a coalition with either of the other parties, just with either of the two ‘major’ parties under their current leadership. That leaves the way open for a coalition with either party if they dump the people leading the country over the Brexit cliff.

    I would imagine that they would do a deal with either party if they promised a second referendum on the final deal with the EU.

  • William Townsend 23rd Apr '17 - 8:00am

    Labours Bank Holiday plan shows just how out of touch they are with the real world. I like many don’t get an automatic day off on a Bank Holiday. My Bank Holidays are in my annual holiday package so I get to choose when I am off NOT the government. I believe this is now common practice in many areas. Bank Holidays had their time and were important but in today’s world were holiday entitlements are protected in law they are obsolete. Labour really are flailing around and appear desperate.

  • Arnold Kiel 23rd Apr '17 - 8:03am

    I appreciate the party’s tactical call, which is probably necessary now. In the unlikely case that coalition-options open themselves, they will look rather surprising:

    1. Remain-Tories with a PM Hammond or Fallon: from a policy-standpoint justifiable
    2. Remain-Labor with PM Smith, Benn or Cooper: much more difficult in terms of policy and membership (Momentum, etc.)

  • There are three things to get across:
    1. A stance on Brexit: the public seems to have the right perception as to our view, ACHIEVED
    2. There WILL BE NO COALITION with either May or Corbyn, that perception SHOPULD SOON be across
    3. Our heavy criticism of this government on individual issues such as NHS, Education, Pensions, Taxes etc etc. WE NEED TO START THIS NOW. It is unlikely Conservatives on the left of their party will vote Labour, they could switch to us. THIS PERCEPTION HAS YET TO BEGIN.

    I respectfully suggest number 3 is this weeks task.

  • The statement on the website about this is very clear and well written. The headline on front of the Observer has caused a bit of confusion, with prominent science writer and campaigner thinking it meant we’d ruled out any coalition ever, and that this was stupid and doesn’t make sense with our pro-PR stance. He is normally Labour, though fed up with them (esp Corbyn), and encouraging tactical voting, so hopefully he’ll get our real message. He’s potentially an influential supporter, and there will be more like him who we can get on side.

  • The right choice at this time. The Tories current approach to Brexit and the Labour leadership make coalition impossible. The only way I can see the Tories changing is if they win enough additional seats to ignore their more right wing MP’s. As for Labour only a significant enough defeat has any chance of changing their current leadership or policies.

    Hopefully their will be some gains from Labour, but I fear May is playing a smart game and will attract some of their erstwhile core voters who supported leave.

  • Ukips vote going down is not necessarily a good thing for us. They are rather handy at splitting the Tory vote and letting us into Conservative/ Lib Dem marginals

  • Chris Lewcock 23rd Apr '17 - 11:28am

    4 bank holidays for (some mythical) Christian saints? That’ll really support the diversity agenda. Might have expected it from Theresa May or UKIP but Labour?

  • andrew burnett 23rd Apr '17 - 11:35am

    This is the right policy. In every election the Lib dems are dominated by this question and it distracts from policy and core message. This is now a weight of their backs.

    The Lib dems should not be ‘like Labour’ or ‘Tory enablers’, they should be Lib dem. If other parties need their support, let them work for it.

  • richard underhill 23rd Apr '17 - 12:36pm

    One alleged reason for the early election is that the Tories worried that Jeremy corbyn might resign after the county council elections.

  • Sue Sutherland 23rd Apr '17 - 1:05pm

    Theakes, I agree number 3 should start now because that will show our true beliefs and is also how we can persuade people who voted Brexit but now regret it to vote for us. We have to show that we have listened to peoples’concerns, show how they were lied to by being led to blame the EU for the results of domestic policies and tell them how we are going to improve their lives.

  • Finally the conservatives can stop pushing this coalition meme

  • Lorenzo Cherin 23rd Apr '17 - 3:18pm

    Delighted Tim took my advice and did and said exactly what I advocated on here recently !

    Most of us would say the same thing, the current leaders and direction of the parties is farther to the left and right of this being acceptable, and with leaders doing the orienting in the direction of travel.

    Britain needs a realignment.

    Post Corbyn who knows on this …

  • Mick Taylor 23rd Apr '17 - 3:51pm

    Absolutely the right call. Now we need to focus on getting our key messages across. No Brexit and and open and tolerant UK plus our range of policies for the NHS, education, housing etc. We are not a one trick pony

  • Now he has to make it absolutely clear, not an iota/scintilla of doubt, nothing that can be picked on, that what consensual adults do in private, hetrosexual or homosexual, is a matter for them and he defends their right to do so, otherwise it wuill haunt and plague him for 6 weeks..

  • John Littler 23rd Apr '17 - 6:04pm

    It is correct that it should either be either main parties or neither.

  • nvelope2003 23rd Apr '17 - 9:00pm

    Theakes: Yes and what he or anyone thinks privately is their own business too.

  • nvelope2003 23rd Apr '17 - 9:04pm

    I see some people are still hankering after a coalition. Do they want the Liberal Democrats to be completely wiped out ? Each time the Liberals went into a coalition or supported another party in Government it has taken decades to recover. Some people never learn.

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