LibLink: Lib Dems plan ‘Labour squeeze’ in fight for suburban Tory seats

The Guardian has today covered reports that the Liberal Democrats will be attempting to squeeze the Labour vote in key target seats. Now, whilst this may not come as a huge surprise to Liberal Democrat activists, the article does offer some useful quotes from the likes of Zoe Franklin, our PPC in Guildford, noting the issues that arise from younger voters moving out of London;

We’re really aware of this shift of people moving from London,” Franklin said. “They would normally vote for Labour, but now found themselves in Surrey, and one of the things we really need to get across to them is that they really need to vote tactically.

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  • Mel Borthwaite 16th Jan '23 - 4:04pm

    Correct tactic. The challenge is to reassure Labour voters that there is absolutely no chance that their votes could elect Liberal Democrat MPs who will then back a Tory-led coalition government as happened in 2010. Sadly, from bitter memory, absolute assurances can be broken even when a pledge is publicly signed by the Party Leader (ie, the Tuition Fee betrayal), so I’m not sure what more can be done to provide guarantees.

  • SirEd should at some point this year that LibDems will not support any minority Conservative government. With Labour we can be more open minded.

  • nvelope2003 16th Jan '23 - 6:11pm

    Sadly the Liberals/Liberal Democrats seem to have had a history of coalitions with the Conservatives each one causing a further collapse in support, starting with the Lloyd George coalition in 1918 and the National Government of 1931 and hopefully ending with the Clegg coalition in 2010. Each coalition was marked by a split in the party though with the most recent one there were too few MPs elected to make 2 parties possible, the rise of the Greens and Brexit party having given protest voters other ways of making their protests. The splits were sometimes the result of rivalry between the current and former leaders, No wonder the party is not trusted.

  • This approach is uninspiring and inadequate. You don’t squeeze the Labour vote through targeting you do it by talking about distinctive liberal and pro European values so that the people in question want to vote for you as their first preference.
    Also what about seats like Wimbledon, Cities of London and Westminster etc where Labour will feel they have a chance from 3rd place?

  • Paul Barker 16th Jan '23 - 7:30pm

    Does anyone seriously think that we could form a Westminster Coalition with The Tories as they exist now ? The idea is bonkers.
    The problem with making a Public Statement that we will not even consider Coalition with The Conservatives is that it could put off both Tory & Labour leaning Voters, far better to say that we will Talk with any Party that Offers full PR in advance – the current line in fact.

    We should also point out that a “Hung” Parliament looks extremely unlikely.

  • Alex Macfie 16th Jan '23 - 7:36pm

    Ed has already ruled out working with the Conservatives after the next General Election

  • Lloyd Harris 16th Jan '23 - 8:40pm

    @nvelope2003 I remember the days when Conservative supporters would complain that the Lib Dems have a history of only working with Labour and kept banging on about the Lib-Lab pact.
    As it has been said before by lots of political commentators, the Tories have made themselves un-coalitionable – they stitched up the Lib Dems, then they stitched up their last remaining friends the DUP with the N.Ire Protocol. Nobody will work with them now.

  • David Evans 17th Jan '23 - 1:31am

    Don’t forget Lloyd, They have spent the last three years stitching up themselves as well!

  • Jason Connor 17th Jan '23 - 1:16pm

    No the Lib Dems stitched themselves up by rubber stamping policies like the bedroom tax, abolition of the AWB, increasing tuition fees threefold, ever more extreme austerity measures. The public accepted that something needed to be done on the economy back then but not at the extreme lengths advocated by some of the orange booker MPs. Also there is little sense in a national party just appealing to blue wall voters. We also want the party to appeal to voters in labour held seats who are dissatisfied with labour and want an alternative. Back in the days of Charles Kennedy, this party was really good at that. Remember those halcyon days.

  • Mick Taylor 17th Jan '23 - 2:05pm

    @Jason Connor. One might have hoped that nonsense like orange booker would have been deleted from the political lexicon by now. First of all, the orange book had contributions from a wide range of LD views and there was no such thing as an orange book view. Second, Lib Dem ministers came from a wide section of the party as well, so the idea that they imposed an ‘orange book’ view on policy is laughable. This isn’t to say that serious mistakes were not made, they were, but they didn’t stem from ‘orange bookery’.

  • Suzanne Fletcher 17th Jan '23 - 5:57pm

    just mentioning that in yesterday’s Guardian it said that Keir Starmer said they probably would not be able to keep their pledge to abolish Tuition Fees. I am not criticising, just saying, and hope that helps.
    I also hope that Labour will reciprocate in being sensible about seats.

  • Graham Jeffs 18th Jan '23 - 12:00pm

    Appealing for the “anti” vote without trumpeting our own beliefs is leading us to be seen as vacillating and grey. Read Duncan Brack’s post and the responses to that.

    Were we to really get the bit between our teeth and be seen to stand for something, that would motivate not only our own activists but also contribute to a general groundswell of recognition which in itself would encourage us to be seen as viable contenders in our target seats.

  • Thinking about the strategy, I can’t help but be reminded of “Blackadder”, and Baldrick’s “cunning plan”, usually hatched out when things seem desperate, and usually incredible (though sometimes being productive). I hope that in 2-3 years’ time, this cunning plan won’t be remembered as warmly as the 2019 election cunning plan.

    Negative, I know, but staying in that vein, we seem to spend a lot of time and energy discussing coalition possibilities when it seems that the electorate – whatever polls may say – punish those involved. I was living & working abroad during the LibDem/Lab coalition in Scotland, and then the 2010 coalition (so only viewed from afar), but it seems to me that we view coalition politics in much the same way as is common elsewhere in Europe, which isn’t shared by the UK electorate.

  • Jane Ann Liston 20th Jan '23 - 10:59am

    ‘Tuition fees betrayal?’ Funny how nobody appears to remember that Labour introduced them in the first place after promising not to, and then raised them, again, after promising not to.

  • Peter Watson 20th Jan '23 - 11:55am

    @Jane Ann Liston ‘Tuition fees betrayal?’
    Reneging on the manifesto commitment to “scrap unfair university tuition fees” was one thing, but making a big show about parliamentary candidates signing the NUS pledge and then breaking it is what looked like a “betrayal”, especially given the way the 2010 campaign majored on “no more broken promises” and frequently reminded voters of Labour’s reversal on fees.
    This destroyed trust in the party, even for voters who had no interest in tuition fees per se, and ten years later, the party has still not recovered from the way it presented itself in government.

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