Liberal Democrats will not field a candidate against Caroline Lucas

Liberal Democrats in Brighton Pavilion last night decided not to field a candidate in Brighton Pavilion against Greens co-leader Caroline Lucas.

From the Mirror:

Lib Dem President Sal Brinton said: “ Liberal Democrats across the country are challenging Theresa May’s Conservative Brexit government. As in previous elections, a limited number of local parties are considering how best to provide that challenge in their constituencies.

This comes after the Greens stepped aside in Richmond Park to give us a clear run.

What is also significant is that close to Brighton is the constituency of Lewes which we narrowly lost by less than the Greens vote in 2015. We have yet to see whether the Greens will stand aside for Kelly-Marie Blundell. Given her commitment and long term interest in tackling poverty and fighting welfare reform, it would make sense.

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31 Comments

  • A favour the Greens are failing to reciprocate in either Richmond or Twickenham.

  • Why are we standing aside for a socialist???

  • David: yet.

  • Delighted to support an excellent radical M.P. – who is a breath of fresh air in the House of Commons.

  • The Greens are very left wing. Unless Ms Lucas is considering joing the Lib Dems after the elction this is another problematical decision by the party. I have to say that during the first week of the campaign we have made little impact nationally and this may in turn impact locally next week, I have downgraded gains to less than 50, we not make any.
    Can we hear some policies please. Labour have done very well so far with their daily announcements.
    Good news that for the first time since the Referendum those who think the decision was wrong against right are now in the lead 45% to 43%, the rolling YouGov poll on the subject.

  • I can turn a blind eye to one seat but I hope this doesn’t happen in any more.

    The Greens come across as all cuddly and harmless and I fully support them in terms of their focus (naturally) on the environment and others issues such as PR but that’s where it ends. Economically they borer on the edge of fantasy.

  • Jennie: they have just announced their two candidates’ names!

  • Andrew McCaig 27th Apr '17 - 10:25am

    theakes

    You have downgraded gains to less than 50??? what planet were you on when you had more than 50???

    Caroline Lucas is one of the better MPs in the House of Commons. I have no problem with this. Most people think the Greens are harmless so it will not hurt us at all, and will help in the many seats where we need to squeeze the Green vote

  • Andrew McCaig: strangely I am on the planet earth, most seasoned observers of the local election scene have been forecasting Lib Dem gains next week of in the region of 100. Are you confused. I was talking about next week and downgrading the local council election gains, personally I do not think we will hardly make any gains in the general. There are two sets of elections, yes..

  • I agree with this. Caroline Lucas is a breath of fresh air, much better than her co-Chair Jonathan Bartley, who is rather boring.

  • Richard Underhill 27th Apr '17 - 10:55am

    We agree with the Greens about Heathrow. We also oppose expansion of Gatwick, which is nearer to Brighton and Lewes. Caroline Lucas was a good MEP for our area and is pro-European now. Our policy on enfranchisement of 16 and 17 year old citizens dates back decades, but we should say so more often. The Tory policy on allowing such votes for the 2014 referendum in Scotland but not for the 2015 general election or the 2016 EU referendum is inconsistent and undemocratic.

  • Yeovil Yokel 27th Apr '17 - 11:32am

    There is a wider strategic benefit to be gained by both parties from this move, although it will no doubt hurt LD activists in Brighton. Greens across the country may be more likely to vote tactically to unseat Tories in Con – LD marginals if we help them out in, say, 1 – 3 constituencies. I base my view from having discussed the issue with Green acquaintances here in Yeovil, where they don’ t stand a chance but still want their vote to have some sort of impact.

  • Ashley Cartman 27th Apr '17 - 11:46am

    “Liberal Democrats across the country are challenging Theresa May’s Conservative Brexit government” – I think that sums it up nicely.

    The Conservatives will undoubtedly win this election given the disarray of Labour. Hence we are fighting to ensure that there is a credible opposition in parliament.

    I have changed my mind on this. I think it should be up to local parties to decide whether or not they want to collaborate with other progressive parties, this would be local democracy in action. Although I would not like to see too many of such arrangements it would be great if a number of high profile hard Brexit Tories could be ‘decapitated’, especially as many of them are currently in very safe seats.

  • Robin Bennett 27th Apr '17 - 12:05pm

    Brilliant decision. Caroline Lucas is a star act.

    We cannot accept the Greens’ way-out policies on certain issues, but there is much more we agree with than we oppose. It would do us good, electorally, to enter into pacts with the Greens in many other constituencies.

  • Sue Sutherland 27th Apr '17 - 12:10pm

    Good. I’m glad this is happening at local level and it will answer a lot of Remainers questions about a progressive alliance.

  • Good. I am most certainly not in any way left wing, but in spite of her party, Caroline Lucas as an individual is am asset to our parliament. I’d rather Caroline Lucas in parliament than another utterly useless Labour MP.

  • Martin Land 27th Apr '17 - 1:52pm

    Did we ask Eric Pickles first?

  • Andrew McCaig 27th Apr '17 - 1:55pm

    theakes

    Sorry I failed to notice “next week” perhaps because we were on a thread about General Election candidates!

    I agree actually, I think it will not be as good a night for us as Rallings and Thrasher predicted before the Tories went up to 48% in the polls!

    It will be a very bad night for Labour however

  • Andrew McCaig 27th Apr '17 - 2:05pm

    Dan,

    We have answered the “coalition of chaos” argument firmly by making it clear we will not under any circumstances go into coalition with “flip flop May”

    U-turns on the Single Market, election date, Heathrow, NI contributions, help for JAMS by restricting child tax credits, and now even the ECHR! She is a coalition of chaos all by herself and the more often we point that out the better….

    The latest YouGov poll shows that 35% of Tory voters and 29% of Labour voters “may change my mind”, compared with only 19% of Lib Dem voters. There is still everything to play for in this election… On the other hand only 1% of Leave voters in the referendum currently plan to vote Lib Dem. Fighting a campaign mainly by targeting our voters from past years is not going to work.

    London is another country BTW. Tories static, Lab down 6-8%, and Lib Dem up 7-8%

  • Lorenzo Cherin 27th Apr '17 - 2:13pm

    Yes , I keep saying it , but we discover the Greens are standing against Sarah Olney after all the fuss in the by election ?!

    The Greens are dafter than Labour sometimes, but Caroline Lucas has gravitas and is open minded .

    However, liberal Tories in Bright Blue have as much in common with Liberal Democrats, or more , than the far left of the Greens and Labour.

    We can have alliances with parties like us. But all are too broad to make a habit of it unless those parties change.

    If Dan Jarvis, Keir Starmer or Clive Lewis led Labour , my hand is up for coalition.

    But the party needs to change in order to elect them and to want a coalition.

    Many in those parties loath us in this .

    Some here reciprocate !

  • Ashley Pragnell 27th Apr '17 - 5:18pm

    Remember this is the preamble to the election! The gloves come off next when parliament is dissolved on Tuesday! From then own you will get the manefestos, daily briefings, hustings meetings and prehaps some TV debates! I think the council results next Thurday will see a much higher poll ratings! I remember we started the 1997 election ten percent and ended up on eighteen percent, and 46 seats!
    I live in Scotland, and it looks as if we will get seats back!
    I will not look at the polls during the campaign! I think to be honest the only poll that counts is on election night!

  • I think this is a good thing – but it is disappointing, if true, that the Greens are intending to put up a candidate in Richmond Park this time.

  • Bruce Marsland 27th Apr '17 - 8:50pm

    Caroline Lucas is a standing MP who is pro-Europe, so this makes sense to me as a tactical decision. However, we certainly shouldn’t let others claim green issues as their own, as Europe isn’t the only thing at stake in this election. Are there any Conservative seats to target where there is a hot anti-fracking issue locally, for example?

  • Ruth Coleman-Taylor 27th Apr '17 - 10:10pm

    This decision makes sense to me as a pragmatic decision by a local Lib Dem constituency association who are in the best position to judge what is best for their local community. As it is a local decision, there can be no expectation of automatic reciprocity in other seats. That would imply some kind of national deal between us and the Green Party.
    As far as I am aware, we as a Party have no framework in place for negotiating such a deal and I think it would be crazy to take people away from fighting the General Election in order to create one.
    I think the safest option is to trust the judgement of the local constituency party and get on with fighting the General Election and defeating Brexit.

  • I’m another who rates Lucas highly, and will be happy to see her returned to Parliament where she often votes along the same lines as us, and is a useful ally. By my crude calculations, the Greens got 3.8% in the last general election, and if we had a fairer voting system, that would translate to 24/25 MPs. Helping to let those voters be represented by two or three MPs is more than defensible.

    Nevertheless, it is fair to say that most Green candidates are not of the same standard, and not all constituencies are suited to this sort of thing, and if done too often we experience diminishing returns, and demoralised voters. In particular, we should be mindful that our vote in 2015 was unusually low, and even in Brighton, we would otherwise have expected an increase in votes.

    It was great that the Greens stood down in Richmond Park last year, and I think they got a lot of good press from it. It showed them to be reasonable, which is an important part of their progression to be taken more seriously. I’d say that the Greens standing down in Richmond, or the Libdems standing down in Brighton isn’t a simple one-for-one swap, it helps both parties at a national level, and will remind campaigners from both parties that while we might be rivals, we are not enemies.

    I’ve seen it suggested that the Greens have selected candidates for Richmond Park and Twickenham, where we might expect them to stand down. As far as I can tell, this just means they’ve picked who would stand, and not yet confirmed they will stand. I suppose it’s important for them to be seen to follow due process to keep their own members happy, and to keep us on our toes. It feels a bit like needless posturing, especially as Sarah Olney has been particularly vocal on the environment, but no-one wants to be taken for granted, so we shouldn’t do that.

  • I find it difficult to worry about the Greens being “far left”. Far more worrying is their lack of a coherent philosophical base that can be related to a wide range of political issues. Even far more worrying are proposals for dealing with the scandal of First Past the Post that fall short of a “coalition for PR to gain a single issue short parliament” proposal that has been spelled out in various places. And there is no time to start campaigning for that this time round.

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