Tag Archives: general election 2022

Vince to stand down as MP if Parliament runs its course to 2022

Just after Jo was on Marr this morning, Vince popped up on Pienaar’s Politics.

He used the opportunity to say, unsurprisingly, that a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote to stop Brexit. Finally, we have a slogan that means something and is in keeping with the zeitgeist. Once we are all sick to the back teeth of hearing it, it will just be starting to cut through to the general public, so prepare to hear it a great deal.

In fact, if any Lib Dem fails to say that within 5 seconds of opening their mouth at the moment, they are not doing their jobs properly.

It was the main theme of our launch the other day – and the New Statesman even described that event as “slick.” It’s a long time since anything we did has been called that.

Vince added that with our campaign infrastructure and momentum from the local elections, we have a big advantage over Change UK.

On that Change UK memo earlier in the week in which they set out their mission to crush us, he said that we have good working relations with them at informal levels, but he reckons that they will see the advantage of working together when they hit the realities of our electoral system.

As that New Statesman article said:

It (the timing of the Change UK launch in Bristol on a day Parliament was sitting) demonstrates one of the implicit arguments that the Liberal Democrats will make as to why they are the best vehicle for Remainer outrage – because they have the know-how and experience to actually get MEPs elected and to make a splash in a way that Change UK do not.

But they also have another ace in the hole – the looming local elections this Thursday. These were seats last contested in 2015, a disastrous night for the Liberal Democrats on which they lost 51 MPs; but more importantly for our purposes they also lost 658 councillors and control of four councils.

They are not going to make those losses up overnight: the difficulty minor parties have is what takes years of work to acquire can be lost in the time it takes to say “rose garden”. But frankly they will be doing pretty poorly if they can’t at least make enough of those losses back that they won’t be able to declare themselves the winners of the local elections and the most well-placed pro-Remain party to give the big two a fright.

Now the Labour-supporting New Statesman is hardly likely to want to up the prospects of Change UK, but even taking that into consideration, they’ve added weight to the point that Vince was making about our expertise and experience making us better placed for success.

Vince also told Pienaar that his decision on whether to stand again for his Twickenham seat would depend on when the General Election was. If it was on its scheduled timetable for 2022, he wouldn’t fight the seat again. If he did, he’d be 84 at the end of that Parliament.

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