The Guardian on Lib Dem strategy: Bringing down the “blue wall”

In an almost effusive leader column, today’s Guardian praises Ed Davey, Lib Dem strategy and calls the Chesham and Amersham victory stunning. It says the Liberal Democrats are determined to make that win just the first step in bringing down the Conservatives’ “blue wall”. Boris Johnson can’t be ejected from Downing Street without a Lib Dem revival. Although Ed Davey will not be telling delegates to go back to their constituencies and “prepare for government” there are good reasons to believe something is happening, including the May by-election results.

With their party conference starting on Friday, the Liberal Democrats are determined to make [the Chesham and Amersham] win just the first step in bringing down the Conservatives’ “blue wall”…

Boris Johnson’s authoritarian and populist Tory party, designed to appeal to a new coalition of voters, has alienated large parts of its traditional base. When our correspondent canvassed with Lib Dems in the leafy Surrey marginal seat of the deputy prime minister, Dominic Raab, not a single voter professed loyalty to the Tory MP…

Mr Johnson’s record of incompetence and his broken promises are a turn-off for many voters, but especially would-be Tories attracted to the “compassionate Conservatism” of past leaders. Sir Ed has a personal story to tell such an electorate who are interested in helping, not blaming, others…

The Lib Dem leader is positioning his party as an anti-Tory force, vowing not to put the Conservatives back into Downing Street – unlike his predecessor Nick Clegg…

Mr Johnson can’t be ejected from Downing Street without a Lib Dem revival…

The Lib Dems will use this weekend to lay out a new social contract… This is a good strategy. While Labour and the Lib Dems cannot openly work together, there must be a shared desire not to give another century to the Tories by splitting the progressive vote. Sir Ed wants to reap the discontent in Conservative seats over Mr Johnson’s lack of integrity and honesty. One can only hope he succeeds.

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