It’s all got very tactical since Jo Swinson was elected Leader of the Lib Dems with Labour people exhorting people to remember their role, and hers personally, in the coalition government. She and the Lib Dems are in the strange and hypocritical position of arguing for a Remain Alliance but rejecting the help from Parties larger than itself.

For those with a memory of the Lib Dems, we know that that the time delay between announcing a policy and asking for electoral support is generally around a nano-second. No matter who leads them, this sectarian approach to other parties and the politics of the voters remains a constant.

But given today’s politics, the only, or at least the easiest, growth strategy for the LibDems is to act as a welcoming repository for Tory Remainers; Swinson’s rejection of a coalition with Corbyn’s Labour and now it seems with the SNP are designed to make it safe for Tories to vote and/or even join them. There are certainly several Tory MPs suggesting that they can’t and won’t support Johnson in a VONC and several of them might well survive in their seats if they were to run as LibDems. The LibDems also owe the Tories a drubbing in the South West.

The other thing to recognise is that the Lib Dems ceased to be a progressive party in 2007, when their Leadership election was between Clegg and Huhne; both were “Orange Bookers”, which was the right-wing economic manifesto within the Lib Dems. It was ideological commitment as well as Parliamentary arithmetic that led to the Lib Dems supporting Cameron’s coalition government. Their internal opponents have mainly left the LibDems.

This (LibDem) parrot is no more
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