Why a progressive alliance in Stoke Central might be doomed

Why a progressive alliance in Stoke Central might be doomed

Electoral pacts may not help Labour and a progressive alliance

Last weekend The Guardian published a story which said ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s team have informally explored the idea of collaborating with the Greens and Liberal Democrats in Stoke-on-Trent Central to keep Paul Nuttall, the Ukip leader, out of parliament. A senior figure in the Labour leader’s office has asked a go-between what it would take to persuade the Lib Dems and Greens to dial down their campaigns, or even withdraw candidates, in the byelection later this month, the Guardian understands. ‘

But if you look at the tweet atop this thread, it is likely had the 2015 general election been fought under AV or other non FPTP systems, the Tories would have been returned with an even larger majority or in coalition with UKIP. In Leave supporting Stoke a progressive alliance might be doomed before it even begins as it might persuade the other side to form their own alliance.

For those of us who have a big red against UKIP winning the Stoke-upon-Trent Central by election that Labour need to form an alliance to win is worrying, though it might just be expectations management as well as squeezing complacent supporters who think the seat that Labour have held since its inception in 1950 is in the bag for Corbyn’s party.

As an aside, having mocked UKIP and Paul Nuttall for not understanding how electoral law works, it feels fair to criticise some in Labour for the same thing. Once the nominations have been submitted, candidates cannot withdraw, if you really wanted them to dial it down/withdraw, it would have been prudent to ensure they never submitted their nominations in the first place. Again this lack of competence isn’t reassuring for those of us laying UKIP.

A few years ago we saw how another referendum shook the political kaleidoscope and saw safe Labour seats fall on bigly, scarcely believable swings, they say history repeats itself, first as tragedy then as Farage, with only two weeks to go until voting day and we’ll get a better understanding of how things are in Labour held seats that voted to Leave.


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