The big development in the Chapman “Democrats party” move is the above Tweet from the ex-Mail political editor and former chief aids to DDavis.
There’s no doubt, as the YouGov polling above shows, that LD voters are much more likely to be pro-Remain than any other party and there would have been a risk for Cable in turning down the Chapman overtures.
But the LDs are a well established party where there are still bitter memories of the SDP in the 1980s with the eventual merger with the Liberal party to create the “Social and Liberal Democrats” in 1987. Cable comes from the SDP wing.
After that merger several leading SDPers, notably David Owen, didn’t join and remnants of the old party found itself often fighting battles with the new merged party. Back in 1989 when I ran for County Council as a Lib Dem my main opponent was from the continuity SDP and the fight was tough.
The LDs having been battered by the voters following the coalition are ultra sensitive to the dangers of a new party and a repetition of what happened in the 80s. They cannot allow themselves to be subsumed by Chapman.
I think Cable is well aware of the issues. The main thing is to impede the form of Brexit that TMay seeks.
UPDATE: The LDs have issued statement saying there is no question whatsoever of the party supporting the launch of a new party but that they will work with others to try to stop an “extreme Brexit”.