It’ll be the LDs who’ll find it easier to present themselves as the voice of Remain
The New Statesman’s Stephen Bush’s analysis sums up the post-local elections challenge for ChangeUK which, of course, did not participate yesterday.
“….the reality is that if any party can now pivot to being the natural choice for Remainers who want to send a message at the European elections on 23 May, it is going to be the Liberal Democrats. What they need to do is show that they bring something to the table in any alliance with Vince Cable’s party – an ability to win parts of the country with no Liberal Democrat tradition, or in heavily Labour areas, perhaps.
As for Cable himself, the scene is set for a glorious exit from the role of Liberal Democrat leader whatever happens at the European elections. It also ensures that the race to choose his successor this summer may now get one of the most precious of third-party commodities: a degree of attention from the media…”
At the Euro elections on May 23rd there was always going to be a level of friction between the parties wanting to present themselves as the authentic voice of Remain. The impact of the overnight results and the Lib Dems doing far better than any of the predictions suggest that they were going to find it easier for their message to resonate with those opposed to Brexit
The outcome gives the Lib Dems a credibility that they haven’t had since going into coalition with the Tories on May 11th 2010. Labour’s very public divisions and internal fights over Brexit make their pitch for this slot quite challenging. For Corbyn’s party to end up as a seat loser in the same local elections that the Tories have lost 1000 plus seats raises questions over the electability of the red team.