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Great that Lib Dems and Greens are gaining votes from Labour

by Hugo Dixon | 17.05.2019

The Liberal Democrats may push Labour into third spot in next week’s European Parliament elections because of Jeremy Corbyn’s mealy-mouthed Brexit stance. Hopefully, he will learn that it’s bad to sit on the fence – and not repeat the error if there’s a general election later this year.

A new poll out today puts the Lib Dems ahead of Labour. Vince Cable’s “Bollocks to Brexit” slogan is winning over pro-European voters. So is the Green Party’s clear position that it wants a People’s Vote. Meanwhile, Corbyn’s wishy-washy policy that tries to be all things to all people is losing him votes.

The Lib Dems are on 16% compared to Labour’s 15%, according to YouGov. The Greens are on 10%, just ahead of the Tories.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is way out ahead on 35%. There is, sadly, nothing that can now be done to stop it coming first. Corbyn would have had a good chance of doing so if he had come out unequivocally for a People’s Vote in his manifesto. But he didn’t. The best chance now of closing the gap on Farage is if more Labour voters switch to the Lib Dems.

Corbyn has fudged his Brexit policy because he hopes to appeal to both Remain and Leave voters. But this isn’t working. He is losing votes to both pro-European parties and Brexit ones. What’s more, it is the anti-Brexit voters who are deserting in the largest numbers – three times as many are switching to pro-European parties as are going to pro-Brexit ones, according to a separate analysis of YouGov data.

This is not to say that Labour has been useless. Corbyn has twice whipped in favour of a People’s Vote – and he may well do so again.

But Theresa May has promised to set a date for her departure as prime minister; Boris Johnson is in pole position to succeed her; and this is likely to trigger a general election. Labour must not go into such a contest with a fudged position on Brexit.

All the more reason for pro-Europeans to deny Corbyn their votes on May 23. They should instead back one of the parties that unequivocally supports a People’s Vote – the Lib Dems, Greens or Change UK (or SNP in Scotland and Plaid Cymru in Wales).

Edited by Jenny Sterne

8 Responses to “Great that Lib Dems and Greens are gaining votes from Labour”

  • I agree Farage is given far too much TV time. He seems to me to be another manipulative narcissist, truly a demagogue, and a friend of the American one. He is dangerous.

  • In all seriousness, why do people think NF is the bees knees ? He’s a proven liar and scoundrel (to use an old word but apt, nonetheless). Can’t they see what a charlatan he is ?? I truly despair of the electorate.

  • Except that could result in the Brexit party getting the most votes and hence the seats. This is an election to send our representatives to Brussels, not a second referendum.

  • “Corbyn has fudged his Brexit policy because he hopes to appeal to both Remain and Leave voters”.

    I don’t agree. The real reason is that Corbyn is a Eurosceptic – always was and always will be. Corbyn doesn’t actually care what his MP’s and voters think, doesn’t even care that much about losing votes, because he is ideologically driven

  • Absolutely vital that the explicitly pro Europe parties maximise their vote share. (I’ve already voted for one, albeit my postal vote has cost me €3,70).
    Firstly, the other parties, especially Labour, must get the message that sitting on the fence is going to cost them big time, and they must also realise the votes have not gone to other pro Brexit parties.
    Secondly, the EU needs to get a strong message that there is a very large body of support for Remain.

  • Alex Wilson:
    I completely agree with what you write. From what you write I take it you live in continental Europe (or Ireland).

    If so, did you have to send your voting papers back to the UK? I’m asking because as a Dutchman in the UK I wanted to be sure to be able to vote, so I decided to vote in my native country, rather than let it depend on maybe-yes-maybe-no votes in the UK, and as is the case with all my Dutch votes, I can simply send my voting papers to the Dutch Embassy in London. Cost: 1 first class stamp. Much better deal than € 3.70.

    Oh, and the franchise doesn’t get taken away after 15 years abroad either. So it would seem here are two issues the UK might learn something about from abroad. Amongst many many more, but let’s not be churlish at this point.

  • @ Meulendijk
    Groetjes. For me its all about making a strong statement about Brexit, so I saw it as fairly pointless voting for non British candidates. There will be some expats who decide to vote in their adopoted country, but this may be the last chance they would have had to influence their status. Brexit will hit us as hard as any other group. Will cause all sorts of complications and extra costs. Despite the official line from the PM and ministers that citizens rights are a priority. They are now trying to pretend that the rights of UK expats are entirely in the hands of EU governments, which in the case of UK pensions and reciprocal healthcare is just untrue.