Economist Endorses LibDems in Epic Brexit Whinge

The Economist prides itself it being “not read by millions” and true to form they have endorsed the party on 7% in the polls. Their backing for the LibDems is a hugely enjoyable Brexit whinge:

“No party passes with flying colours. But the closest is the Liberal Democrats. Brexit is the main task of the next government and they want membership of the single market and free movement. (Their second referendum would probably come to nothing, as most voters are reconciled to leaving the EU.) They are more honest than the Tories about the need to raise taxes for public services; and more sensible than Labour… against a backward-looking Labour Party and an inward-looking Tory party about to compound its historic mistake over Brexit, they get our vote.

Backing the open, free-market centre is not just directed towards this election. We know that this year the Lib Dems are going nowhere. But the whirlwind unleashed by Brexit is unpredictable. Labour has been on the brink of breaking up since Mr Corbyn took over. If Mrs May polls badly or messes up Brexit, the Tories may split, too. Many moderate Conservative and Labour MPs could join a new liberal centre party—just as parts of the left and right have recently in France. So consider a vote for the Lib Dems as a down-payment for the future. Our hope is that they become one element of a party of the radical centre, essential for a thriving, prosperous Britain.”

The FT managed to stay reality-based, the Economist not so much. Bit sad what they have become, really.

LibDem Candidate in 64% Leave Seat: All Brexiters Are F**kwits

This is what you might call a bold election strategy. Former LibDem MP Stephen Gilbert is running again in St Austell and Newquay, a very Brexity seat which voted 64% to leave the EU. A tough seat for a Remainer to win back. Made even tougher by Gilbert’s brave decision to call all Leave voters “f**kwits“.

From Greece, naturally…

LibDem Candidates Loving EU

Two LibDem candidates are taking the whole Remainiac thing a bit far. Hugh Annand, their candidate in Hitchin and Harpenden, is living the LibDem dream by declaring an address in Belgium. He works for the Commission in Brussels, natch. 

Meanwhile Anthony Sycamore, standing in Stockton North, is a musician living in France:

On the doorstep via Skype?

H/T @georgiecalle, @hannachronism

Labour and Greens ‘Lending’ Votes to LibDems

The Progressive Alliance has been spotted at work in Oxford: these two posters show Labour and Green supporters ‘lending’ their votes to the LibDems. They were spotted in Oxford West, where the Tory candidate Nicola Blackwood is facing concerted efforts from Corbynistas and Greens to help her LibDem opponent.

Even more cringe than those placards in Richmond

Another Lying LibDem Leaflet

What is it with the LibDems and telling straight lies on their leaflets? The above was delivered in Hornsey and Wood Green over the weekend, quoting an article in The Times as saying “Only the Lib Dems can stop a hard Brexit”A quick Google reveals this piece was not written by a Times journalist, but instead by the Lib Dem candidate for Manchester Gorton Jackie Pearcey. This leaflet is carrying a straight untruth: these words are from a LibDem candidate and the LibDems are falsely attributing them to the Times. You just can’t trust those lyin’ LibDems…

H/T @philhornbyitv

LibDem Transgender Uproar Over Theresa Farage Poster

Transgender LibDem members have protested to party HQ over their new poster featuring Nigel Farage photoshopped as Theresa May. There was an outpouring of uproar among the LibDem trans community when the poster depicting Farage with the PM’s hair, clothes and pearl necklace was released last week. One member complained:

“I have seen a lot of discussion from other trans LD members and other trans folk in general expressing disquiet, and a marked increase in reluctance to vote LD because of this sh*t… please rest assured that the number of trans folk I’ve spoken to — both members and not — who are deeply exhausted and tired and hurt is a damn sight greater than four.”

A second member added:

“Sometimes I’m really ashamed of this party. Are some of your best friends trans too?”

And another said:

“There’s all sorts of “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” lines you could be going for that aren’t ‘hahahahaha it’s a man in a dress’.”

A LibDem source confirmed “mild concerns” have been aired. God forbid anyone asks what Farron thinks…

UPDATE: The chair of LGBT LibDems Jennie Rigg says:

“This is bordering on transphobia, and it would make my job as chair a lot easier of you didn’t do this sort of thing.”

Sarah Olney’s Leafleting Lie

When a candidate knocks on your door and you aren’t in, they often stick an “I called to see you today” leaflet through your letterbox to show they made the effort. In Richmond Park however, LibDem Sarah Olney is being very naughty. A local co-conspirator reports that LibDem activists have been putting the above flyer through people’s doors without knocking and without Olney being present. (And she shouldn’t be calling herself ‘MP’ either.) One Richmond resident says:

“This was delivered at around 14.00 on Saturday… It states – ‘I knocked on your door today to see if there were any issues or concerns etc…’This is a lie. I was working in the front room throughout the morning and had a continuous view of the approach area (A ground floor maisonette). The document was delivered by a youth with a backpack full of this material. He was entirely alone, no knock, no Sarah Olney.”

He is not the first Richmond resident to tell Guido that Olney hasn’t been seen during the election campaign. The invisible MP…

LibDem Arch-Remainer Rewrites History

Former Tory MEP and arch-Remainer Edward McMillan-Scott, now standing as a LibDem candidate in West Worcestershire, has sent this letter to voters across the country explaining how he came to swap parties. He writes:

“I first joined the Conservative Party in 1967. I held many different positions within the party – including group leader in the European Parliament. I played a leading role in shaping several election manifestos. But I protested when David Cameron split from Europe’s mainstream political group, and I joined the Liberal Democrats.”

Well, sort of.

McMillan-Scott was indeed group leader in the European Parliament and did indeed protest when Cameron took Tory MEPs out of the EPP in 2009. But he neglects to mention the consequence of that protest: he had the whip withdrawn and was subsequently expelled from the Conservative Party. He begged to be let back in, launching an appeal and canvassing constituents for support, before lining up lawyers for a hearing. He was advised that he had no chance of winning. Only then did he turn to the LibDems. He’d still be a Tory if they’d have had him…

LibDem Collapse Explained

Why are the LibDems doing so badly? Their “pitch to the 48%” relied on Remain voters holding firm and looking for a party pledging to reverse the referendum result. Farron’s problem, as this Ipsos Mori focus group of Remainers shows, is that the bulk of Remain voters are not ‘Hard Remainers’. They just want to get on with Brexit…

“I don’t want a second referendum.”

“I think it’s just a waste of time and money and energy.”

“I’d agree. It’s a waste of time and effort and money.”

“You may cause, actually, more division and uproar within the society. It’s done. The majority of us who voted for Remain have accepted it and we just want to get on with it now.”

A strategic error that could have dire consequences for the LibDems on June 8…

74% Chance Clive Lewis Will Lose His Seat

Clive Lewis is set to crash out of parliament on June 8, according to analysis by the respected academic Dr Chris Hanretty. His look at constituencies in the East of England for the University of East Anglia says the probability of Lewis holding his seat is just 26%, with a 74% likelihood that the Tories will gain Norwich South. Guido has previously reported how Lewis put his embryonic leadership bid on hold as he battles to save his job.

The Hanretty model also says there is a 100% probability that LibDem Norman Lamb will lose his North Norfolk seat to the Tories. A Lamb to the slaughter, if you will. Reminder that the LibDems might end up losing seats…

Cable Does a Diane

Vince Cable tells Susanna Reid the LibDems’ new public sector pay policy will affect 1 million workers, then 2 million workers, then 5.4 million. Vince has just been given the grand title of LibDem Treasury spokesman, so he has no excuse…

Progressive Alliance Map of Chaos

Clive Lewis, Vince Cable and the Green Party are launching the official “Progressive Alliance” tonight at an event with Paul Mason, Zoe Williams, someone from the Bernie Sanders campaign and the Spanish socialist group Podemos. They might be a roll call of cranks and MPs who’ll say and do anything to win their seats, but the Progressive Alliance has quietly agreed deals in at least 30 constituencies across the country. As you can see from Guido’s Map of Chaos, the Greens, LibDems and Labour are standing aside for each other all over the place.

Greens backing Labour: Copeland, Brentford and Isleworth, Eltham, Warrington South, Southampton Test, Ealing Central and Acton, Hastings and Rye, Ilford North, Oldham East and Saddleworth, Pudsey, York Central, Derby North, Carlisle, Workington,

LibDems backing Labour: Bury North (and secretly in Ealing)

Greens backing LibDems: Richmond Park, Twickenham, North Kingston, Brighton Kemptown, Lewes, Westmorland and Lonsdale, South West Surrey, Oxford West and Abingdon, Southport, Harrogate and Knaresborough, North Cornwall, St Austell and Newquay, St Ives

LibDems backing Greens: Brighton Pavilion, Skipton

Seems to Guido that the Greens are getting a pretty bad deal here. In exchange for helping Labour and the LibDems across the country, they are being helped in just two seats – and only one that they have a hope of winning. Naivety or selfishness from Caroline Lucas?

LibDems: Vote Tory, Get Corbyn

This has to be the most fantastically absurd leaflet of the election campaign. The LibDems are claiming that voting Tory could put Jeremy Corbyn into Number 10 and that only voting LibDem can stop Labour winning. Not sure what they’ve been smoking. Farron himself has said the Tories are going to win and the LibDems have been secretly telling their supporters to vote Labour in some seats. Gotta admire the chutzpah…

Speaking of unfortunate leaflets, here is one from Labour MP Roger Godsiff, who probably needs a better campaign slogan:

Who is Guido to disagree…

Plaid Cymru Could Be About to Turf Bryant Out

Over at Paddy Power’s Blog Guido is speculating on Chris Bryant’s troubles. Plaid Cymru is insurgent in the Rhondda, in the local elections in his constituency Labour lost six seats, taking their count from 15 to 9 councillors. Plaid surged from 7 seats to a total of 14 councillors.Even more worrying for Bryant the share of the votes cast for Plaid went from 39.9% in 2012 to 47.9% last week. Labour’s share plunged 12% from 54.9% in 2012 to 42.5% last week. That’s not a poll – which are bad enough for Labour in Wales with them trailing the Tories – that’s real votes cast. Read the full argument, make your own mind up…

Electoral Commission Say Green-LibDem Bung is Matter For Police

Caroline Lucas has admitted for the first time that the Green Party WAS offered a £250,000 inducement to stand aside for the LibDems in the Richmond by-election. The Electoral Commission tell Guido that offering such a bung is a criminal offence and that this is a matter for the police…

With regards to any allegations about donations offered as an inducement to stand down candidates, it is a matter for the Metropolitan Police to investigate whether an offence has taken place and ascertain which laws may have been broken.

Section 107 of the Representation of the People Act includes an offence of “Corrupt withdrawal from candidature”. The offence is a matter for the police to investigate, and any related complaints must be raised with the police (and not with the Electoral Commission).

Lucas told the Daily Politics the offer was not accepted – even though the Greens did stand aside – and farcically claimed she “can’t remember the name” of the person who offered the bung: “I’ve forgotten the man’s name for the purposes of this debate”. Lucas said at the end of the interview that she would reveal the name when she could remember it, though the Green Party is now refusing to do so. The Greens have to release the name, otherwise they are covering up a criminal offence…

Farron: I’m a Fan of Caroline Lucas

Coalition of rubbish latest: Tim Farron explains how he’s pleased the LibDems are helping the Greens win Brighton because “I’m a fan of Caroline Lucas”. The LibDems are laughing at the Greens here. A LibDem candidate has stood aside in just one seat, that of Caroline Lucas, while in return the Greens are standing aside to help the LibDems in seats across the country. Pure naivety…

Bet Against the LibDems

Over at Paddy Power’s blog Guido is betting that the LibDems won’t double their seats in parliament from 8 MPs to 16 MPs. Read the argument, make the bet, wear diamonds…

Labour-LibDem Alliance in Richmond

These placards have been going up outside homes in Richmond Park over the last few days. After Sarah Olney told LibDems to vote Labour in some seats to defeat the Tories, now Labour supporters in Richmond are voting Olney to fight Zac. Coalition of rubbish…

Voter Tells Farron Sturgeon Needs “Kick Up the Arse”

Farron not giving up on his policy of meeting the voters…

Cable and Olney Recorded Secretly Plotting to Help Labour

Publicly the LibDems are telling voters they cannot work with Labour because Jeremy Corbyn is “toxic“. This bombshell tape from LBC and Sky News exposes that fib for what it is. Vince Cable and Sarah Olney have been recorded telling members they should collaborate with Labour – Olney says she wants Labour’s Rupa Huq to win in Ealing, meanwhile Vince Cable says the LibDems should be “tactical” to help Labour in some seats because, in the case of Huq, “on almost every issue our views were almost identical”. […] Read the rest

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Alan Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

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