In the wake of the Lib Dems’ victory in last week’s Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, there’s been a lot of talk on the Remain side about the need for an electoral pact between the anti-Brexit parties. After all, the Lib Dem candidate only beat the Conservative incumbent by a margin of 1,425 votes, so wouldn’t have won if the Greens and Plaid Cymru hadn’t agreed to stand down.
On Saturday, the independent MP Heidi Allen wrote a piece for the Guardian, promoting her ‘Unite to Remain’ initiative, which aims to build a cross-party ‘Remain Alliance’ across the United Kingdom, and the Observer ran a story on its front page yesterday saying the People’s Vote campaign has drawn up a list of 100 marginals in which it will advise Remain supporters which anti-Brexit candidate to vote for, regardless of which party they belong to.
In light of these initiatives, some people on my side of the aisle, such as Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice, have argued for an electoral pact between the Conservatives and the Brexit Party. I’ve written before about why I think a formal pact along those lines is unlikely – and it’s been ruled out by both Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson – but that doesn’t mean an informal, grass-roots alliance isn’t worth trying. Something like what the People’s Vote campaign has in mind, except advising Brexit supporters which candidate to vote for in key marginals to secure our exit from the European Union, regardless of whether they belong to the Conservative Party, the Brexit Party or even the Labour Party. (To read more, click here.)