I have heard that the local Conservative branches have started their selection process based on the current Parliamentary boundaries - that must speak volumes if true.
If you are a particularly diligent stalker of mine (a) hello! and (b) you may be wondering why I’ve not covered the Financial Times‘s story about how the Liberal Democrats might back the Parliamentary boundary changes after all, in return for the introduction of party funding reforms.
I’ve not covered it for a simple reason: it ain’t going to happen. In fairness to the FT (and I mean that genuinely, as their Lib Dem stories are usually pretty well sourced*), this seems more to be a case of bizarre Conservative wishful thinking. Had some sort of deal involving party funding been offered months and months ago there might have been something the Liberal Democrats could have been enticed to offer in return. To think now that such a deal would work or be accepted shows the same sort of poor judgement which led many Conservatives to think they could sink Lords reform without any consequences.
* It is fun matching up the gaps between well-sourced stories with when various people are on holiday to figure out who the sources most likely are…