British politics will undergo a “significant realignment” after the EU referendum which could see the Liberal Democrats follow the example of their Canadian cousins to mount a serious challenge to be the main party of government within the next decade, the party leader, Tim Farron, has said.
As he hailed the “quiet rise” of the Lib Dems after their devastating losses in last year’s general election when they won only eight seats, Farron said his party could become a major force at the 2025 general election as a “meeting place” for pro-EU liberals from Labour and the Conservative parties after the referendum. [The Guardian]
‘When do you think you’ll be in power?’ has a touch of the ‘when did you stop beating your wife?’ when it comes to leaders of political parties out of power in that whatever they say, some people will object to the answer.
However, Tim Farron’s reasoning has more sense than many answers to these type of questions because the combination of Europe and Jeremy Corbyn means both Tories and Labour face huge threats to their future unity and success.
Will both major parties fail significantly? Probably not, but conversely there are pretty good odds at least one of them will. That opens up a huge opportunity for the Liberal Democrats:
Farron hopes that his strong stance on touchstone liberal issues such as the snooper’s charter shows that the Lib Dems could provide a welcome refuge for like-minded Labour and Tory politicians who may feel alienated by their parties after the referendum…
“There are always finite resources in terms of time and attention as well as money, but every hour spent on looking at what people are shopping for on Amazon is time not spent tracking people who are a genuine threat to our security,” he said. “If you are looking for a needle in a haystack, don’t triple the size of the haystack. We hope the bill will be gutted and will come back as a proportionate and effective response to the terrorist threat … It undermines our ability to catch people who are a genuine threat to our country because we will be permitting the security forces, services, to look at data that in reality is of little interest.”