Two groups of responses to the launch of the cross-party progressive political movement, More United, have particularly caught my eye.First, the warm response from group of people who would describe themselves mostly as centre-left, have voted Liberal Democrat on occasions in the past, especially when they have liked the Lib Dem candidate, but do not currently think of themselves as Lib Dem supporters. They generally did not vote Lib Dem in 2015 but are open to doing so again and they like More United. They are also a group of people for whom Lib Dems simply sitting on their hands other than to say, ‘well you should vote for us then’ doesn’t work. They are then, in some ways, the prize for the Lib Dems cooperating with More United.
Second, the group of party members who, quite understandably, have reacted with suspicion or nervousness, partly based on Paddy Ashdown’s own flirtations in the past with merger with Labour, and also most practically because More United will in some seats be supporting a non-Liberal Democrat candidate even though the Lib Dems usually also contest every seat in Britain aside from the Speaker’s.
So here’s the question: if you don’t like the More United approach to winning over the support of that former group of people in a way that a simple ‘well vote Lib Dem’ approach doesn’t currently appeal, what’s your alternative strategy? What’s the effective response to a tweet such as this one?
Politics is so uncertain at the moment, and political realignments of any form are usually so messy, that utter certainty about one true course to take is almost certainly misplaced. But whatever evolving course the party does take, that strategy question needs to constantly be at the heart of it. It needs to be constantly debated and considered.
So comment away…
UPDATE: The following resulting exchange on Twitter is particularly worth highlighting.