Election round-up: pacts, pacts, pacts and a fish finger encore

Electoral pacts, part 1

Despite the evidence from the past that formal electoral pacts are not the most effective way to defeat a common opponent, the Greens, following the local election pact in Broxtowe, are now looking for something bigger:

Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas is calling on Labour and the Liberal Democrats to co-operate with the Green Party in key seats to defeat the Conservatives.

Electoral pacts, part 2

Paddy Ashdown is a fan:

Electoral pacts, part 3

Surrey Labour party could vote to back a Liberal Democrat candidate next week to try to unseat the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, defying the national party which has said it will not entertain any “progressive alliance”.

The Conservative minister has a majority of more than 28,000 in his South West Surrey constituency but local Labour leaders have been canvassing support for a progressive deal with local Greens and Lib Dems over the past 18 months, with 200 people attending a meeting in Godalming on Thursday night to back the idea. [The Guardian]

Electoral pacts, part 4

Not only is the past evidence against electoral pacts being the best way forward, so too is current polling:

A progressive alliance could get good support among left-of-centre voters but would likely pile up votes where they are not needed…

YouGov analysis among voters in England suggests that while there is a high level of transferability within the “progressive” pool, ultimately the pact would have a hard time securing electoral success. This is because the most enthusiastic supporters of a progressive alliance would add votes where they were least needed to elect left-of-centre MPs.

More effective than talk of pacts will be tactical voting, especially when fuelled by initiatives such as Gina Miller’s huge crowdfunding campaign.

Islington South PPC stands down

Terry Stacy, the Liberal Democrat prospective candidate in Islington South, has stood down and been replaced by Alain Desmier:

Having discussed this at length with my husband, Paul, I have decided to step down from this role due to extensive work and family commitments. This election has been called at the worst time for me.

Alain Desmier has said:

My political drive is inherited. My grandfather left India in 1955, bringing his wife and eight children to London, searching for a better life. The role of immigration, racial diversity and a world without prejudice is central to who I am and what I want from my local community.

Two French names reflect my family’s internationalism and I feel our country’s commitment to international tolerance is being challenged. Islington South is being failed by an MP putting the interests of her party ahead of the interests of her constituents.

He is up against Emily Thornberry, she of the notorious Brexit interview:

Lib Dems gain 8,000 members in 48 hours

Liberal Democrat membership keeps on growing, hitting yet another record high for this century. The increase in members is the fastest rise of new membership in the party’s history and takes the total to over 95,000.

President of the Liberal Democrats Sal Brinton said: “People are flocking to the Liberal Democrats as we are the only party who are offering effective opposition to this Conservative Brexit government. Theresa May: we have the troops for this fight and they are raring to go.”

Fish finger update

Tim Farron is not fazed by the fish finger challenge. In fighting talk, he’s told the media he is more of a chips and mushy peas man.

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