Now that the UK taking part in this year’s European Parliament elections in late May is looking rather more likely, it raises an interesting challenge for The Independent Group.
The party-in-formation (possibly name Progressive People’s Party?) had previously said it wouldn’t be contesting elections for the next few months. Many Liberal Democrats thought ‘thank you’ in response to that, giving as it does the Lib Dems the opportunity through weekly council by-elections, the May local elections and possible Parliamentary by-elections the chance to strengthen the Lib Dem hand in future talks with TIG.
Now, the chance of European Parliament elections in just nine weeks offers the Liberal Democrats a further and vital opportunity to establish ourselves as a credible, growing Remain party which TIG can’t steamroller.
As for TIG, sitting out elections on the dominant political issue – and one key to its formation – would be odd. But finding enough candidates to fight the election credibly, let alone some money and organisation, is a tall order.
It’ll be rather ironic if, having been central to TIG’s creation, Europe now ends up tripping it up.
UPDATE: It looks like TIG is going to go for it.