the lib dems are helping brexit. thread
when i complain about the lib dems, i'd like to make clear that i mean the party leadership, not the voters or the local-level campaigners, who i'm sure are mostly fine people who earnestly believe in cancelling brexit
the lib dem leadership, though, is absolutely not helping to stop brexit. whether by incompetence or malice, their actions are working towards making sure that brexit happens. as an ongoing example of this, let's look at canterbury
in 2017, labour took canterbury off the tories for the first time ever. pro-remain rosie duffield narrowly defeated the incumbent conservative sir julian brazier (mp since 1987!)
the election was incredibly tight, with duffield winning by only 187 votes (note that the lib dems got only 8% of the vote - miles behind either of the leading parties)
this election, the tories are running a hardcore brexiter, anna firth, against duffield in canterbury. so there is a very clear leave/remain split in the seat
problem: the lib dems also announced they were running a candidate in canterbury, tim walker, who is pro-remain. the fear is that the lib dems contesting the seat will split the remain vote with duffield, and hand the seat back to the tories
this led to some understandable responses
the lib dems have no chance of winning in canterbury. the better they do there, the higher the chance the seat flips back to a (pro-brexit) conservative. the sensible thing to do, as a party that is ostensibly anti-brexit, would be to not run a candidate in canterbury
and, to his credit, tim walker did eventually do the sensible thing and announced he would be stepping down, to let the pro-remain duffield have a clear shot at holding onto the seat
tim walker thankfully saw sense and declined to hand the seat back to the tories. so all is well, right? sadly, no - following walker's announcement that he would be stepping down, a lib dem spokesperson told the press that they would still be running a candidate in canterbury!
the problem, though, is that they need somebody willing to replace walker, and the local canterbury party is supporting his decision to stand down. whoever they run will be resented by the local-level lib dems. they'll have even less of a shot than walker
so what are the possible explanations, here? the first is that the lib dem leadership is delusional and truly believes that a last-minute outside candidate can oversee a 40-point swing & win the seat outright. i don't believe they can honestly think this is even remotely possible
the other explanation is that the lib dem leadership don't actually care about stopping brexit, and have merely adopted being anti-brexit as an election strategy. they will only stop brexit if they get all the credit, & will actively hinder efforts to prevent it by other means
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