The pro-EU party Renew has vowed to fold into Change UK. But will the Liberal Democrats do the same?

The European elections are a contest that CUK can’t afford to miss, so its MPs have had to accelerate the party’s development.

New(ish) centrist pro-European party Renew will fold itself into new centrist pro-European party(ish) Change UK, once the latter has completed its transition from a group into a fully-fledged political party, the two parties have announced.

The parliamentarians formerly known as TIG have had to complete their transition rather more quickly than they would have hoped. As with any new party, they are heavily reliant on media exposure and all things being equal, they would have been better off if they were able to announce their new name and branding over the summer holidays when there will be very little going on in Westminster. But the European elections are a contest that they can’t afford to miss, so they have had to accelerate their development.

The real prize at stake for the various explicitly pro-European parties in this contest isn’t victory – there are too many of them to do that and their non-Brexit aims and interests are too disparate for a tie-up. While the SNP and Plaid Cymru might work well with the Liberal Democrats, Greens and Change UK in parliament, they cannot plausibly cohere around any kind of joint ticket outside of it.

In addition, none of those groups are going to get the level of media oxygen and attention that Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is going to get.

But there’s a real prize on offer for Change UK: the relative positions of its party and the Liberal Democrats going into the inevitable talks about an alliance of some shape or form.

Change UK MPs used to talk very freely about the problems with the Liberal Democrats’ brand and the need for that party’s MPs to accept that the jig was …read more

Source:: New Statesman


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