I am very much looking forward to voting in the European elections, more so than any other election I can remember. I suppose this is because this set of elections was snatched away from me as a result of the 2016 referendum, and now I get to have them back. When it became clear they were going to take place, I felt cautiously optimistic about how Remainer parties would do. A lot of that has deflated since because of the way the parties involved are going about things.
Change UK and the Lib Dems really need a pact for these elections. The broad outlines suggest themselves already: Change UK could do well in London as a pro-Remain party with no baggage (the Lib Dems do particularly horribly in London), while the Lib Dems are obviously better placed to run in the West Country, where they have history and a base. I don’t know, this doesn’t seem that difficult to me.
Without this pact, I worry about how well either party ends up doing. It looks from here like Labour will get the most votes, followed by the Brexit Party, followed by who the hell knows. The Tories will do poorly, but will make the excuse that they didn’t want them to happen and didn’t put any effort into the campaign. It can then be sold as a victory for Brexit, even though most Labour voters will be Remainers.
I don’t know, perhaps I’m being too bleak here. Maybe the six million signatures on the Revoke petition means there really are the numbers Remain parties need to get seats, even in spite of working against one another. But I fear a golden opportunity might be about to be squandered. Again, Remainers will be where they have been since June 2016: mostly counting on the Leavers to make unforced error after unforced error, which they have been gracious in delivering.