As one could have predicted, the squeeze is on. The Brexit party is seeing their poll numbers decrease, with a corresponding increase in the Tory polling numbers, while a lot of people saying they would vote Lib Dem are thinking they are going to vote Labour again because that’s how these things work. The Lib Dems are now polling around 15-16-17%; they need to get back up in the twenties again, quickly, or this election is going to get away from them.
The Lib Dems need to get more people who voted Tory in 2015 and 2017 to vote Lib Dem this time round. They also need to convince this cohort to vote Lib Dem without alienating Labour switchers. Thankfully, there are straightforward ways to do this – I’ve put them into two main points below.
- Attack Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal. This is possibly the single most important thing the Lib Dems need to get across in the entire election campaign. I’ll say it again: attacking Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal is possibly the single most important thing the Lib Dems need to get across in the entire election campaign. Here’s how they need to do it: the deal, if passed by parliament, would mean that we pay 39 billion pounds for nothing. Say it again: 39 billion pounds for nothing. We don’t get a new trade deal out of that, we just get to try and negotiate a new trade deal with the EU. 39 billion pounds for nothing. The government has said that it won’t extend the transition period past the end of 2020. They are either lying about this or telling the truth. If they are lying, we will almost certainly be in transition for eight to ten more years. Imagine: Brexit going on for eight to ten more years. If they are lying, then we will leave with no deal at the end of 2020. So: a vote for the Conservatives is a vote for either Brexit to go for another decade or a no deal crash out in a year’s time.
- The Lib Dems aren’t going to raise your taxes, don’t worry. We will be able to fund our spending commitments through the “No Brexit dividend”. Once Article 50 has been revoked and we are clearly staying in the EU, foreign investment will flood back to the UK. The only thing weakening the economy at the moment is Brexit uncertainty – which will go on with the Tories in government whatever happens, as no deal hangs around as a possibility and the deal takes a decade to be agreed. The Tories are the ones who want to throw around taxpayers’ money with no plan for where it will come from. In the end, the Tories may be the ones who are forced to raise your taxes to pay for everything they have promised as well as to pay for Brexit.
To put this all into simple phrases: Boris’ deal means we pay 39 billion pounds for nothing. Under the deal we will either leave with no deal at the end of 2020 or we will be in negotiations for the next decade, meaning Brexit won’t end for a decade. This uncertainty is hurting the British economy. The Lib Dems will end this uncertainty and use the resulting upsurge in the economy to fund our public services. The Tories are the ones who are making unsustainable public spending promises that will need to be paid for through your taxes eventually. They need you to pay for Brexit – the Lib Dems will take this off your plate.
These are just my ideas on the subject. Whether the Lib Dems want to use this stuff or not, they still need some way to attack the Tories and they need to start doing it quickly. And I don’t see any way that that’s possible other than attacking the Brexit deal and having something to say on the tax issue.