Will a Remain Alliance work?

Lib Dems, Green Party or Plaid Cymru unite in election pact

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General election 2019: will a Remain alliance work?

By Daniel J. McLaughlin

The Lib Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party have joined together in a pro-Remain election pact.

The Remain alliance - known as Unite to Remain - will see the three parties step aside for each other in 60 seats - 49 in England and 11 in Wales.

One MP said it will "tip the balance of power away" from the Tories and Labour.

However, a polling guru predicts that its impact will be "inevitably limited".

The Claim

Heidi Allen, the former Tory MP who moved to the Lib Dems, said that the pact is "unprecedented in modern British political history".

She said: "With a single remain candidate in 60 seats we will return a greater number of remain MPs to parliament.

"This is our opportunity to tip the balance of power away from the two largest parties and into a progressive remain alliance."

Allen, who is standing down from the Commons in December, told Sky News' Adam Boulton that this is not an ordinary general election - it's about Brexit.

She said: "Remain voters out there will want to know that their vote counts. And by doing this, we stand an extremely high chance of all these seats being returned for these three parties."

The Counterclaim

Sir John Curtice told BBC News that a Remain alliance would be "small" and "limited".

The polling guru predicts that it would only threaten around half a dozen Tory seats.

He said: "So far as alliances are concerned, notice that the one party that is not part of these discussions is the Labour Party, which is the biggest party on the Remain side.

"So the extent to which an alliance between these three groups and indeed some independent Conservatives such as Dominic Grieve can have an impact is inevitably limited."

The politics professor said that the Lib Dems, the Greens and Plaid Cymru are "three relatively small parties" and says there are around half a dozen seats where there is "some realistic prospect where an alliance of the kind we're talking about might make a difference".

He added: "Bearing in mind, by the way, that in quite a few of these seats where the Liberal Democrats are hopeful, the Green still did not fight actually two years ago."

The Facts

According to the Independent, out of the 60 target seats, not one would have "delivered a different result at the last election in 2017 if the Lib Dems, Greens and Welsh Nationalists had fielded a single candidate".

In the 2017 general election, these three Remain parties only mustered eight per cent of the vote between them.

The i reports that even in the most optimistic projections for the December election, only 44 out of the 60 seats would be "competitive".

The Lib Dems would benefit the most, while Plaid Cymru will likely "pick up no more than one or two extra MPs and the Greens facing an uphill battle in every seat except the one they already hold".

The UK in a Changing Europe examines the Best for Britain’s MRP constituency poll - which puts the Lib Dems on 18 per cent and the Greens on six per cent nationally.

Without a Remain Alliance, the Lib Dems would win 19 seats.

With a Remain Alliance - if the "entire predicted vote share for the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru moved en masse to the Liberal Democrats" - they could pick up a further 11 seats from the Tories - building their total to 30 MPs.

The general election will be held on December 12.

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