Letter: Geographical bias

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The Independent Online
Sir: Ben Pimlott's cosy view of the possibilities of a closer relationship between Liberal Democrats and Labour ('If not a pact, why not a pow- wow?', 11 May) seems to be based on a false, and largely south of England, view of the political landscape.

In many of our major cities, Liberal Democrats are the opposition to Labour: the Conservative vote has evaporated. In Manchester electors have already demonstrated twice this year that far from needing a PhD to tell the two parties apart, as Mr Pimlott thinks, they perfectly well knew the diference between them - and in council by-elections convincingly ejected Labour in favour of Liberal Democrats. (Incidentally, the Conservative vote failed to reach triple figures on either occasion).

The story is the same in Liverpool and Sheffield.

Labour has nothing to offer the northern cities but the same dull mash of corporatism and complacency: looking at the political map from this end of the country, a deal - however informal - would be

inconceivable.

Yours faithfully,

DAVID THAME

Secretary

Manchester Gorton Constituency

Liberal Democrats

Manchester

11 May

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