Letter: Way forward is to stand back

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The Independent Online
IVOR CREWE ('Tories could be trounced without Lib-Lab pacts', 9 May) suggests that the number of seats likely to be gained by the Liberal Democrats if Labour stepped down in selected Conservative-held seats would be small - up to 11.

However, under the present parliament, 11 seats would make the difference between a Conservative majority and a hung parliament. It might even make the difference between a Conservative government and a Labour government. The way forward for Labour is not through a pact but through a completely unilateral withdrawal of Labour candidates from selected Liberal Democrat targeted seats.

Labour would need to make it clear that it was acting purely in its own interest, not through any ideas of centre-left party realignment. The Liberal Democrats would continue to be seen as an independent opposition party.

Colin Crouch

Harrow Weald, Middlesex

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