Election 2017: New centre-left alternative could emerge after Tory landslide, claims Sir Vince Cable

Sir Vince suggests an alternative 'unifying voice' could emerge for 'vast numbers' of voters with centre-left, pro-business views who can't find a party they align with

May Bulman@maybulman
Tuesday 16 May 2017 14:46
New centre-left alternative could emerge after Tory landslide, claims Sir Vince Cable

A new centre left alternative to the main political parties could emerge in the event of a Conservative landslide at the general election, leading Liberal Democrat Sir Vince Cable has suggested.

The former Business Secretary told The Independent said there was a lack of a “unifying voice” for “vast numbers” of voters who have centre-left, pro-business views and also believe in social justice.

“There are vast numbers of people in the country who I think want that kind of politics, but don’t find it and don’t know how to get to it at the moment," he said, "The Lib Dems are trying to provide that, but we’ll have to see after the election what the relative strength of the force is.”

Sir Vince, who is hoping to regain his former seat in the west London constituency of Twickenham, added that there were likely to be thousands or "perhaps millions" of people in this position, who are struggling to find a party that holds their views.

In a separate interview with the BBC, he said that after the 8 June election, there would be “serious conversations” about the direction of British politics.

Many Labour people were just waiting "to get this election out of the way”, he said.

He added: “I think frankly then you will have a lot of bloodletting because it's clear that Jeremy Corbyn is not going to win, he's going to be trounced."

His own party had "hung in there", recovered and established a base, he said.

But after the election, he said "there will be serious conversations about where British politics goes and how you create an alternative to the Conservatives which is centrist, centre left, pro-business, practical offering an alternative to what is potentially a very damaging form of Conservatism."

He added: "The point that really strikes me is that the vast majority, thousands, millions perhaps, of people who are moderate, who do believe in those quintessential British values, who represent what is the centre of gravity of our country, by the way, where elections are won, now don't find any party that they want to put their voice behind.

“Now I would recommend them to vote Lib Dem but in their constituency that may not work to achieve whatever else they want to achieve.”

Sir Vince's comments came after he voiced support for grassroots movements towards progressive alliances to unseat Conservative MPs.

Already, 31 such alliances have been agreed across the country.

The Green Party has stood down in 29 for Labour, the Lib Dems and the Women's Equality Party, while the Lib Dems have chosen not to field a candidate in Brighton Pavillion and Skipton and Ripon — to the boost chances for the Greens.

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