The Remain Alliance. How worried should Brexiteers be?
The remain alliance of the Lib Dems, Greens and Plaid Cymru (plus the odd independent) have chosen 60 seats to stand down candidates who will split the remain vote, such that there will only be one remain candidate from these parties standing. So does that mean there are 60 seats that are potentially winnable now for Remain? No.
I make it that in 10 seats it could result in a Brexit loss. To be clear, this is a seat that might have been Tory/Brexit which may no longer be. So either a Tory seat is now materially more likely to be lost to remain, or a Tory/Brexit target is now out of reach. That’s not to say the Lib Dems can only win 10 seats – it’s 10 seats where the difference has been caused by the Remain Alliance. For example, the Conservatives are in grave trouble in Richmond Park from the Lib Dems – but this isn’t in any material sense because of the Remain Alliance.
The impact of the Green vote is either gauged from the MRP analysis by Best for Britain or from their previous standing. So it could be there is a Green Party impact even where they didn’t stand in 2017.
There are some head-scratchers like Tunbridge Wells – I’m not sure what the purpose of the Remain Alliance is here – there’s no prospect whatsoever of the Lib Dems gaining Tunbridge Wells. Indeed, in 50 of the 60 seats I don’t see that it will make a significant difference to Brexit.
Anyway, these are the seats in question. In none of these seats has the Brexit tactical voting advice changed. In all these seats Brexiteers should all vote Conservative.
Brecon and Radnorshire
Difficult to predict, should be Tory but in theory the Remain Alliance could have enough to retain the seat for the Lib Dems. The Tories rely on BXP voters for which there is no guarantee given recent history!
Major challenge from the Remain Alliance in the shape of the Lib Dems. It was a remain area – quite possible that this seat will be lost to remain. A Brexit Party campaign of any kind and it would probably be curtains for the Conservatives.
Tories should hold off Remain challenge, but Brexit Party votes would guarantee it.
Chelsea and Fulham
Could be quite close here. Tories might just hold off Remain challenge - Brexit Party votes needed to hold on.
Tories in trouble in Cheltenham – without Brexit Party votes this could be a loss.
Oxford West and Abingdon and Westmorland and Lonsdale
Both Liberal Democrat seats and Tory targets 14 and 15. In theory, winnable seats for the Tories, but Lib Dems will probably hold off the Tory challenge in both seats. The Greens didn’t stand in 2017 anyway, so the Remain “Alliance” impact is not a huge factor.
Potential Lib Dem gain, but the Tories should hold off the Remain challenge. Brexit Party voters would be handy!
Hitchin and Harpenden
Again, the Tories really should be able to hold off any challenge from the Lib Dems/Remain Alliance here, but won’t be a given without Brexit Party votes.
Conservative target number 41 – looks impossible against Remain Alliance without the full support of the Brexit Party.
Labour seat, Tory target number 28. Tories will struggle to win without Brexit Party support. Remain Alliance means this seat could go one of three ways.
Wells and Winchester
Both Tory seats which should, in theory at least, be safe from the Lib Dems. As with the other seats, the Remain Alliance will improve the remain chances, but not by quite enough here.
Everywhere else I don’t see that the Remain Alliance will make any difference to the election outcome. If the election is very close these seats could be the difference, so follow the analysis and Vote Conservative in all of them!
During the analysis I did look at Ynys Môn which looks interesting. Labour are defending a 5259 majority. The Tories and Plaid Cymru are neck and neck in 2nd and 3rd. There’s not much of a Green or Lib Dem presence here, so whilst it is a Remain Alliance seat, I don’t see that the alliance itself will have much of an impact. Best for Britain’s MRP has this currently as a dead heat between Labour, Tories and Plaid Cymru. Based on this, I’ve promoted this seat in the analysis to a key "Must Vote Tory" Conservative target. Conservative target number 89, but might be closer than that.
In other news, given that Dominic Grieve is standing as an independent, the safe Tory seat of Beaconsfield has also been promoted in the analysis to a “Must Vote Tory” seat. If you want to keep Dominic Grieve out, Vote Conservative.
As ever, comments welcome.