Labour 'may lead government in next election' predicts Harrop
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General Secretary of the Fabian Society Andrew Harrop spoke with Express.co.uk about the calls for a “progressive alliance” where left-leaning parties would essentially create a coalition to maximise their success in future general elections in order to oust the Conservatives. The option has been proposed by several prominent Labour figures including former Scottish advisor Andrew Liddle and Labour MP Clive Lewis. Mr Harrop believed it was likely for Labour to explore the option as he believes there will be a hung parliament in the next general election but explained to Express.co.uk about the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal.
The issue of the progressive alliance has split many politicians with the Liberal Democrats rejecting the call as leader Sir Ed Davey believes his party could win a general election without it.
His words came shortly after the Lib Dem’s by-election victory in Amersham where Sir Ed said it was the beginning of the “blue wall” to come crashing down.
The progressive alliance has been proposed as a way to remove the Conservatives from power as left-wing political parties could organise to maximise their election success by not campaigning in certain areas or by not doing things that could split the vote in swing seats.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Harrop explained how the progressive alliance could pan out and what the response to the team-up could be like.
He explained: “So if you look at the numbers today, it’s clear that it’s a very big stretch for the Labour Party to win an outright majority on its own at the next election.
“It’s not impossible but Labour would need to gain over 120 seats in one go.
“So thinking about the outcome of the next election it’s quite possible that there could be another hung parliament with no one party with the majority.
“And a lot of the parties at the centre and left opposed to the Conservatives wanting to work together even if the Labour Party wasn’t the sort of clear winner of an election.
“But there might be a group of parties that come together and say we’re sick of 13-14 years of a Conservative government and we will work together to install a Labour-led government, not a Labour government.
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“I think that’s very likely.
“There’s a different question though about whether parties will formally work together before the next election and I think there are strengths and weaknesses to that proposal.
“You can see the sort cleverness of parties standing aside in one place to allow another just to win elsewhere.
“But actually sometimes the voters react against that and they don’t want to lose their sense of choice.
“So I think it’s easier said than done and, particularly, there’s a risk that if Labour were to do that it could be turned against them by the Conservatives who are saying they are trying to stitch this up and do a deal.”
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Despite believing a progressive alliance could be on the cards, Mr Harrop rejected calls to team up with the SNP as he feared the issue of independence should not be a deal-breaker for an alliance.
Both Labour and the Conservatives have taken a unionist stance with former Labour advisor Andrew Liddle calling for a Scottish progressive alliance to oust the SNP and calls for independence.
In an interview with ITV’s Robert Peston, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer did not rule out the progressive alliance and said the “majority” of the UK was against the Conservatives.
He claims, due to the voting system, that many of the electorates are ignored as the Conservatives can be voted in on a relatively small majority.
The arguments for the progressive alliance suggest if the Greens, Liberal Democrats and Labour were to team up then collectively they would have a larger mandate to rule than the Conservatives because of their combined vote share.
The next UK general election will be held in May 2024 by the latest with Politico’s poll of polls putting Conservatives at 41 percent and Labour at 34 percent.
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