Labour and Liberal Democrats planning ‘non-aggression’ pact targeting Plaid Cymru and Tory seats
Labour and the Liberal Democrats are planning to form a “non-aggression pact” targeting Plaid Cymru, SNP and Tory seats at the next General Election.
The Labour party will run a ‘minimal campaign’ in 30 Lib Dem target seats such as Ceredigion and Brecon and Radnorshire to increase the chance of having enough combined seats to win power in a hung parliament.
The parties are also considering working together as part of a confidence and supply deal in a potential hung parliament, sources have told the Financial Times.
Keir Starmer’s allies told the newspaper that the deal made sense as none of Labour’s top target seats features on the Lib Dems’ list of top 30 target seats.
“If both parties put resources into where they are most likely to win, you end up with more Labour seats and more Lib Dem seats,” they said.
Thinking forward to a potential hung parliament, they added: “We can’t be in a position like we were in 2010 when we barely knew each other.”
The Liberal Democrats last year won shock wins in the Chesham and Amersham and North Shropshire by-elections, leading to Conservative fears that they could topple the Conservative ‘Blue Wall’ in the south of England.
Meanwhile, Labour plan to focus on winning back the ‘Red Wall’ seats that stretch into the north-east of Wales.
“If Labour and the Liberal Democrats spend all their time and money trying to beat each other it’s really not good for progressive politics,” one Lib Dem strategist said.
“We need to fight in the areas where we can win and that is the overwhelming priority.”
The plan to target Ceredigion could ruffle a few feathers in Wales where Plaid Cymru and Labour have formed their own co-operation agreement at the Senedd.
The Liberal Democrats held Ceredigion until the 2017 election when they were narrowly beaten by Plaid Cymru’s Ben Lake. In 2019 however they fell back further, behind the Conservatives into third place.
Ceredigion is number 30 on their list of top target seats. Together the Lib Dems and Labour would have won 13,292 votes in the seats, still short of the15,208 won by Plaid Cymru, but more than the 8,879 won by the Conservatives.
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