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Sir Ed Davey hints at Lib Dem pact with Labour to oust Tories at next election 

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey hints at pact with Labour to oust Tories at the next election

  • Lib Dem leader’s comments could be interpreted as call for coalition with Labour
  • Polling suggested Boris Johnson would lose almost all key seats needed to win
  • Of the 88 battleground constituencies in the Red Wall, just three would stay Tory

The Liberal Democrats would work with other parties at the next election to form an alternative government, leader Sir Ed Davey said yesterday.

In comments that could be interpreted as a call for a coalition with the Labour Party, he proposed a parliament in which ‘different parties put their ideas together’.

He said an informal electoral pact with Labour was simply ‘rational behaviour’ and it made sense for both parties to put their resources where they had the best chance of winning.

It came as polling suggested Boris Johnson would lose almost all the key seats he needs to win at the next election to stay in power.

Of the 88 ‘battleground’ constituencies – those Red Wall seats the Tories won from Labour in 2019 or others with a slim majority – just three would remain Tory, according to YouGov.

In Wales, every Conservative battleground seat would be lost, while Mr Johnson’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat would fall into Labour hands.

Sir Ed Davey (pictured) said an informal electoral pact with Labour was simply ‘rational behaviour’ and it made sense for both parties to put their resources where they had the best chance of winning

Of the 88 'battleground' constituencies ¿ those Red Wall seats the Tories won from Labour in 2019 or others with a slim majority ¿ just three would remain Tory, according to YouGov. (Pictured: Sir Keir Starmer)

Of the 88 ‘battleground’ constituencies – those Red Wall seats the Tories won from Labour in 2019 or others with a slim majority – just three would remain Tory, according to YouGov. (Pictured: Sir Keir Starmer) 

The Prime Minister’s deputy chief of staff, David Canzini, has told 60 Tory Red Wall MPs to prepare for a general election in 2023, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Sir Ed, a minister in the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition of 2010-2015, told the Politics Home website yesterday that forming an alternative government with other parties could oust the Tories.

He said he wanted to replace the Tories with a ‘parliament where maybe different parties put their ideas together and we work for the national interest’.

The Lib Dem leader said it wasn’t necessary to strike a formal deal to make a meaningful change, adding: ‘You can exercise power and influence, in my experience, in a whole series of ways in Parliament. 

‘And if no party has an overall majority you can exercise influence in many, many ways.’

He said he wanted to win enough seats at an election to help build a Parliament to replace what he called an ‘indecent Government’.

Sir Ed said there had been no formal discussions with Labour about an election pact or a coalition, but he added that the ‘key thing for me’ at the next election was to ensure he had enough MPs to influence who is in No10.

However, he said he wouldn’t put a ceiling on his ambition given recent by-election successes in Chesham and North Shropshire, and a strong performance in May’s local elections.

He said: ‘The key thing for me is to make sure we have the numbers [of Lib Dem MPs] to be able to influence that so we can move away from this, frankly, indecent government that’s got no moral authority, that’s got no plan for our country and replace it with a parliament where maybe different parties put their ideas together and we work for the national interest, rather than from an interest which seems to be how do we keep Boris Johnson in No10, which I think is proving increasingly obviously against the national interest.’

Sir Ed said there had been no formal discussions with Labour about an election pact or a coalition, but he added that the 'key thing for me' at the next election was to ensure he had enough MPs to influence who is in No10. (Pictured: PM Johnson)

Sir Ed said there had been no formal discussions with Labour about an election pact or a coalition, but he added that the ‘key thing for me’ at the next election was to ensure he had enough MPs to influence who is in No10. (Pictured: PM Johnson)

There are reports that Labour is holding back in the Tiverton and Honiton by-election in Devon next month in a move that would give the Liberal Democrats a better chance of victory over the Tories. 

Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden accused both parties of working together by not standing in seats where the other had a better chance.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats denied this.

Sir Ed said his party did intend to ‘take on Labour in areas where we can think we can beat them. If you’re a business that’s what you go for, where you think your biggest market is.’ 

But he added: ‘If you’re an individual, you go where you think you can be more successful. It’s just rational.’

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