Creating new, smaller parties every time we are confronted by a major issue is a pointless, ego-driven exercise. It's time for the commentariat to move onby Steve Bloomfield / August 14, 2017 / Leave a comment
The notion of a new political party is the idea that never dies. This time it’s spurred on by James Chapman, one-time political editor of the Daily Mail and advisor to David Davis at the Department for Exiting the EU, who seems to have had something of a Damascene conversion and realised that Brexit is, in his words, going to be a “catastrophe.” Invited on to Radio 4’s Today program last Friday to talk up his wish for a new party, called the Democrats, he claimed that cabinet ministers had “been in touch” to say that agreed with him. An initial rally has been organised for next month; slogan-filled apparel is being flogged online.
Would a pro-European, anti-Brexit political party be a success? Thankfully for Chapman, he doesn’t have to guess. Instead, he can turn to the results of a real-world experiment: they’re called the Liberal Democrats. Just two months ago they won eight per cent of the vote. A new party, even one that cut and paste the Lib Dems’ remain policies, would struggle to reach such dizzying heights, unable as they would be to rely upon the residual loyalty that many Lib Dem supporters feel for their party.