Lib Dems 'scale back' ambitions to focus on unseating Tories in marginal seats

PUBLISHED: 09:41 26 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:32 26 November 2019

Liberal Democrat candidate Chuka Umunna out canvassing whilst on the General Election campaign trail in Watford. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday November 25, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Election. Photo credit should read: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Liberal Democrat candidate Chuka Umunna out canvassing whilst on the General Election campaign trail in Watford. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday November 25, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Election. Photo credit should read: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

The Liberal Democrats have lowered their ambitions and are now focused on stopping a Conservative majority according to Chuka Umunna, as the party reconfigures its strategy.

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The Lib Dems predicted they could net up to 200 seats at the start of the campaign, and had a chance of forming a government.

Now the party's foreign affairs spokesman says the only way to stop Brexit is to reduce the number of Tory MPs.

Umunna said: "Here the Liberal Democrats have a vital and decisive role to play because only we can take seats from the Tories in significant numbers."

He made the comments talking to activists on the campaign trail in Watford.

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The Telegraph report that in a number of Tory constituencies the Lib Dems were in second place poised to win the seat "particularly if Remainers vote tactically."

Umunna claims: "Conversely, the Labour party would lose in all of them. Far from taking seats from Johnson, Labour is trying to defend its own from the Tories, particularly in the West Midlands, North East and Yorkshire.

"For the betting folks out there, Ladbrokes does not have Labour as favourites to win in any Tory-held seat - but it does with the Lib Dems.

"This highlights the crucial role voters have in Tory/LibDem marginals in the coming weeks - stopping Brexit and stopping Boris Johnson's extreme Brexit is the prize."

Umunna added that after the election there were only two options. He said: "As the last parliament illustrated, what matters is the parliamentary arithmetic, not the wishes of any minority government.

"Every Liberal Democrat MP and the full weight of our party will be thrown behind Remain in that scenario.

"Or, Boris Johnson is given a majority, allowing him to more or less blank cheque to do exactly as he pleases."

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