New 'Liberal Party' could steal votes from Lib Dems in key marginals

PUBLISHED: 15:34 05 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:34 05 December 2019

Key marginal seats where the Lib Dems are most likely to win are facing a fresh threat as former UKIP members have befun standing under the ‘Liberal Party’. Photos: PA

Key marginal seats where the Lib Dems are most likely to win are facing a fresh threat as former UKIP members have befun standing under the 'Liberal Party'. Photos: PA

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Key marginal seats where the Lib Dems are most likely to win are facing a fresh threat as former UKIP members created a 'Liberal Party' which will also appear on the ballot paper.

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There are six constituencies which will all have candidates standing from both the Liberal Democrats and the 'Liberal Party'.

In every single seat in Cornwall, an area which could prove consequential in preventing a Conservative majority government, confusion over party names could make a massive difference.

According to Andrew George, the Liberal Democrat candidate standing in St Ives and the Scilly Isles, "the so-called Liberal Party is the moribund shell of a few disgruntled former Liberal Democrats who are pursuing a rather strange grudge campaign."

George added: "UKIP have entered this moribund shell to deceive the electorate."

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The New Stateman report that three of the candidates have, until recently, been active campaigners for UKIP.

Defending the party's name against accusations that it was dishonest, the leader of the Liberal Party Steve Radford said: "It's quite dishonest of the Liberal Democrats to call themselves Liberal Democrats".

Radford is a councillor in Liverpol, and added: "The presumption that because someone belonged to UKIP they are not a liberal is a false view.

"We've had a surge in the past year. A surge in Cornwall. A surge in other parts of the country as well."

Responding to the Liberal Democrat's claim on their use of the word Liberal, Radford attacked the Lib Dems.

"What's liberal about saying we had a referendum, you peasants got it wrong, you are all uneducated, we are going to ignore whatever you have to say. By the way we believe in tariff barriers and a centralised European Union," he said.

"Why don't you ask the Liberal Democrats to change their name to the remain-remoan alliance, we-know-better-for-the-peasants, we-don't-believe-in-democracy party?"

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