A quick look at the results of the Derbyshire County Council election, in which the Conservatives gained 17 seats, 15 from Labour and two from Lib Dems, showed that 11 of those seats would not have been lost if the Labour, Lib Dem and Green candidates had not been competing for the non-Tory votes, i.e. if there had been a ‘progressive alliance’ agreed.
This could have led to a diminished ‘left of centre’ county council but still with a majority of 38 to 26.
This presupposes that all who voted for the three separate parties would have been willing to vote for a single progressive alliance candidate, which of course may well not have happened, but a single ‘PA’ candidate might have attracted some (or many?) voters put off by party bickering.
Also, the united PA party could count on more resources, deliverers and canvassers than each of the three separate and competing parties.
The result of a disunited anti-Tory opposition is clear: at least four years of Tory policies being imposed on Derbyshire.
It is very likely that the general election results in four weeks time will produce a similar skewed result on a vastly bigger scale.
Perhaps a Tory landslide, far out of proportion to the votes actually won by them, will shock the left of centre parties to set aside their mainly minor differences: ideological purity is perhaps a luxury we can no longer afford unless we are content to have one party rule for decades to come.
Lightwood Road, Buxton