, 20 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
"Pro-EU parties to use European elections as 'soft referendum'"
* the approach outlined (no alliances or pacts, compete with other pro-EU parties) is literally the opposite of a referendum approach (combine/aggregate: seek majority).
It doesn't work as a proxy referendum

Probable Change UK, Greens, LibDems, Renew contest in some regions reduces no of pro-Remain MEPs, eg 4-way split of 15-20% can "waste" votes under PR lists. (Eg waste < 5%, or end wasting 15% = no seats x4 if unlucky)
A particular risk in regions that are smaller & more challenging (eg especially north-east; also east midlands, east of england). It may be important in Wales, where Plaid means 5-way division of non-Labour pro-EU. Scotland a bit different again: major pro-EU party in SNP
Whether or not the MEPs elected matter vs the symbolic result may depend on whether 31st Oct extended again.

It also affects the symbolic result (nationally & regions) if finish 4th, 5th, 7th & 8th on 9%, 8%, 6%, 2% but could have been in second place or even topped poll on 25%+
Revealed preferences show that the pro-EU parties are prioritising party interests in competing with allies (battle of brands & orgs to be the home of pro-EU voters) over cause of EU/Remain (either because no time to cooperate, or this cause is not bigger than party interest)
If pro-EU voters do not have strong party allegiance & care about no of MEPs and/or symbolic result, should vote for parties most likely to clear the threshold & not those on/below boundary. Regional polling & advice on the state of play may help highly engaged voters decide
New way of doing politics could consider if unusual approaches (eg joint "Remain Alliance 2019" descriptor with the party name & a one-off region by region pact, so 3 parties stand in one region each) suited an unprecedented election. But mould-breakers sometimes think inside box
Strategically, most important aim of pro-EU campaigners in April/May 2019 = try to shift Labour further towards referendum/remain. Political challenge to Labour could achieve that (eg if Change UK seems to have profile/appeal). A "Remain Alliance" approach would increase threat
These parties esp competing for 15% pro-Remain core and to eat into the broader still-Remain vote (mostly Labour). If, as research shows, people prioritise referendum id over party, logically this active core should be able to press for cooperation & reward the most open to it?
Could create a 'Remain Alliance 2019' q.easily if will was there.
- would 'Remain Alliance' be allowed on ballot paper?
- agree on/draw lots for first choice of regions: run one alliance party per region (easier than combined lists). Maybe whoever gets London gets fewer regions.
Whether this should be pursued or not ultimately comes down to one question: is Brexit bigger than party in these European elections?

Current approach shows both established parties & new parties think party is bigger than Brexit (or act as if that is what they think anyway)
An early poll has pro-EU parties in 5th, 6th and 7th place on 8%, 8% and 7% when they could be ahead of all pro-Leave lists in 2nd/joint top
Blog from @PascalLTH illustrates LibDem/Green "wasted votes" in several regions in 2014. Change UK will exacerbate this in 2019, unless one of these 3 parties is known by voters to have decisive lead over rivals

Claiming to be only party representing a position shared across Change UK, LibDems, Greens (and SNP, Plaid Cymru in their nations) & some of Lab ignores the problem. Because it isn't true, it isn't credible with engaged pro-EU voters who follow politics
Pro-Remain parties "who is the party of Remain" primary in Euro elections: losing that to Labour *and* just behind Tories too!

Euro Elections initial intention @yougov
(2016 Remain voters only)
Labour 37%
Conservatives 15%
LibDems 14%
Green 12%
CHUK 10%
SNP 7%
Brexit 2%
Initial European Election 2019 voting intentions among 2016 Leavers @yougov are
31% Brexit
27% Ukip
18% Conservatives
11% Labour
3% Green
3% Change UK
2% LibDem
1% other

Remainers will probably outnumber Leavers among 2019 European election voters

Droop = % to *guarantee* one MEP
Compared to 2014 actual % win seat
This is from @dijdowell
Parties are unlikely to change course. This seems to me the most feasible second-best option for cross-party & non-party pro-EU campaigns and media voices to mitigate/limit damage of partisan fragmentation
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