Only a ‘progressive bloc’ will beat the Conservative Party, report suggests

The bloc - which represents around 50% of the electorate - may be the only way to defeat the Tory party

The Conservative Party can only be beaten by a “progressive bloc” made up of the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, Green Party, Scottish National Party (SNP) and Plaid Cymru, a new report suggests.

The report, published by the think tank Compass, argues that even if the Labour Party devises a clear economic package to appeal to working class voters and pivots to supporting a Remain position, it still cannot “hope for more than minority government status”.

Owing to this, the report concludes that “someone is going to have to talk to someone else” in terms of forming a “progressive bloc” with the aim of defeating the Conservative Party.

The “progressive bloc” totals around 50% in electoral terms, making it potentially larger than the Conservative and Brexit Party vote share. The report highlights that this percentage reflects the “slight Remain lead over Leave in Brexit opinion polls”.

The Tory party’s shift to the right, the report argues, is part of a gamble to “regain political momentum from long-term electoral decline”. How this gamble will “play out politically”, it says, will “depend in good part on the condition of the opposition”.

However, the “progressive bloc” faces both “short- and long-term [ideological] challenges”, owing to it being divided across party lines. The bloc also faces challenges due to the UK’s “first-past-the-post” electoral system, which “encourages politically self-interested attitudes and actions”.

The report notes, for example, that Labour is currently “convinced that it can go it alone” by pivoting towards Remain and focussing on the threat of a no-deal Brexit “in order to bring back Lib Dem and Green votes”.

Despite these challenges, the recent Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, in which the Green Party and Plaid Cymru stood aside allowing the Lib Dems to win the seat, is used as an example to show the potential of an alliance.

Following Johnson’s election as Conservative leader, the party has seen an uptick in support, leading the report to raise the question of how a agreement could be formed between the major opposition parties on a “radical economic, democratic and social programme”.

Joe Evans is a freelance journalist and editor. He is on Twitter: @joeevanswrites

Like this article? Left Foot Forward relies on support from readers to sustain our progressive journalism. Can you become a supporter for £5 a month?

11 Responses to “Only a ‘progressive bloc’ will beat the Conservative Party, report suggests”

  1. Richard Malim

    Here’s my maths for a JC government
    FOR : LAB 220 (247-20); SNP 35 (-?) PC 4 Green 1 Ind 2(+?) 262
    ANTI ; CON 311 (-6?); DUP 10; Ind Change 5 LD 15 Ind 10 351
    Non voting 8 ABST 29
    Forget it

  2. Tom Sacold

    Supporting Blairite capitalist liberals is not ‘progressive’.

    Only a Labour Government under a leader like Jeremy Corbyn can produce the sort of real socialist reform our country needs.

  3. Cole

    Though you might crack it if Corbyn stayed on as Labour leader and there was a new caretaker government under Harman or whoever – strictly for a few months to sort out Brexit and then hold a general election.

    Truthfully most Labour MPs don’t want Corbyn as PM anyway.

  4. Cole

    Well, Tom, there aren’t enough votes in parliament to produce a Corbyn government and all the polls suggest he wouldn’t get a majority if there is an election. Remember Labour got a mere 14% in the European elections.

  5. Patrick Newman

    It is unlikely Corbyn will win a VONC which would be ideal because then Johnson would have to face the 31st deadline with having full responsibility for leaving without a deal and be accountable for the inevitable disastrous consequences. It’s poker but not as we know it Spock!

  6. Gary

    It needs two Tories plus EVERY SINGLE OPPOSITION MP.

    The LibDems, tiny in number though they are, are absolutely necessary. And they’re not on board. Then there’s the question of voting to extend or revoke Article 50. There’s too many Labour MPs who campaigned for Brexit, some a ‘hard’ Brexit, for this to work EVEN IF everyone was on board to form a temporary Corbyn minority government.

    Of course, that’s ALSO forgetting the absolute HATRED that Scottish Labour MPs have of the SNP and their likelihood of voting down ANY kind of cooperation (yes, even IF it benefits them) Scottish Labour have engaged in something called ‘The Bain Principle’ (named for a Glaswegian Labour man) which has seen them refuse to cooperate with the SNP even when it is something they AGREE with, even when it’s something that BENEFITS Scottish Labour. The enactment of this ‘principle’ has seen the majority of lifelong Labour voters desert them in favour of SNP and has ensured Labour’s position in Scotland as the third or fourth placed party in most seats.

  7. a

    Acts 16:31, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 1 Peter 1:17-21, Revelation 22:18-19

  8. Juteman

    Scottish National Party, not Scottish Nationalist Party.

  9. Julia Gibb

    You need look no further to see the problem other than the post of Tom Sacold above. ” I would rather have a hard Brexit and people suffer than work with others”. Obviously much of that is driven by his passion for Brexit.

    For the rest of us stopping a hard Brexit is now critical. It is the right of every political party to chose the leader they wish. The Tories picked Boris and Labour selected Jeremy. However we are asking MPs of several parties to unite under one banner. The vehicle is simply to stop a hard Brexit and trigger a GE.
    Why all the foot stamping? The selected “leader” is short term and will only be there to complete that simple task. Jeremy will still be leader of the Labour Party campaigning at the GE.
    What is the problem with compromise for the role of this temporary leader of a coalition? I would nominate Keir Stammer for the role but dozens of candidates are obvious.

    We are not changing the leader of the Labour Party. The other Parties are not voting to put Labour into power. We are looking for a figurehead to unite against the Hard Brexiteers.

  10. David T

    ‘The report notes, for example, that Labour is currently “convinced that it can go it alone” by pivoting towards Remain and focussing on the threat of a no-deal Brexit “in order to bring back Lib Dem and Green votes”.’

    ‘Blue’ and ‘centrist’ Labour might be convinced of this. The Labour left isn’t. Corbyn has sought consistently to reach out to *both* camps of the Brexit divide.

  11. richard malim

    “over a hundred mps sign request to recall Parliament” Not so impressive when you need 280+ to get to first base to achieve anything

Leave a Reply