Didn’t they do well?

Change UK, the breakaway group of MPs who promised to break the mould of British politics, has split in-two just seven weeks after registering as a political party.

In the wake of a dismal performance in the European elections, six of the fledgling party’s 11 MPs walked away on Tuesday, with several now understood to be in talks about joining the Liberal Democrats.

No, really, very well done indeed:

Six of Change UK’s 11 MPs, including its spokesman, Chuka Umunna, and interim leader Heidi Allen, have abandoned the fledgling party after its dire performance at the European elections.

Change UK announced that it now had just five MPs, who will be led by the former Conservative business minister and anti-Brexit campaigner Anna Soubry.

The others remaining are the former Labour MPs Mike Gapes, Chris Leslie, Joan Ryan and Ann Coffey. In their statement, they said they would embark on a “nationwide programme of deliberative democracy”, across the UK.

They’ve managed in weeks what it took Ukip years to do – lose such a large portion of elected members.

45 thoughts on “Didn’t they do well?”

  1. A dismal performance? La Soubry, now party leader of the CHuk’s, described the result as, “The best performance by a new party EVAH!”, as apparently TBP is not a new party at all at all. If nothing else, Anna will be a source of light entertainment as she is over-exposed by the BBC (figuratively speaking) up until the next GE.

  2. Has there ever been a party more ‘bigged up’ by the BBC with less support than this shower?

  3. Chuk was always the ‘frustrated Waitrose coffee shop’ mob. Smug, self-satisfied, middle class, utterly detached from ‘the street’. Remainiac obsessed. And ambitious. But talentless and totally non self-aware. If you are a remain voter who doesn’t like anti-semitic, terrorist-friendly, Marxism much then there’s really only one party to vote for now. And it ain’t Chuk.
    You’d need a heart of stone not to laugh at this lot’s disappearance form the political scene.

  4. The Meissen Bison

    Anna Soubry is so profoundly disagreeable and strident that she will whittle her party down further until just she remains in it.

    For the present, four formerly Labour MPs admit to themselves and concede more widely their profound uselessness in agreeing to be led by a former Conservative.

    @ Rob – I think the BBC was fairly excited about the Limehouse Declaration, the birth of the SDP, the eventual election of Roy Jenkins as an SDP MP in Glasgow Hillhead.

    The BBC’s excitement was not matched by the wider population.

  5. TMB,

    Actually, Limehouse Declaration was a big thing with the public. Labour support collapsed from 50% to around 30% in a year.


    Everyone talks about the Falklands effect for Thatcher, and yes, it gave her around a 10% boost, but the Alliance also rose 10%, taking a huge chunk out of Labour’s vote.

    The legacy of the alliance is a bit like UKIP. They didn’t win elections, or many seats, but they inflicted so much vote splitting that Labour had to get someone on the right of the party in order to win an election.

  6. Well, the Torys’ aren’t Tory, Labour aren’t Labour, but Change are certainly living up to their name

  7. You’re all guilty of lese majeste. CUK’s members may have been members of one or other political party when they were elected, but as they would be the first to tell you, their personal vote, that’s right, their personal vote was yuge. Yuge. So there’s no need for them to stand for re-election having split from Labour or the Tories because they’d simply be re-elected on the back of that personal vote.

    Their constituents are lucky to have them, as is the country. And don’t you forget it.

  8. P.S., Tom, Frances Ryan has a corker today. A woman who sells her body is depressed (or ‘disabled’, as she puts it), perhaps unsurprisingly. And it’s the government’s fault. Or something.

    Not that I’m unhappy to see the Tories blamed for anything but, yunno, critical thought and all that.

  9. @Ed Lud

    Anna Soubry’s vote wasn’t terribly yuge in 2017; a majority of about 800, or just 1.5% of the total votes cast. Think she’ll get in next time?

  10. Dennis the Peasant

    Just went to the Change UK site and gave their vision and positions a read. Could have been written by Richard Murphy on one of his somewhat medicated days.

    ‘Nuff said.

  11. @ Dennis
    Did it include a claim to have invented the Internet – sorry, the repeat referendum?

  12. Gotta love the delusional commentators in some parts of the media suggesting Chuka could be next leader of the Lib dems, even they wouldn’t pick someone who has been a member for a few days!

  13. There’s no restriction on how long a LibDem MP has been a LibDem MP to be nominated for Leader, but they also have to be nominated by 20 local parties and 200 members, which would be hard to do in the time available for a defector.

  14. Mr Womby, re Anna (un)Sobery

    probably a good time to increase equity exposure to gin distillers

  15. You’re sure the quote there wasn’t ” promised to break the mould ON British politics” ? Seems a tall order. Tory Party’s more like a rotting corpse than just a bit blue around the edges & Labour’s almost completely corrupt.

  16. ‘Has there ever been a party more ‘bigged up’ by the BBC with less support than this shower?‘

    If you take U.K. wide then SNP are way over represented politically and in media.
    Change’s overall share for U.K. wasn’t that much different from SNP (3.4% v 3.6%) who really benefit from localisation.
    SNP has a significant victory according to BBC because they went from 2 to 3 MEP’s

  17. A centrist breakaway akin to the 1980’s SDP could work but would need some heavyweight ex-cabinet ministers to give it credibility. I thought this might happen when Corbyn was elected but it didn’t and seems unlikely now. None of the Change UK group have any prospect of holding their seats whether as independents or as LD’s or part of an alliance with the LD’s/Greens. They all come from seats which are clearly Labour/Conservative.

    On a separate point, the media is completely ignoring the Peterborough by-election. The bookie’s odds tell us why!

  18. @Sam Jones

    Not sure I agree with that, Heidi Allen may be in with a decent chance as a LD given that they won the local elections there. Whether the others do might depend on if traditional voting patterns break down – a botched Brexit with half of traditional Tory voters splitting to TBP, or remain-supporting Labour voters particularly in urban / suburban areas leaning Lib Dem, might save a few. The European election results suggested Chuka had half a chance though it is debatable to the point of dubious whether those patterns will hold at a GE. But some look unsaveable and even those with a chance would surely do better under the Lib Dem banner to benefit from the extra air war and organisational support.

  19. Having said that I agree with 90% of the thrust of Sam’s point – should clarify I’m only nitpicking about them all having zero chance of reelection. I do wonder if there are defections to the Lib Dems if they’ll be offered more winnable seats at the next election… Sometimes happens to encourage defections along, but the LDs might recognise the ex ChUKers are pretty desperate at this point and not feel moved to make the offer.

  20. Dennis the Peasant

    Did it include a claim to have invented the Internet – sorry, the repeat referendum?

    I’m sure Fat Dickie will get around to claiming it sooner or later.

  21. Which of the ChUKers would any other party look at and think “Yes, they’d really be an asset”? They all suffer from delusions of adequacy.

  22. @DtP

    In the US, how are they reporting the dreary wankers over here who are protesting against Trump?

    I’ve had a good look at the list of 40+ countries listed as dictatorships/one party states/military juntas and the US isn’t on it, which you’d think it was if you listened to the outraged catawailing from the left in the UK.

    I do wish Trump would adopt the “isn’t it wonderful to live in a country where you can protest” line. That always pisses the left off.

    I mean FFS Corbyn talks to Hamas and the IRA and sits down to dinner with Xi of China but refuses to talk to Trump and his tosspot supporters defend him.

  23. Can anyone else not work out why the ChUK defectors didn’t try to remain and reform the party from within?

  24. Silence on Peterborough by-election is interesting, you’d really be hard pressed to know there is one.
    BBC making a point that Trump talked to Boris, Hunt and Gove so they are front runners. Given Trump likely asked Boris to be included shows the establishment view, Hunt v Gove final ballot would be the likely stitch up and I see Gove is already talking down 31 Oct as arbitrary

  25. Seems like Gove is aiming to be the Remainers favourite Leaver, then anyone but Boris alternative, to get into the final 2

  26. MBE,

    I am so upset about the local Tory selection committee in South Cambridgeshire. .

    We have a very capably LibDem candidate, Ms Susan Van De Ven,, someone whom I met and totally admired, a very studious and likeable person.

    When Saint May called the election, whoops, we had this cretin Heidi Allen parachuted into out constituency as the Tory Candidate. Now i remember clearly deciding against voting against Susan, because I am a Brexiteer. If I wanted to vote remain I would have voted for this very capable likeable person Susan.

    Like a fool I put my trust in the Tory selection committee, r
    thinking they would select our Tory candidate on her in and out credentials After All, May and the Tories ran the election campaign on the Trust Us, we can deliver Brexit platform.

    And they put forward this odious self promoting cow Heidi. Now it is not in my nature to rant and rave and make personal threats to my local MPs., but I am so looking forward to show this baby killer and self confessed abortionist what I think of her next time I am allowed to put my cross on a ballot paper.

  27. As I have mentioned their first result was somewhat better than that achieved by the “Referendum Party” but for those of us who support evidence based policy and grown up centrist politics consolidation is a good thing,
    The range of centrist thinking has to extend from Ed Milliband via New Labour to the pro business Michael Heseltine-ish sort on the right( which is roughly where I am). These are the people who have nothing in our two Party Nats or Nuts menu
    More generally , without anyone noticing the Conservative Party has now so offended what was its moderate base that there seems no way back
    In the EU elections of 2014 UKIP got 27 % , they kept 3% this time . So 24 % per cent of BXP’s vote (30%) came from UKIP and 6% from elsewhere(presumably the Conservatives)
    In the 2014 EU elections, the Tories got 24 % of the vote, 15% higher than this time .
    If the 6% was lost to Nigel then 9 % was lost elsewhere, probably to the Liberals.
    The Conservative Party is finally losing its remain votes . In the 2015 general election, appx 40 per cent of Conservative voters, around 4.4m people, voted for remain

    The old Party has gone

  28. On a separate point, the media is completely ignoring the Peterborough by-election.

    Remarkably, I cannot find any mention of it on the BBC, even under the Politics section of the website!

  29. Almost the entirety of Today was taken up by D-Day commemorations. Which are an important memorial, but you’d struggle to know that there was a by-election taking place.

    Can anyone else not work out why the ChUK defectors didn’t try to remain and reform the party from within?

    Yet they insist that we must remain in the EU and ‘reform from within’.

  30. On a separate point, the media is completely ignoring the Peterborough by-election.

    They are allowed to tell you an election is taking place

  31. Rob June 6, 2019 at 8:18 am

    “On a separate point, the media is completely ignoring the Peterborough by-election.”

    Remarkably, I cannot find any mention of it on the BBC, even under the Politics section of the website!

    Yep. BBC/C4 etc ignoring it – bias by omission.
    If TBP win expect next to nothing

    If Labour’s candidate Lisa Forbes wins expect BBC wall to wall coverage and ignoring:

    Forbes is certainly not letting her side down when it comes to recycling anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Her social media history epitomises the love-in between Labour and Islamists.

    Forbes has a penchant for Islamist conspiracy theories and has fallen for the propaganda that Muslims are victims of ‘Zionists’. She liked a Facebook post claiming that Theresa May has a ‘Zionist Slave Masters agenda ‘ and she supported another post which said the CIA and Mossad created Isis*. Anti-Semites like to use the word Zionists as a euphemism for Jews in a misguided attempt to justify their racism.

    Just as worrying is her comment that ‘so much that trys (sic) to divide us, but there is far much more that unites us.’ The Nazis were also fond of accusing Jews of divisive behaviour…

    * Partially correct: Obama & Clinton created, funded and equipped them to remove Assad

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