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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > June 2017 > Remains of the day

Remains of the day

The Lib Dems have reason to hope for a surge, but there are few signs of it on the ground

In an Italian restaurant on the edge of Chippenham, a bustling Wiltshire market town and a key Lib Dem target, the manager is complaining to me about Brexit. He’s a British citizen, but is worried about staff who aren’t. Running costs are already going up, he says, and he predicts things will get worse. He is not sure who he will vote for in the election, but is interested to hear that one party is opposed to leaving the European Union. He thinks he has heard of them, but he isn’t sure what they stand for. Who are the Lib Dems, exactly?

Tim Farron’s party is supposed to be surging right now, uniquely standing up for the 48 per cent of Britons who found themselves on the wrong side of the referendum result. But instead it is struggling to stay at 10 per cent in the polls, while the Tories have soared to 50 in some surveys. In the locals, the Lib Dems actually lost 28 council seats, and it is rumoured the Conservatives are doing even better on the doorstep than in the data.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s June issue: Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Martha Gill and Helen Pidd examine the election chances of the three main political parties. Wheatcroft explores the Tories’ remarkable ability to rise from the ashes and assert dominance, Gill questions why the Lib Dem revival isn’t quite getting off the ground and Pidd examines Labour’s prospects after poor performances in the recent council and mayoral elections. Also in this issue: Christine Ockrent asks if France’s new President Emmanuel Macron can charm the parts of France that didn’t initially vote for him, AC Grayling assesses whether the rise and rise of drone warfare warrants a new ethical code for conflict and Francine Stock explores whether Pixar can continue to captivate modern audiences.
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