Rather than a formal pact, the more fruitful way forward is a wider informal alliance anchored in principles and what is best for the country. Though they don’t agree on everything, there’s very little about which they violently disagree. Concentrating their resources where each has the best chance of success makes all the more sense because neither party is flush with cash. The vast majority of the Lib Dems’ target seats are Conservative-held. For Labour, the next election will be decided not on the few scraps of turf where they compete with the Lib Dems but on the sweep of battlegrounds where they are fighting Tories or nationalists.

It is instructive to look at what happened in the run-up to the 1997 general election when there was a very well-organised Lab-Lib pincer movement against an entrenched rightwing government. A new report, 1997: Then and Now, highlights the extent and the effectiveness of the collaboration.

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