The Liberal Democrats have reportedly raised £500,000 in 48 hours, ahead of the upcoming snap General Election in June.
The figure, first revealed by the Financial Times, is said to be more than double that of rival party Labour. Labour, who have been struggling with internal factionalism of late, have reportedly raised £200,000.
This election the Liberal Democrats are standing on a clear anti-Brexit platform, which has resonated among supporters. This follows speculation that former Labour Prime Minister and committed europhile Tony Blair may campaign with the Liberal Democrats in a bid to avoid a ‘Hard Brexit’.
According to their party website and leader Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrats are campaigning for a referendum on the final Brexit deal. Conversely, Labour have struggled to definitively carve their own policy trajectory, largely converging with the Conservatives with regards to Brexit negotiations.
The Liberal Democrats have been performing relatively well in recent months in by-elections, as they have been able to capitalise on Labour weakness. Earlier in the year, local council victories in both the North and South led leader Tim Farron to proclaim that they are in fact the “real opposition” to government.
This marks a significant turn in fortunes for the party, who suffered a landslide defeat in the 2015 election. Despite a strong performance in 2012, the party were down by a margin of 15.2 percent in 2015. Many attributed this to the party’s lacklustre record during their time in the coalition government, having succumbed to Conservative party pressure to reverse many of their manifesto pledges, such as tuition fees.
The latest YouGov Poll places the Conservatives with 48 percent of the vote, Labour with 24 percent and the Liberal Democrats with 12 percent. UKIP on the other hand have slipped to 7 percent, compared to the unprecedented 12.5 percent obtained in 2015.
Nevertheless, polls are increasingly viewed as an inaccurate means of gaging public voting patterns after they failed to forecast a Conservative majority back 2015.