Tim Farron: Early general election offers voters chance to 'change the direction of our country'

Jack Maidment

The Liberal Democrats are likely to pose the biggest threat to Theresa May’s hopes of a landslide election victory on June 8 as they plough resources into seats they narrowly lost to the Tories in 2015.

Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, believes remain voters who voted Tory two years ago thinking David Cameron would manage to keep Britain in the EU will now return to his party.

The Lib Dems lost 49 seats in 2015 and Conservative sources privately admit they are likely to regain some constituencies in their heartlands in the South West.

It means that the Conservatives will need to win even more seats from Labour if they lose any of their current MPs to the Lib Dem challenge.

The Lib Dems are demanding that the British people be given a vote on the Government’s final Brexit deal and the party will fight the general election on a pledge to prevent a so-called “hard Brexit” and keep the UK in the single market.

The Lib Dems will be hopeful that they can replicate the success of the Richmond Park by-election which saw Sarah Olney win the seat from the former Tory Zac Goldsmith.

The Lib Dems attempted to define that by-election as being purely about Brexit and the party will seek to do the same in the run up to June 8.

Ms Olney told BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme said: “There are dozens of Conservative seats where the Lib Dems are the challengers and the only way to stop Theresa May winning a majority is if the Lib Dems win those seats.”

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