Seriously, what’s going on with The Independent Group? It's almost impossible to keep up with their daily fails. Here's a rough guide to what's been happening with the anti- Brexit party.
Follow us on twitter: @ToryProgress
Since The Independent Group of MPs launched just three months ago, the new party have faced problem after problem.
So much so, it’s worth reminding ourselves what they are:
1) The party were unable to change their logo, after they were rejected by the Electoral Commission. The Commission found that their then logo, which contained the word '#change' was "likely to mislead voters".
2) The party failed to undertake basic background checks on their candidates, meaning that two of their Euro parliamentary candidates were booted off the approved list within moments of them being announced.
3) Despite finally agreeing a logo, the party failed to file an election logo in time for ballot papers in the Yorkshire region to be printed. This resulted in them having no image on the ballot paper.
4) The party appear dreadfully confused as to what it is they stand for. They claim to represent ‘change’ and a group ready to challenge the status quo. The major problem with this is that their raison d'être is literally to maintain the status quo, by opposing Brexit & therefore change.
5) Despite wanting to represent a new wave of politics, the party only seemed interested in reaching out to readers of the Guardian newspaper, as was exposed in an article by Guido Fawkes.
6) They appear keen on rallies. Now, without wanting to be the warden of what constitutes a rally (if there were such a job) their numbers just aren’t there. At a recent rally in Norwich, the group hired a room at the Kings Centre. The room itself had a max capacity of 150. It’s one of the smallest rooms on offer at the conference center and can serve as a classroom or board room. It’s hardly encouraging from a PR perspective to have so few people turn up for a photo (below).
7) Rather than thinking strategically about how things are going to play out electorally, the TIG were offish towards like minded groups from the start. Initially there was talk of a merger with the Liberal Democrats (the other party not living up to its name by opposing the referendum result). Rather than combine forces, TIG quickly dismissed the Lib Dems as a viable partner. A leaked memo revealed how TIG were planning to pinch Lib Dem donors and activists.
8) No one is still entirely sure what the group is called. They started out as The Independent Group (TIG). Then they became Change UK- The Independent Group. Now they appear to have dropped that altogether and adopted a new handle: ForChange_Now.
Amazingly, the group failed to register their old handle (TheIndGroup), which has now been taken over by a user supporting a Hard Brexit.
9) It’s difficult to know where it is the TIG base is. So far, it doesn’t look like the group have established branches (if they have, there’s no obvious contact information on their website). This will prove a challenge when campaigning at the local level or for parliament, where parties are dependent on lively local branches to organize campaigning activity.
10) While it is early days, the party have got off to a rocky start in the polls. A YouGov poll in April found that 45% of the electorate answered " Do not know" when asked if they knew the party's position on Brexit, compared to 13% who thought they were pro-Brexit and 5% who answered "neither".