Jo Swinson Predicts 'Significant' Lib Dem Gains As Party Launches Manifesto

The party has stopping Brexit at the heart of its campaign.

Jo Swinson has insisted the Lib Dems remain on course to make “significant gains” at the general election as the party launched its manifesto.

The party has bet its campaign on winning Remain voters away from the Tories and Labour.

Riding high after a strong showing at the European elections in May, the Lib Dems increased their number in parliament to 20 MPs thanks to defections.

Swinson has claimed the party is on the cusp of winning “hundreds” more seats on December 12.

But a YouGov poll released on Tuesday put the Lib Dems at 15%, down from 23% on October 1.

During a campaign visit today, Swinson said: “I’m confident Liberal Democrats are going to make significant gains in this election.

And she rejected any suggestion voters were not warming to her personal leadership style.

“I’m certainly finding that when I meet with people I’m getting a perfectly warm and enjoyable response, having good conversations with people across the country,” she said.

The Lib Dem programme for government, published on Wednesday, included a promise to spend a £50bn “Remain bonus” on public services including education.

The party argued the extra money for spending, which would come over five years, would be a result of the UK seeing higher levels of growth if it remained in the EU.

Swinson has promised to revoke Article 50 if she becomes the prime minister following the election on December 12.

If not, the manifesto says they would continue to campaign for a second referendum with on option to stay in the EU on the ballot paper.

The Lib Dems estimate the economy will be 1.9% larger in 2024-25 than it would be under Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, giving them extra funding to spend on their priorities in the years ahead.

According to the party, by 2024/25, it would be spending £10.6bn more on schools than is currently being spent – enabling them to increase the number of teachers by 20,000 over five years.

They include a target of doubling the amount of power generated through renewables by 2030 while investing £15bn over five years in retro-fitting 26 million homes with insulation and zero-carbon heating.

The party says it would increase opportunities through providing 35 hours a week free childcare for all two- to four year-olds – with the offer extended to those aged nine to 24 months where their parents are working.

At the same time the party says it would give all adults £10,000 to spend on skills and training throughout their lives through the creation of a new “skills wallet”.

As part of its environmental programme, the Lib Dems would make it more expensive for people who took multiple international flights a year to fly.

But people who took only take one or two flights a year would see the cost of their travel reduced.