About a month and a half ago the launch of metropolitan elitist party Renew prompted us to ask why the group had garnered such voluminous press coverage – which we then added to by discussing it on our podcast.
The news cycle swiftly flushed the party out, but a recent interview by the Blairite comedian Matt Forde on his excellent podcast has shown there are signs of life in Renew.
Chris Coghlan, founder of Renew and former counter-terrorism officer with the Foreign Office, said the party was raising £10,000 a month, mostly out of small donations, and has 20 full or part-time staff.
It will also be running candidates in Battersea, Tooting and Putney, and wants to be ready for a snap election from this summer onwards. Its candidate base has certainly grown since we last looked, and has spread geographically far beyond the initial London-heavy selection.
Coincidentally, the Observer yesterday reported that a new centrist party with £50m of backing has been in stealth mode for a year. Perhaps they should pool their efforts?
It bears raising that the base rate for new political parties forming governments is almost negligible. Labour, who formed in 1900, are the newest party to lead a government. Though the Liberal Democrats formed in 1988 and were part of the 2010 coalition government, they are direct successors to the Liberals of old.
That said, Renew have already done better than 90 percent of those parties who register with the Electoral Commission. To be continued.