Tim Loughton said Tim Farron’s party, which claims the battle over the EU exit is not over, was far from staging a full comeback after its devastating defeat at the last general election.
“In my own constituency, I don’t have a single Lib Dem councillor at any level. I think the Liberal Democrats will do relatively well but it’s largely on the basis of a reaction to Brexit by those people who are still not happy with the result.
“And it’s people, and I’ve come across a lot of ahead, who might have voted Labour but now they are going to vote Lib Dem.”
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Tim Loughton said the Lib Dems have a long way to go before talking about a revival
The Tory MP for East Worthing and Shoreham added it was no great victory for the Lib Dems to secure voters, who traditionally would have voted for the Labour Party, just as a reaction to Brexit.
He said: “So it’s not a very positive vote for the Lib Dems, it’s an alternative to others who are worse.
"I think it is early days to talk about a revival.”
Earlier this month, Mr Farron urged Remain voters to despair over the triggering of Article 50 as he claimed the battle to keep Britain inside the single market had just begun.
Mr Farron said: “Some people will despair at the triggering of Article 50. Not me, not we in the Liberal Democrats, we know the battle is now on to fight for the British people to have the final say on the deal that we will have with the European Union going forward.”
I think it is early days to talk about a revival
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Taking a dig at Theresa May, the pro-EU politician claimed the Government was not acting in accordance with the will of the British people.
Mr Farron said: “None of us knows what that deal will contain, how dare the Government enforce it on the British people without asking their views.
“The politicians shouldn’t decide, the people should decide. And one of those obvious signs the Government has made a choice of this kind of Brexit is not enacting the will of the people at all, but is interpreting the will of the people at best.
“We all know how vital the single market is for British jobs, for our homes, for the prices on our shelves, for the whole of our economy.
Brexit day: images from around the country as Britain invokes Article 50 Mon, April 3, 2017
The country reacts as Theresa May officially invokes Article 50, and begins the process of Britain leaving the European Union
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Pro-EU demonstrators protest outside Parliament
“A Government that doesn’t fight for our place in the single market is letting Britain down no matter which way they voted in June 2016. Our fight continues, the British people can and should have the final say.”
Meanwhile, Mrs May’s party is polling ahead of Labour as one pollster placed them 21 points clear, while another found less than half of its voters believe Jeremy Corbyn is fit for the premiership.
A ComRes poll for the Independent and Sunday Mirror put the Conservatives four points up at 46 per cent while Labour remains unchanged on 25 per cent, the Lib Dems on 11 per cent and Ukip on 9 per cent.
A separate survey for the Observer found just 45 per cent of Labour supporters back the leader as the best prime minister for the country in a head-to-head choice between him and Mrs May.