Show Hide image The Staggers 21 January 2015 Former Lib Dem Lord Oakeshott donates £300,000 to Labour candidates Peer also gives £300,000 to 15 Lib Dems and £10,000 to Caroline Lucas in attempt to build a "progressive alliance". Print HTML Labour has long conceded that it will be heavily outspent by the Tories at the election (while arguing that its superior ground operation will compensate) but the party has recieved a rare financial boost tonight. The former Lib Dem peer Lord Oakeshott, who was expelled from the party after his attempted coup against Nick Clegg, has given £300,000 to 30 Labour parliamentary candidates in an attempt to "help save our country from a Tory government cringing to Ukip". Twenty nine of the candidates are contesting Conservative-held marginals and one, Melanie Onn, is seeking to hold Great Grimsby against Ukip. Oakeshott, a multimillionaire property investor, who now describes himself as a "non-party social democrat", has also donated £300,000 to 15 Lib Dem candidates, including eight MPs, and £10,000 to Green MP Caroline Lucas. His declared ambition is to build a "progressive alliance" to secure the election of a "Labour-led government headed by Ed Miliband as prime minister". He said: Britain stands on the edge of a cliff with the general election only 105 days away. Will we vote Tory or Ukip for Euro referendum chaos, lasting two years at least and putting thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and our long term peace and security at risk? Or will Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green and all progressive voters come together in the marginal seats that matter to elect a Parliament for progress and reform and a Labour-led Government with Ed Miliband as prime minister? He has stood firm against the clamour for a referendum with considerable courage and nous. Scotland shows how referenda, even with 55-45 vote, can settle nothing, just open a can of worms. Oakeshott's donations bring the traditional issue of tactical voting to the fore. Of the Lib Dems' 56 seats, the Tories lie in second place in 37. If the left divides in these constituencies, the danger is that the Conservative will make enough gains to remain the largest single party. While Labour cannot be seen to advocate support for rival candidates (not least given the Lib Dems' role in government and Miliband's ambition to build a "One Nation" party), shadow cabinet ministers acknowledge that it is a concern. Although the left is currently more fragmented than for decades, with the Greens and the SNP eating into Labour's vote, Oakeshott's donation is an example of how Miliband has partially succeeded in reuniting progressives. The peer's gift is the second from a former SDP figure after David Owen donated to the party last year. It would have been unthinkable for either man to aid New Labour in this way. Here is the full list of candidates backed by Oakeshott. Labour Jessica Asato (Norwich North) Catherine Atkinson (Erewash) Nick Bent (Warrington South) Louise Baldock (Stockton South) Polly Billington (Thurrock) Lisa Forbes (Peterborough) Victoria Fowler (Nuneaton) James Frith (Bury North) Sophy Gardner (Gloucester) Jamie Hanley (Pudsey) Rupa Huq (Ealing Central & Acton) Sarah Jones (Croydon Central) Uma Kumaran (Harrow East) Peter Kyle (Hove) Amina Lone (Morecambe and Lunesdale) Jo McCarron (Kingswood) Natasha Millward (Dudley South) Lara Norris (Great Yarmouth) Melanie Onn (Great Grimsby) Sarah Owen (Hastings & Rye) Nancy Platts (Brighton Kemptown) Lucy Rigby (Lincoln) Will Scobie (Thanet South) Lee Sherriff (Carlisle) Paula Sherriff (Dewsbury) Joy Squires (Worcester) Will Straw (Rossendale and Darwen) Sharon Taylor (Stevenage) Janos Toth (Cannock Chase) Julia Tickridge (Weaver Vale) Liberal Democrat Norman Baker MP (Lewes) Lorley Burt (Solihull) Helen Flynn (Harrogate & Knaresborough) Martin Horwood MP (Cheltenham) Ros Kayes (Dorset West) Tessa Munt MP (Wells) Julie Porksen (Berwick-upon-Tweed) Jackie Porter (Winchester) John Pugh MP (Southport) David Rendel (Somerton & Frome) Dan Rogerson MP (North Cornwall) Adrian Sanders MP (Torbay) Vikki Slade (Mid Dorset & North Poole) Dorothy Thornhill (Watford) Jenny Willott MP (Cardiff Central) Green Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion) › End of era as founder of anarchic messageboard 4chan steps down George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe More Related articles On Brexit, David Cameron knows exactly what he's doing David Cameron's prisons speech could be the start of something good Q&A: Would Brexit really move “the Jungle” to Dover?