So Chuka Umunna and his merry band have finally done what they have been threatening for a few years and left the Labour party.
The thing is, what will this change and do they really mean it?
I think there are some clear tells here that this is a cosmetic split, for Westminster Theatre only. here is why:
1) No By-Elections. So they are happy to try as a group to limp on until the next election without asking the people. All principled people who quit then go for a by-election, it smacks of a lack of principle or that re-joining Labour is really on the cards in a few months.
2) Crap Name - The Independent Group. You could not stand on this anyway in an election, so either they think some Tories are going to join them or else they are never planning to stand for an election.
3) Policy - Their sad little 'ideals' leaflet is bereft of anything meaningful apart from anti-semitism as a thing to stop. Will they vote with the Tories at all? No. So in practical effect it is a split that will result in no change, I would accept there is a chance they will vote giant Brexit if Labour agree to a May compromise at the last minute, that may then be 'a thing.'
So all in all, a real non-event, I guess there is a small chance some loony Tories who are also headed for de-selection like Sarah Woolaston and Nick Boles, decide to throw their lot in, as they are selfish enough to also not go for By-Elections.
In reality, there is a noise now, everyone except Bubble Westminster journalists will ignore them, and they will either re-join Labour or lose all their seats when we have an election. So, nothing to see here.
Meanwhile, Nigel Farage's new Brexit party has no MP's to bait Westminster but 100,000 members already...that seems a better bet to influence the next election than this rag-tag mob.