Paddy Ashdown created a bit of a stir when he claimed that some Labour MPs might defect to the LibDems.
This is so off-base, where to start? First of all the searing memory in the Labour party is of the split in the early 80's when the SDP broke away. It's not just about the fact that the Labour party dislikes disloyalty above all things. It's also about the fate of the MPs who defected to the SDP - 28 Labour MPs left to join the SDP, along with loads of PPCs and activists, and they thought they were leaving a Labour party that was "finished" and going on to form the next government. Actually, they were trashing their careers and going nowhere.
By contrast, parliamentary candidates like Tony Blair, standing for election in 1983 for the first time, stuck with the Labour party, fighting from within to make it electable. He then became leader of the Labour party and Prime Minister for 10 years. If Vince Cable had stayed put, he would now be chancellor, but instead has to content himself with appearances on TV when they need a third voice. The lesson is clear - stay and fight your corner and you eventually prevail. Flouncing out pays no dividends. Politics is a long, long game.
In addition Ashdown and others who believe that Labour will lurch left have absolutely no understanding of the make-up of current Labour activists nearly 30 years after the SDP was formed. The party is a different animal.
It's not just the Labour party that has changed of course. The entire political landscape has changed. The Tories are now further to the right than they've been in 60 years. They are also more euro-sceptic than they've ever been, more isolationist, more fearful of the rest of the world. This closes off options.
It's a cliche to say that the left of the Labour party has nowhere to go - it was true in 1996 and is true now. But what is new is that the right of the Labour party also has nowhere to go. If like me you are centrist in the grand scheme of things (which means on the right of the Labour party), believing in and engaged in commerce, and understanding that globalisation needs rules and safety nets, and that the EU supplies these in Europe and that we have to be in the EU; if you rather like the world and it's peoples, instead of fearing and hating it, there isn't anywhere else to go apart from Labour.
Pro-europeans like Peter Mandelson and Charles Clarke need the Labour party as much as Dianne Abbot and Dennis Skinner do. That's why no MPs have crossed the floor away from Labour since Gordon Brown became leader in 2007, and why there won't be any coming up in the next few months. We are all locked together in mutual need and must help each other to get anywhere.