One thing I heard a few times at Liberal Democrat Conference was an assertion along the lines of ‘most people are centrists, therefore they’ll want to join us and vote for us if we just give them a chance’. This is normally backed up by some ‘recent polling’ that has shown people are generally centrist, and an earnest belief along the lines that they just need to be told the right words and then they’ll realise they’re just like us.

This is a belief I like to call the centrist fallacy because it rests on a number of assumptions about people, political behaviour and political parties that…