REMEMBER those heady days in February, when The Independent Group burst on to the scene amid great fanfare and UK-wide relief that our saviours had finally arrived?

No, me neither. But there was a time – a fortnight, perhaps – when it seemed like real change might be coming. When Westminster-watchers were speculating about who might be next to defect, and whether this might mean the end of the two-party system.

The Tiggers, as they should never have allowed themselves to be known, must still look back fondly on the blissful few hours in between their high-profile launch as an anti-racist group and one of their members appearing to refer to people with a “funny tinge” live on TV. For that fleeting moment they might have genuinely believed anything was possible. Well, anything apart from all of them retaining their seats after resigning as MPs and triggering by-elections in their constituencies (four of which voted Leave). They weren’t totally deluded.

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But then March 29 came and went without the UK withdrawing from the EU, and a few tasks have subsequently proved impossible for the snappily rebranded Change UK – The Independent Group.

Swiftly selecting candidates without dubious pasts was a challenge too far, as was producing a suitable logo for the European Parliament election ballot papers.

Their original number one candidate for Scotland, Joseph Russo, withdrew one day after the list was announced saying he was unprepared for the “personal scrutiny” that would result. Who’d be a political candidate, eh? One minute you’re riding high, the next someone’s moaning that you once tweeted that you’re scared of black women due to an experience with a “crazy black whore”. It’s political correctness gone mad!

Change UK’s attempt to get down with the kids by incorporating a hashtag into their logo resulted in a spectacular #fail when the electoral authorities said it broke the rules, and as a consequence they are being represented by a blank space. Which is better than being represented by Joseph Russo, but only just.

Ironically, they’ve even managed to do a terrible job of printing words on the side of a bus.

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Then there’s the problem of that new name, Change UK, which makes little sense given their raison d’etre is battling to keep the UK in the EU – ie, to maintain the status quo. No-one seriously believes they will represent a serious challenge at the next General Election, or even that they’ll manage to agree on a manifesto. Change? Well, the members have changed their seats in the House of Commons, does that count?

The National:

The party’s leader Heidi Allen says that for this campaign they are focussed “100% on bringing a swift conclusion to this desperate Brexit process”, which makes sense given the European Parliament elections are being viewed by absolutely everyone as a Leave/Remain re-run for the UK.

However, it makes a little less sense when you remember there are a few other parties in the UK that would like you to express your Remain position by voting for them.

Some of these parties don’t count, however, if you ask Change UK’s Chuka Umunna, because they are nationalist parties, and Change UK is a Unionist party. Again, it seems a lot like Change UK is not so much about changing things as keeping them the same.

You could be forgiven for thinking they’d chosen the optimistic name in a weak attempt to piggyback on the success of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential election campaign. But that can’t be right, because Chuka Umunna famously hates being compared to Barack Obama, especially via a Wikipedia page that he definitely did not write himself.

As if things weren’t confusing enough, Tory-turned-Tigger Anna Soubry mistakenly announced to the House of Commons that the party was called, confusing it with the well-known petitions website. Incidentally the petition “Support the Independent Group of MPs” currently has 16 signatories while another headed “MPs to call by-elections if they leave their party. End #votetheft” is sitting at nearly 130,000.

All in all, things were already going pretty badly for the band of principled defectors when the news broke this week that their number one candidate in Scotland (a replacement one), David Macdonald, had decided to defect just eight days before the election.

Upon realising he hasn’t got much of a chance of winning, the independent East Renfrewshire councillor’s encouraging voters to back the LibDems instead. You have to admire his honesty if nothing else. It has apparently taken him until this late stage to realise that adding a new anti-Brexit party to the mix risks splitting the vote, and that “we’re looking at a very different political landscape in Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom.” You don’t say!

Unfortunately Mr Macdonald still doesn’t appear to have brushed up on his Scottish Politics for Dummies, or taken a peek at the latest polls, which suggest the SNP could be set to win 40% of the vote and perhaps even gain a fourth MEP.

Either you believe this is a single-issue election or you don’t, and it’s clear there are two changes both Macdonald and his erstwhile colleagues want to prevent: Brexit and Scottish independence. Is it too early for another rebranding?