Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron attempted to lure voters away from Labour, as he addressed his party's annual conference in Brighton today (20 September).

Farron praised New Labour co-architect and former Prime Minister Tony Blair, attacked Jeremy Corbyn and said he would be "open" to working with leadership challenger Owen Smith because of his pledge to hold a second referendum to "ratify" a Brexit deal.

"We will stand up to the Conservative Brexit government," Farron said.

"If Labour won't be the opposition Britain needs, then we will. That's what we're fighting for. A Britain that's open, tolerant and united."

He added: "I kind of see Tony Blair the way I see The Stone Roses, I preferred the early work. Tony Blair's government gave us the National Minimum Wage.

"It gave us working tax credits. It gave us NHS investment and a massive school building programme. I disagree with him a lot, but I will not criticise him for those things. I admire him for those things.

"I respect him for believing that the point of being in politics is to get stuff done, and you can only get stuff done if you win."

But Farron's party has a long way to go before it can really take on the Tories. The Liberal Democrats were reduced to just eight MPs at the last general election and voters dealt the pro-EU party a further blow when the UK voted to leave the EU in a 23 June referendum.

The latest opinion poll from YouGov for The Times, of more than 1,700 people between 13 and 14 September, put the Liberal Democrats on just 7%, behind the Conservatives, Labour and Ukip.

However, Corbyn's leadership has taken Labour leftwards, with policies to renationalise the railways and abolish zero-hours contracts, opening up the centre ground.

Farron's praise of Blair is clearly to pitch to moderate voters, while he attempts to attract the 48% of voters who backed a Remain vote with a pledge to hold a second referendum on the issue.

The policy has attracted criticism from party grandee and former business secretary Sir Vince Cable, who branded it "seriously disrespectful".

But just five people voted against a motion backing the pledge during the conference, while Farron received a standing ovation after he finished his speech to the party faithful today.