Whig activists who have been in the political wilderness since the mid-nineteenth century have earmarked the Labour Party’s latest split as an opportunity to rise to power again, it has emerged.

The Whig Party, which last won an election in 1859, is hoping infighting amongst those in parliament’s two biggest parties could pave the way for it to recapture the centre ground in British politics, and mandate it to start a moderate agenda based on opposition to absolute monarchy, toleration of dissenting Protestants, and implementation of a jobs first Brexit.

Party officials, headed by party leader Baron Palmerson IV, plan to launch a manifesto and five-year plan at a press conference in Old Sarum, Wiltshire, later this evening, to which only those holding property worth over eight shillings will be invited.

“We know that people think the days of the Whigs are over, but frankly they’re not. We’ve got common sense policies, and don’t carry the toxicity of the other two major parties” said Whig Party youth spokesperson Lord Smithington of Suffolk, who celebrated his 112th birthday last weekend.

“How can anyone say we’re out of touch? We’re opposed to hanging now, we don’t even hate the poor that much, and we moved to shut out trading relations with European neighbours a good 300 years before it was popular when we started prohibition against the French in 1678. That’s a track record you can trust.”

Sources close to the party suggest they will try to stand in the seats of Plympton Erle, East Looe and Bramber, West Sussex at the next election, but may have to reselect some prospective parliamentary candidates after an outbreak of gout amongst members following a last cheese and port night earlier this month.

By Callum Mason