There is more evidence of alliances forming to get rid of the Tories. This time in Brighton. Here, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats are teaming up to get rid of the Tories. The Lib Dems will not run in Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas’s seat of Brighton Pavilion. And the Greens will not stand in Brighton Kemptown.
This is precisely the kind of pragmatic thinking that could prove to be Theresa May’s worst nightmare.
Caroline Lucas stated that:
[the] decision by local Lib Dems is welcome, particularly after Greens stood aside in Richmond.
She was referring here to the Richmond by-election in December 2016, when a Lib Dem candidate beat incumbent Zac Goldsmith. This was in part thanks to the Greens (and at least some Labour supporters) siding with the Lib Dems as the main opposition party in the constituency.
Lucas also offered a message of hope, saying:
In Brighton something amazing is happening. People are putting aside party allegiances and working together so we have the best possible chance of delivering a fairer voting system and beating the Tories at the next election.
And she was clear about what needs to happen next:
It’s now up to the Lib Dem and Labour leaderships to sit down for talks about how we can make this movement for electoral alliances work.
This news follows an announcement days before that the Green Party will not run a candidate in Ealing Central and Acton. In this seat, it is to increase the chances of a Labour victory in the country’s fifth most marginal constituency. Through their decision, local Greens hoped to give incumbent Labour MP Rupa Huq a better chance of beating the Tories.
But why are alliances so important?
Labour and the Lib Dems dismissed an earlier call from the Greens for an electoral pact to defeat the Tories. But with informal alliances now spreading, there is real hope of changing the political landscape. And as Lucas rallied on 27 April:
Our political system is broken. We have a government hellbent on some of the most extreme policies in a generation: a crumbling NHS, a jilted generation of young people being let down and the pursuit of a hardline extreme Brexit… our hugely undemocratic electoral system is so stacked in the establishment’s favour that the Tories can win a majority on just 24% of the eligible vote…
According to analysis by Compass, electoral alliances at this election could help Labour win up to 29 Tory seats – and help them defend vulnerable ones too. They could allow the Lib Dems to pick off some Tories in the south-west and would give the Greens a chance to topple the Tories in places like the Isle of Wight…
to beat the Tories, and to increase the chances of mending our broken politics, we need to be realistic about what’s needed to form a progressive government… we must hack the system – and respect the fact that no single party has a monopoly on wisdom…
Jeremy, Tim, over to you.
So why not give it a shot?
By calling a snap election, Theresa May hasn’t given other parties much time to organise such alliances. But there are small signs that, with a little kick from the Greens, they might just rise to the challenge. And if parties can put aside banner waving and tribal loyalties for the good of the country and progressive politics, then there is a real chance that things can be different.
So come on opposition parties. What are you waiting for?
– See more on the discussion about creating a progressive alliance before the general election.
– Register to vote in the 8 June general election. If you don’t have a national insurance number, a 5 minute phone call on 0300 200 3500 will get it sent to you in ten days.
– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.
– If you’re in a marginal seat and your party is unlikely to win, why not raise your voice for a progressive alliance?
– Also read more Canary articles on the 2017 general election.