To: The Green Party, The Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, The Independent Party for Change
Support a Single pro-Remain Candidate in Stratford-on-Avon
With the prospect of a snap general election now looking increasingly likely, the members of local campaign group, Stratford4Europe, urge you to work with the other political parties which support the UK remaining in the European Union to back putting forward a single Remain Alliance parliamentary candidate in Stratford-on-Avon.
We appreciate the pro-remain parties may have many other issues which divide them but Brexit is undoubtedly the defining issue of our age. Working together in an attempt to win seats like ours in Stratford does not mean permanently abandoning party loyalties or trying to put together common policies across the whole political spectrum. Rather, in the short term, it is a pragmatic attempt to deal with the emergency situation created by the Johnson government. In any case, if as threatened a no-deal Brexit goes ahead, this will undoubtedly have severe repercussions for every other policy area.
Our local context makes this request for a single Remain Alliance candidate imperative. Stratford-on-Avon is traditionally a very safe Conservative seat where, in 2017, our current MP, Nadhim Zahawi, achieved a vote share of 62%. He is also a staunch supporter of Brexit and of the no-deal policy of Boris Johnson’s new government. In the 2016 referendum, however, 48% of constituents backed remaining in the EU and data we have collected since then suggests many leave voters have changed their minds.
We believe too that the Conservative majority in Stratford can be overturned. Firstly, by combining the votes of the pro-remain parties for a single candidate and, secondly, by encouraging the 27% of eligible voters who chose not to use their votes in the last general election to see that their votes will count. In addition there are many young people in Stratford, who overwhelmingly support Remain, and who since the 2016 referendum have become eligible to vote. Also, we have strong anecdotal evidence that our MP’s popularity is in decline and lastly, there is still the possibility that a Brexit Party candidate will split the Conservative vote.
With all this in mind and with the likelihood of a general election being imminent we urge you to confirm with us that you are willing to back the idea of a Remain Alliance candidate in Stratford-on-Avon. If so, you will be able to count on the enthusiastic support of the large cross-party team of enthusiastic volunteers we have gathered to our cause since the 2016 referendum. In our eyes, not to seize this opportunity would be an abject failure to help protect and secure our fragile democracy, the UK’s independence and security as well as our traditional values which are now all under threat.
Chair, Stratford-on-Avon for Europe (Stratford4Europe)
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