Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Peter Chowney campaigning to keep the Station Plaza Walk-In Centre open earlier this year.

Peter Chowney campaigning to keep the Station Plaza Walk-In Centre open earlier this year.

People’s Vote endorsement boosts Labour candidate

Labour has received a boost with an endorsement for its candidate Peter Chowney from the People’s Vote campaign, which calls on Remainers to vote tactically. The move is a setback for the Liberal Democrats. Nick Terdre reports.

The People’s Vote “will be advising all those who want another chance to have their say on Britain’s future relationship with the European Union to vote tactically in support of Peter in the upcoming general election on December 12,” local Labour said.

“We are very happy with this endorsement,” said Chowney. “It is good news for Labour. People’s Vote has recognised that we are in the best position in Hastings & Rye to provide an alternative to the hard Brexit offered by the Conservatives.”

This view is not shared by the Liberal Democrats, who see themselves as the local champions of Remain. ‘Local people must use their judgement about which candidate will best represent Remain here in Hastings and Rye,” the Lib Dem candidate Nick Perry, who took part in the recent People’s Vote mass march on Parliament, told HOT.

Nick Perry at the People's Vote march in October (photo: Lib Dems).

Nick Perry at the People’s Vote march in October (photo: Lib Dems).

“Our own data based on this year’s actual election results and additional independent polling suggests that there is a Liberal Democrat surge here, largely based on our consistent policy position of resisting Brexit.

”Local Labour is accepting an endorsement from a campaign it has been totally silent on. I am sure that Remainers will be well aware of that as they cast their vote in this General Election.”

In the elections to the European Parliament in May, under a proportional representation system, the Lib Dems were the second largest party with just over 20% of the votes.

Different strategies

Under their new leader Jo Swinson, the Lib Dems believe they have a realistic chance of forming the next government – and if they do, they will see their success as a mandate to reverse Brexit by revoking Article 50 without the need for a second referendum.

Chowney spelt out Labour’s plan if it wins the election. “A Labour government will renegotiate a Brexit deal that guarantees jobs and rights currently enjoyed as a member of the EU. And we have pledged to put that deal to the British people within six months – with Remain as an option.

“I personally will be campaigning to Remain. But Labour is offering people a real choice – and one that will draw a line under this divisive debate, so the country can move on and enable us to tackle the injustices in our society after nine years of Tory rule.”

He pointed out that in the 2017 general election, under the first-past-the-post system like the current one, he polled just 346 votes short of Conservative candidate Amber Rudd’s 25,668, while Perry polled 1,885 votes.

The People’s Vote has proposed candidates for tactical support by Remain voters in most constituencies. It mainly recommends voting for the Labour candidate, but in a small number of seats, including Eastbourne, backs the Lib Dem candidate.

Clicking on the button to find The People’s Vote’s recommendation for any constituency takes you to the website of Tactical Vote, another Remain campaign. In other words, the two campaigns, although they are separate, share the same tactical voting recommendations.


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Posted 18:52 Friday, Nov 15, 2019 In: Election 2019

Also in: Election 2019

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