April 23rd 2017
Landmark agreements made in Brighton and Ealing mark first steps towards local cross-party alliances to defeat the Tories in the upcoming general election.
In Ealing, sitting Labour MP Rupa Huq is defending a slender majority, while in Brighton Kemptown challenging Labour candidate Nancy Platts was just one and a half points behind the Conservative candidate in the 2015 poll.
In both seats the local Green Party has decided not to stand a candidate in an attempt to push these contests in favour of a progressive, while in Brighton Pavilion, the Liberal Democrats have announced they will not be standing a candidate to contest Green MP, Caroline Lucas' seat.
Progressive Alliance: a campaign engineered by Compass, has been instrumental in bringing parties together to collaborate.
The goal of the movement is to abandon the old tribalism and work together to reset the political system.
Progressive Alliance have launched a 'Vote Smart' tool using voting data from the most recent elections to determine who the most realistic progressive challenger is in each seat, to show the best way to vote for a progressive candidate and defeat the Conservatives on June 8th.
Parties in Ealing and Brighton are listening to people and taking the first crucial steps in forming alliances to make this vision a reality.
Georgia Amson-Bradshaw, the co-convenor of Sussex Progressives: a Brighton-based group who have been working tirelessly for cross-party cooperation, said:
“I'm inspired and energised by the amazing decisions that both the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats in Brighton and Hove took last night to put tribalism aside and work for the greater good
“The Greens have shown great moral leadership by standing aside in Ealing and now Brighton Kemptown too, and the Lib Dems have proven they prioritise progressive values over the colour of a rosette.
“I hope that these courageous examples are just the start of a progressive, forward-thinking and grown-up politics.”
Neal Lawson, Chair of Compass said:
“After the Green decision in the Richmond Park by-election last November to step down – which led to Zac Goldsmith being unseated, the Greens have now stood down in favour of Labour in Ealing Central.
“UK electoral politics is changing before our eyes. Local parties are meeting and deciding against all precedent that they will not contest seats where they cannot win and instead back the best-placed progressive party”
Compass can today reveal that there are dozens of local conversations taking place and expect more announcements soon.
Neal Lawson concluded:
“The Tories are getting a free run at power because of first past the post. A Progressive Alliance, formed from the bottom up, is starting to break the Tory stronghold on power”