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GGG Stand Down from By-election to Avoid Splitting Further the Non-Tory Vote

Published on: 20 Sep, 2022
Updated on: 23 Sep, 2022

By Martin Giles

GBC Election 2019 result map Tillngbourne Ward, bottom right, returned two councillors one Conservative and one Green. Wikipedia.

Despite the risk of splitting the vote for independent and smaller parties at the Tillingbourne by-election, both Residents for Guildford and Villages (R4GV) and the Green Party are to field candidates.

But recognising the risk of a splitting the non-Conservative vote further the Guildford Greenbelt Group (GGG) have decided to stand aside.

The by-election was called following the death of former Mayor of Guildford and borough councillor Richard Billington.

GGG’s party leader Ramsey Nagaty said: “I spent some considerable time weighing up the situation and felt, as did others, that we had the best chance of winning the Tillingbourne by-election.

“Discussions with both the Green Party and R4GV, whilst strengthening ties and areas of co-operation, did not result in either party withdrawing their candidate.

“We chose not to stand our candidate because any additional independent group standing will undoubtedly cause such a split of the public vote that it could result in the Conservatives regaining their seat in this rural ward.

See also: Tillingbourne By-election To Be Held in October

“Some GGG supporters also felt it was inappropriate to stand a candidate following Richard Billington’s sad passing and with the full council election due only next May.”

“We will always support local party and environmental candidates where GGG are not standing.”

R4GV leader Joss Bigmore confirmed his party would be standing a candidate in the Tillingbourne by-election, Clare Price who he said is a current parish councillor representing St Martha’s “with a strong record of championing local issues”.

He added: “Having been the most successful party in the 2019 Elections, winning 15 out of the 17 seats we contested we are not a “minor” party.

“Electoral pacts take residents for granted, it is wrong to try and artificially restrict voters’ choice. We are confident that we are unique in offering deliverable solutions to the borough’s issues and that residents will vote accordingly.”

Claire Whitehouse a local spokesperson for The Green Party said: “Out of respect for our late Queen Elizabeth, the Green Party halted campaigning activities in the Tillingbourne by-election.

Sam Peters, Green Party candidate who lost out when standing in Shere at the SCC elections in May 2021.

“We will be standing a local candidate, Sam Peters, who has worked hard on environmental and other issues to provide solutions for the local community, helping support our current Green Party councillor in Tillingbourne since 2019.

As a party with a hard-working councillor in Tillingbourne already, we believe there is an excellent chance that local people could soon choose to be represented by two Green Party councillors on the borough council.

See also: Dragon Interview – Sam Peters, Green Party (following SCC election in May 2021)

The Green Party has a full manifesto of polices, proactively supporting initiatives beneficial to both the local community and environment that are not offered by the other major parties or by Independents or single-issue parties.

“Sam would be a strong voice for Tillingbourne residents on the council and we look forward to supporting his campaign in the coming weeks.

The Liberal Democrats and Labour have also confirmed they will be standing. The Conservative party is also expected to stand.

Nominations close on Friday, September 23. See GBC’s notice of the vacancy here.

 

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