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Guildford Lib Dems and Greens Considering Election Pact

Published on: 26 Apr, 2017
Updated on: 26 Apr, 2017

The Liberal Democrats and the Green Party in Guildford are considering forming an election pact to boost the chances of electing a non-Tory in Guildford.

Such a move would have the support of the Guildford Greenbelt Group who have decided not to put up a candidate in the general election

But it is understood that Guildford Labour is not, for the moment, minded to join any “progressive pact” and are likely to put their own candidate, yet to be selected, forward.

Zoe Franklin, Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Guildford

Only yesterday (April 25, 2017) the prospective parliamentary candidate for the Green Party was announced as Mark Bray-Parry but if a pact is agreed then he would be expected to withdraw in favour of the Lib Dem candidate, Zoe Franklin.

Franklin was selected by the Lib Dems last July (2016) soon after the EU referendum when her party felt a snap election could be called by the Conservatives to take advantage of their lead in the opinion polls.

The idea of a local electoral pact was brought up yesterday evening (April 25, 2017) at a hustings meeting of the Guildford-in-Europe group. Its mention attracted some applause from the small audience of 30 who had gathered to hear representatives of the parties standing in the county council election.

Susan Parker the leader of the Guildford Greenbelt Group said at the meeting, also attended by Ms Franklin: “I would urge that we all consider a progressive local alliance supporting Zoe Franklin here. I think it would give the best chance of reversing the Brexit policy.”

Mark Bray-Parry Green Party candidate

The hope of those forming a pact would be that the Lib Dem candidate would attract support from all those who are against Brexit or a “hard” Brexit, as well as tactical Labour voters, and others, who simply wish to oppose the Conservatives.

Discussions on similar election pacts are being reported in other parts of the country. In Brighton where one of the three seats is held by the Green Party’s sole MP, Caroline Lucas, the Greens said that they were writing to Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Women’s Equality Party and others to “ask for talks about electoral alliances”.

Asked about the possibility of forming a pact in Guildford the Green Party candidate Mark Bray-Parry said: “Nothing has been agreed but there is some discussion,” while George Potter, the Lib Dem county council candidate for Guildford East, said: “We are not ruling anything out but nothing has been decided.”

Whether a electoral pact is formed or not, opponents of the Conservative candidate Anne Milton have a mountain to climb if they are to mount a serious challenge.

At the 2015 election there was a 14% swing to the Conservatives and she secured a huge 22,000 majority and this time it is expected that a good chunk of those who voted UKIP will support the Tories.

Most observers agree that former borough councillor Zoe Franklin will do well, especially without Labour support, to significantly reduce Milton’s majority .

The 2015 Guildford Election Result

There are some reasons for Lib Dem optimism though, 56% of those who voted in the EU referendum here in Guildford voted Remain and, disappointed with Tory Brexit policy, might switch to the Lib Dems. Additionally, there are consistent reports of disquiet, especially in the Cranleigh part of the Guildford constituency, over the amount of new housing developments being planned with the apparent support of central government.

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Responses to Guildford Lib Dems and Greens Considering Election Pact

  1. Christian Holliday Reply

    April 26, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Britain is leaving the European Union. Instead of wasting time fighting old battles that they have already lost the other parties should respect the referendum result and set out their visions for a positive post-Brexit Britain.

    Christian Holliday is the Conservative borough councillor for Burpham and was a Leave campaigner.

    • David Wragg Reply

      April 27, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      Christian Holliday is right and so much for the ‘democrat’ in the Lib Dem’s title.

      What the Remainers do not realise is if we have a defeat for the government or somehow force it to change its mind, our ability to negotiate anything will be completely lost. A change of heart at this stage will only earn us Europe’s contempt.

      David Cameron did this. He said he would negotiate and then campaign to stay in Europe, forgetting the important bit, about getting satisfactory concessions first, so it not surprising that he achieved nothing.

      Let us remember that while Winston Churchill thought a ‘United States of Europe’ would be a good idea, it was with the proviso that we would not be part of it.

      The attitude of the EU leaders to our referendum result only confirms my view that the EU is not for us.

  2. Simon Schultz Reply

    April 26, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Or what? Would Cllr Holliday have us all arrested for treason? (I presume you are no longer suspended.)

    The parties should set out their visions for the Britain they believe will be best for our children.

  3. Colin Cross Reply

    April 26, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    Young Holliday once claimed open season
    To hunt Remainers, all guilty of treason.
    He was mocked and suspended,
    His premise upended
    Still he argues we fight with no reason.

    Colin Cross is the Lib Dem borough councillor for Lovelace

  4. Stuart Barnes Reply

    April 27, 2017 at 8:41 am

    The chances of the not democratic Liberals winning the seat are about as high as mine of being the opening bat for England versus Australia!

    BetFair are offering only 33/1 on a Lib Dem win in Guildford. Perhaps you’d better look out your bat! Ed

  5. David Pillinger Reply

    April 28, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    In a first-past-the-post system there is no point in putting up small parties. If we had two rounds, as in France, then yes, but in Britain, absolutely no point at all. It’s like putting Stuart Barnes in to open for England!

  6. Paul Bishop Reply

    April 28, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    The only pact they can make is to not get elected together. Also, interesting to read only 30 people turned up to the ‘Guildford in Europe’ meeting. It seems the majority of the borough have accepted democracy and getting on with business and life. Good to see.

  7. Jenny Procter Reply

    April 29, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Britain is leaving the EU but this election is about much more than Brexit. If all perspective is to be lost in following only that one thread it will be to all our cost.

    The Tory government has not served us particularly well and continues to become ever more patronising and less engaged with general popular opinion on many fundamental issues.

    If the only reasoning we are to hear from the Conservatives is embedded in the already tired “safe and stable” platitude I think they need to be a bit worried. Campaign fear did not work for Brexit.

    On the doorstep campaigning for local elections and in general conversations many are saying they will not vote Conservative nationally.

    I have in the past but will not this time and my vote has very little to do with Brexit and a great deal more to do with the sort of conditions I would like to live in and the sort of administration I would like to see for the country overall.

  8. Lisa Wright Reply

    April 29, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Mine’s a green belt issue.

    Conservatives haven’t done anything to protect our countryside even though they pledged to protect our green belt at the last election.

    I am waiting for manifestos from the different parties so as yet am an undecided voter but you can be assured my vote will definitely not be blue.

  9. Bernard Parke Reply

    April 30, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Lisa Wright is absolutely right.

    How many people voted for their local Tory councillors in 2015 thinking their pledge that the green belt, as we know it, was safe in their hands?

    Unfortunately this was just not true.

    I am sure that the electorate will not easily forget this when voting this week.

  10. Ann Ringrow Reply

    May 15, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Where have all the posters supporting the candidates gone. Normally there are many attached to people’s houses , showing a real interest in political outcomes. I have seen very, very few in the Guildford area. Is this significant?

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