Thursday, 21 November, 2019

Smaller pro-EU parties unveil electoral pact for United Kingdom election

Jo Swinson on the campaign trail Jo Swinson on the campaign trail
Deanna Wagner | 09 November, 2019, 13:26

Plaid Cymru and the Green Party agreed not to stand in order to hand an advantage to Lib Dem candidate Jane Dodds, who saw off the sitting Conservative MP for the region, Chris Davies.

The Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru have signed up to an electoral pact which could make life harder for the Conservatives in several constituencies on election day.

Liberal Democrats and Greens are likely to stand aside for Plaid Cymru candidates in three of the four seats Plaid is defending in the December election - Arfon, Dwyfor Meirionydd and Carmarthen East and Dinefwr.

The Green party will not be challenged by the Lib Dems in Brighton Pavillion, which is being defended by Caroline Lucas.

"We are putting party politics aside in the interest of our country and have cemented a cross-party arrangement whereby Remain-voting parties in England and Wales are working together to back one Remain candidate".

"This historic cross-party initiative gives us the best chance to return more Remain MPs to further the fight to stop Brexit and I would like to thank Plaid Cymru and the Greens for taking part in these talks".

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The survey by YouGov shows Labour falling behind the Liberal Democrats in Scotland, securing just 12% of the vote if an election was held tomorrow - less than half of the figure in 2017. Forty-nine of those seats are in England while 11 are be in Wales.

In nearby Bury St Edmunds the Lib Dems will stand aside for the Greens to take on health secretary Matt Hancock.

All three parties share pro-European platforms and have agreed a deal not to field candidates in 60 constituencies where they are up against Conservative MPs or challengers.

Heidi Allen, a former Conservative lawmaker who joined the Liberal Democrats and is standing down at December's election, said the alliance was needed because the election is one of the most important in Britain's recent history. "This is our opportunity to tip the balance of power away from the two largest parties and into a progressive Remain Alliance", she said.

She said Labour was excluded from the pact because it is "not a Remain party unequivocally".

Peter Dunphy, a strategist with the group organising the pact, Unite to Remain, said at least 44 of the seats were "highly winnable".