Boost for Layla Moran’s campaign as Greens stand down in Oxford West and Abingdon

The Greens have stepped down in Oxford West and Abingdon, which will help Lib Dem Layla Moran who is in second place in this heavily Remain voting area.

From the Oxford Mail

The Green Party will now be telling supporters that the main aim is to try and prevent a Conservative victory in Oxford West and Abingdon, and Layla Moran of the Liberal Democrats is the candidate who stands most chance of defeating the Conservative candidate Nicola Blackwood.

Ms Briggs said: “I’m a Green Party member to the core, but we need to be prepared to put the greater good before our own political self-interest here.

“As it is a marginal constituency, the party is prepared to support the progressive party that has the best chance of beating the Conservatives.”

The decision follows discussions between senior members of the local Liberal Democrats and the Greens.

Oxfordshire Green Party chairwoman Sarah Wood said: “As things currently stand, the UK is set to be ravaged by five more years of Tory government.

The current Brexiteer Conservative Nicola Blackwood reacted predictably, trotting out the “coalition of chaos” line as if she’s forgotten that the Liberal Democrats have said that they won’t be going into coalition with Conservatives or Labour.

It just goes to show that she is worried, especially after very encouraging local election results in the area for the Liberal Democrats.

 

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21 Comments

  • David Evershed 7th May '17 - 10:29am

    In the counties, Lib Dems need to win votes from Conservative voters. Conservative voters are the biggest pool in which to fish – especially remainers.

    Aligning with the Green party is surely going to win fewer Green inclined voters than lose Conservative remain electors who might have switched to Lib Dem.

    Plus the long term damage to the Lib Dem brand from being aligned with another party.

  • Richard Underhill 7th May '17 - 10:38am

    Liberal Democrats have an environmental agenda approved by a democratic conference.

  • One of the main reasons I was first attracted to the LibDems was that it was streets ahead of Labour and the Tories when it comes to the environment, followed up by having a policy on electoral reform. These are areas where we have considerable overlap with the Greens, and when you add in Brexit, there is sufficient overlap for this to be credible, especially to the local electorate.

    The sort of voter floating between the Tories and us are likely to be open to all of those policies, and not to see political parties in black and white terms. They will also be the ones most nervous about the Tories being overly associated with UKIP, so that will even itself up.

    If there are Tory/LibDem voters who are scared of the Greens, it’s only going to bother them should we stand down, and if they think that means that Parliament will be overflowing with Green MPs. That’s never going to happen.

    It’s up to us to properly communicate these deals, with a lot of emphasis on the need for electoral reform. If the local Tory candidate complains, we should pressure them to comment on whether this means they support a change to the electoral system so there is no need for these pacts.

  • David Evans 7th May '17 - 11:36am

    David Evershed – an interesting point, but Nick tried fishing in that pond for five years and totally failed. However, to be any more than a well constructed argument, you would need to get some hard data to show that Conservative remain voters are peeling off to us but wouldn’t if the Greens stood down.

  • Welcome news, the Greens standing down in the Richmond by-election helped Sarah Olney.

  • Sue Sutherland 7th May '17 - 12:37pm

    This is welcome news! In order to win in several constituencies we have to squeeze the non Tory vote as well as persuading soft Tories to come to us and this gives a strong message to voters to vote tactically. We have done the same for Caroline Lucas.

  • @David Evershed – this isn’t any sort of alignment with the Green Party. They have taken the decision not to stand and tell their supporters to vote Lib Dem.

  • Duncan greenland 7th May '17 - 3:49pm

    Very welcome news ; Lib Dem local.parties should also be prepared to stand aside in constituencies that they know they almost certainly cannot win but an alternative anti-brexit candidate with enough cross party support probably could !

  • Unfortunately we are starting from horribly low base due to the 2015 result

  • I see the potential for short term advantage, but two things bother me. First, the presumption that the Lib Dems and the Greens occupy similar philosophical territory. While there is some policy overlap, the Green Party is anti growth (and hence anti capitalist in practice), has a neo Corbynite defence policy and an authoritarian streak.
    Secondly, what happens at the next general election if, as a result of our standing aside, the Greens have won a seat or come a fair second ? Do we have to stand aside again, in which case the local party might as well disband ?

  • @ Chris Cory I find your post is depressing and tribal.

    You will find that many long standing Liberals agree with the greater part of the Green manifesto. Your take on it is , frankly neo-tabloid Conservative-lite.

  • Patrick Coleman 7th May '17 - 8:07pm

    Non-tribal progressive success last Thursday:
    May 2017 Gloucestershire County Council result : Minchinhampton Division
    Green (2,320) gain from Tory (2,293): straight fight, no Liberal Democrat or Labour.

  • Richard Underhill 7th May '17 - 8:37pm

    Nigel Farage endorsed Le Pen, who has conceded. Macron won by 65% to 35%. Pro EU.
    Endorsed by Obama “En Marche!”
    Polite cliché from Donald Trump. !!

  • James Shearer 8th May '17 - 8:32am

    Which seats have we stood aside in favour of the Green candidate apart from Brighton Pavilion? It can’t be all one way!

  • Graem Peters 8th May '17 - 1:13pm

    Oxford Greens saying vote Lib Dem will help Oxford Lib Dems pick up votes from those who might have otherwise voted Labour.

  • John Bicknell 8th May '17 - 1:18pm

    The vitriol expressed on the BBC’S website to Caroline Lucas’s call for a progressive alliance may not be representative of the public at large, though I suspect it reflects, in extreme form, the public distrust of such deals.
    The concern expressed by Chris Cory should not be dismissed out of hand; if we stand down in seats where we have been strong in the past, any recovery in these areas will take longer to achieve.

  • @David Raw. You may find my comments depressing, but are they backed up by fact. The Greens say they believe in “immediate and unconditional nuclear disarmament”, that has clear similarities to the Corbyn position.
    I believe it is more difficult to achieve social and economic equality in a zero growth environment. That does not make me Conservative lite. I believe that are not “liberal” in the sense we are -that’s my opinion, I concede.
    And you haven’t even addressed my comment on the effect standing down would have on the prospects of local parties (thank you John Bicknell).
    Going around accusing each other of being Torys is beneath us, surely we can respect that we all have the parties best interests at heart.

  • Chris Cory “The Greens say they believe in “immediate and unconditional nuclear disarmament”, that has clear similarities to the Corbyn position.” Yes, and to that of nearly half the Liberal Democrat members at Conference who think that Trident is far from desirable and a waste of money.

    As to standing down and the long term damage to local parties it surely can’t be as bad as the Coalition effect on results in 1915… Sheffield Central, for example, if you want to look that one up…………..

  • @David Raw, at the risk of boring everyone else with our little disagreement. Can I point out that Liberal Democrats policy is to support multilateral disarmament, not unilateralist, not withstanding the misgivings of many members about Trident. The day we become unilateralist then I imagine many of us, including those in the party leadership, will have a serious problem.
    Not sure what point you make in second paragraph. Seems to suggest that because the party was damaged after the coalition, we might as well smash it up again ? Or is this an attempt to have another go at our participation in the 2010-15 government ?
    For what it’s worth, I take Paddy Ashdown’s view of the coalition, indeed I’m proud to say that (or was that disagreeably tribal ?)

  • @ Chris Cory I know full well what the official party line is on Trident, thank you, although it must be a puzzle for many of the electorate.

    Having said that I can appreciate how tender your sensibilities must be about the Green Party on the Isle of Wight, given it was a seat we held not that long ago.

  • Simon Banks 4th Jul '17 - 10:13am

    Well, looks like it worked. I don’t think there’s any evidence that being supported by the Greens puts off Tory/Lib Dem waverers. It almost certainly helped motivate students and young people generally to vote for Layla, as they didn’t do elsewhere.

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