Dear Somerton and Frome constituency voter,
I’m writing to make it clear why we are counting on your vote on July 20th. The first past the post electoral system always places the public under a lot of pressure to vote tactically against the party you least like. In every election, whether local or national, the Liberal Democrats repeat the message that “only we can beat the Tories here”, and such is the current disdain for the Conservatives, it can be persuasive. It can also be untrue.
I recall this same slogan being used in the 2017 Somerset County elections. In the end it was a straight battle between the Tory and me. I won by 4 votes, but the Liberal Democrat trailed in a distant third. They repeated the same old mantra last year in the Somerset elections, yet we beat them to win 4 of the 6 seats in Frome. In my seat it was by a margin of over 30%.
Now their leaflets are directly undermining the Green campaign.
This indicates to me that they are worried. They know we have the biggest support in Frome and that it’s growing in many other parts of the constituency. They may also have picked up on a trend that happened in recent council elections when disaffected Tory and Labour voters transferred to Green.
We’re asking you to remember to vote Green for the following key reasons:
- The Conservatives are at their lowest ebb in the polls. They have selected a candidate from outside of the constituency and face vote splitting from both The Reform Party and UKIP. Their vote will crash. They may even finish third or fourth.
- Labour have surprisingly selected a candidate from outside of the constituency instead of the highly popular previous candidate, who has publicly resigned, openly criticising the party. They face a vote split with an Independent Socialist.
- The Liberal Democrat candidate made a calamitous start to the campaign. I’m sure many of you have heard our respective interviews on the Guardian podcast.
- A by-election in July is likely to attract a low turn-out, and this can be to our advantage. With 30- 40,000 electors, could mean a winner being declared with only 8,000 to 10,000 votes. If our core vote holds up, we could reach that figure.
- Tactical voting won’t change the government in a by-election.
The final big reason to support the Green Party is in laying a solid foundation for the next General election. We will no longer be in Somerton and Frome. The western side of the constituency will be amalgamated with the Glastonbury area, whilst Frome will be the central point of a new constituency with Radstock, Midsomer Norton and Bruton. Both new areas present a far stronger winning opportunity for the Green Party. Doing well now, with an increased vote, will enable us to campaign with confidence and credibility at the General Election next year.
To apply for a postal vote click Application to vote by post (publishing.service.gov.uk) to download the application form and post to: Electoral Registration Officer , Somerset Council Offices, Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5BT by 5th July
Remember to bring your ID to the polling station.
If you wish to donate to the campaign https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/somerton-frome-by-election-green-party-campaign
With thanks and best wishes,