Election deal spat in Somerton & Frome
Over the weekend the Greens, LibDems and Plaid Cymru hammered out a deal. All 3 parties support a Remain position over Brexit. So for this election at least, in around 60 constituencies, the three parties have agreed to field just one candidate, the one they feel has the best chance of winning.
So in essence, the “Remain” vote will not be split three ways.
To date this has not been an unmitigated success. Already by lunchtime today a LibDem candidate had resigned to stand as an Independent. Mike Powell, who intended to stand in Pontypridd as a Lib Dem candidate, said he was asked to stand aside three weeks ago. He has refused to do so.
This afternoon the Somerton & Frome Green Party has put out a press release claiming the LibDems sabotaged a similar pact here in Somerset.
It has been suggested that Adam Boyden was asked to stand aside in Somerton & Frome to give Green Party Candidate, Dr Andrea Dexter a better chance to win the seat.
The press release states “We are very sorry that the Liberal Democrat Candidate for Somerton & Frome has refused to honour his Party’s side of the national agreement between the Green Party, Liberal Democrats, and Plaid Cymru. This threatened the whole “Unite to Remain” electoral co-operation to field a single Remain supporting Candidate in each Constituency – Adam Boyden’s reaction will almost certainly ensure that Somerton & Frome will again return a Conservative MP to promote the hardest possible Brexit.”
Green Party Candidate for Somerton & Frome, Dr Andrea Dexter told us “Electing Green MPs will reform our politics so that by the next election we have proportional representation, and everyone’s vote will count.”
The Leveller® contacted Adam Boyden, who remains the LibDem candidate for the constituency and he told us “Decisions made on the Unite to Remain deal were agreed by both the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats at a national level. We have had no….. instruction from our national party to stand down”
This is a difficult constituency to call for both parties. On the one hand the LibDems have traditionally been either the incumbent MP or the second largest party. But in recent elections their votes have fallen away to just 13,325 in 2017.
On the other hand the Green Party polled only 2,347 in 2017, but after returning two county councillors in Frome in 2017 and 10 District Councillors for Mendip in 2019, they will feel the political momentum is with them.
Now it seems for this election at least they will stand against each other thereby splitting the “Remain” vote.