An Oxfordshire MP has urged voters to work cross-party to oust the Conservatives in the upcoming local elections as a coordinated tactical voting campaign gets underway in the county.
Cross-party campaign group Compass held an event in Oxford last night (March 22) to encourage progressive activists across the county – whatever party they belong to – to come together to help beat the Tories in May’s local elections.
Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran endorsed the campaign and urged voters to ‘get behind the candidate most likely to beat the Tory’.
Around 20 activists from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, including councillors, were present at Compass’ event, which was funded by the Rapid Transition Alliance (RTA).
It came as part of Compass’ Win As One campaign, which is focussed on facilitating cross-party collaboration in key areas across the country to help progressive parties win power – both at a regional and national level.
Yesterday’s event marked the start of Win As One’s campaign action for the upcoming local elections in Oxfordshire, which will see councillors from Cherwell, South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse and West Oxfordshire District Councils face re-election.
The event will be followed by street stalls and letter writing campaigns in the coming weeks to inform voters about the choices at the next election and urge people to vote for the best-placed progressive candidate.
As the only remaining Conservative-controlled council in Oxfordshire, Cherwell District Council is the main area of focus for Win As One in May’s local elections.
In this council, the Conservatives won a majority of the seats (25 out of 48) with a minority share of the popular vote (43%), thanks to the distorting effects of the UK’s First Past the Post (FPTP) electoral system.
Win As One hopes to help progressives take control of Cherwell District Council by encouraging supporters of the Liberal Democrats, Greens and Labour to back the best-placed candidate to beat the Conservatives in each ward.
In South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse and West Oxfordshire District Councils, all of which are currently controlled by progressive parties, Win As One hopes to help progressives further consolidate their position.
Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon and her party’s foreign affairs spokesperson, threw her support behind the Win As One campaign. She said:
“I am grateful to the work of Compass in Oxfordshire. Over the last five years we have achieved great things by encouraging voters from progressive parties to back the candidate most likely to beat the Conservatives.
“Undoubtedly, the work of Compass and those who campaign with them has contributed to our success. We now have only one Tory led council left. The Lib Dems will be fighting hard to win as many seats in South, Vale, West and Cherwell, as we can as other Parties will too.
“I urge those from all political persuasions and none, but who want to see change, to get behind the candidate most likely to beat the Tory. We can achieve historic change and I thank them for their energy and support.”
Ed: West England Bylines is not affiliated to any political organisation but publishes material from across the political spectrum.