An anti-Brexit campaign group has launched a tactical voting scheme to deliver a pro-second referendum Commons majority, and has already backed some Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates.
In what campaign group People’s Vote describe as “the biggest tactical voting operation ever undertaken in Britain”, an online ‘voting hub’ will, they say, offer a clear guide for every constituency in England, Scotland and Wales.
But the biggest focus is on the “People’s Vote 100”: the marginal constituencies where just a few hundred votes can swing the outcome.
Though this list is likely to change as an election campaign develops, People’s Vote have drawn up a provisional set of constituencies to be released in the instance of a snap election.
But they will factor in polling data and changing MPs’ views if an election comes later.
They are also building a largely crowdfunded general election fighting fund, which will help cover the national campaign and will channel donations to the pro-people’s vote candidates who are best placed to win.
The People’s Vote campaign say they’ve already been able to make a call in a few constituencies. In the below list, they will support the following candidates against the Tories already sitting:
Cheadle: Tom Morrison (LD) versus Mary Robinson MP (Con).
Chingford & Woodford Green: Faiza Shaheen (Lab) versus Iain Duncan Smith MP (Con)
Corby: Beth Miller (Lab) versus Tom Pursglove MP (Con)
Hazel Grove: Lisa Smart (LD) versus William Wragg (Con).
Hendon: David Pinto-Duschinsky (Lab) versus Matthew Offord MP (Con)
North Devon: Kirsten Johnson (LD) versus Peter Heaton-Jones MP (Con)
Richmond Park: Sarah Olney (LD) versus Zac Goldsmith MP (Con).
St Ives: Andrew George (LD) versus Derek Thomas MP (Con).
St Albans: Daisy Cooper (LD) versus Anne Main MP (Con).
Wells: Tessa Munt (LD) versus James Heappey MP (Con)
In the following marginal seats, People’s Vote have already declared they’ll encourage people to back the current MP, who already supports a final say referendum:
Bishop Auckland: Helen Goodman MP (Lab)
Canterbury: Rosie Duffield MP (Lab)
Carshalton & Wallington: Tom Brake MP (LD)
Enfield Southgate: Bambos Charalambos MP (Lab)
Gedling: Vernon Coaker MP (Lab)
Ipswich: Sandy Martin MP (Lab)
Oxford West & Abingdon: Layla Moran MP (LD)
Stroud: David Drew MP (Lab)
Wakefield: Mary Creagh MP (Lab)
Weaver Vale: Mike Amesbury MP (Lab)
In other seats, the campaign will factor in candidates’ opinions, examine polling evidence, as well as looking at the results of local, European and national elections before making a call.
Lord Heseltine, who supports the People’s Vote campaign, said that the election to come will be “like none other in my lifetime” and urged people to make their voices heard even if it means stepping away from ordinary party loyalties.
Heseltine, a former Tory deputy prime minister, voted Liberal Democrat in the EU elections to signal his support for a second referendum.
“The stakes could not be higher,” he said. “[A general election] is likely to result in either Boris Johnson as prime minister forcing no deal on the country, or a parliament that supports a final say referendum.
“It is your choice. It is vital your voice is heard and that your vote counts. The majority of people opposed to Johnson’s Brexit will have an opportunity to stop him. But this will involve difficult decisions for millions of people who may, like me in the recent European elections, find themselves voting for a party they have never backed before.
“But this will be an election like none other in my lifetime. Brexit is prising loose the political allegiances of millions of people. Together, we can make sure in a new parliament there is majority for solving this crisis in the only legitimate and democratic way available: through a People’s Vote”
Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, activist for the youth-led campaign group For our Future’s Sake (FFS), noted the rise in young people’s voter registration and said they are more likely to support a second referendum.
“This generation of young people will be unlikely to stick to traditional party-political voting allegiances and will vote tactically for pro-People’s Vote parties, whenever the election comes,” she added.
In a statement, the People’s Vote campaign said: “Decisions will not be based on any one poll or a single election result. If there are electoral pacts between parties, these will be taken into account. If the polls change, these will be factored in too.
“The campaign will inevitably have to take final decisions later in some seats or change its advice, as more information becomes available about candidates’ positions and up-to-date polling data is published.”