Claire Wright on election candidates: “not asking for an easy ride”

“Last week, the non-party campaign group Unite to Remain identified 60 seats where a deal had been struck between the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party, in a move to defeat Conservative candidates.

However East Devon rivals have refused to do the same.

The organisation behind Unite to Remain has however backed Ms Wright as its preferred general election candidate in East Devon, despite rival parties failing to agree a truce in the seat.

Unite to Remain director Peter Dunphy said the organisation had not included East Devon in the list of candidates but urged remain voters to back Ms Wright as the best chance to wrest the seat from Tory control.

He added: “It was not possible to gain cross-party agreement for a single candidate in every key constituency that we considered.

“Ultimately it has been up to the political parties in consultation with local members to make these tough choices.

“Sadly, we were unable to gain Unite to Remain all-party agreement in East Devon.

“Our suggestion therefore is to follow the excellent tactical voting advice of Best for Britain and Gina Miller’s Remainunited to support the remain candidate with the best chance of victory.”

Ms Wright, who won 35 per cent of the votes compared to the Lib Dems’ two per cent, said she had never approached any of her rivals or asked them to give her a free run.

However, she welcomed the Unite to Remain endorsement.

She added: “Of course, running as a sole candidate against the Conservatives would appear to give me a better chance but I am not asking anyone for an easy ride.

“I have fought a fair and positive campaign twice, without assistance, increasing my share of the vote without resorting to personal attacks and I don’t intend to start now.

“I would now urge my supporters to concentrate all of their energy on getting this people-powered campaign over the line.

“And, of course, we must avoid the danger presented by Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement – which could condemn us to years of trade negotiations and threaten the NHS – by offering the public a democratic vote which includes the option of remain.”

https://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/remain-candidates-refused-to-stand-down-and-back-claire-wright-1-6369663

East Devon: Vote Lib Dem, get Tory – the LiDems don’t seem to care

Local Lib Dems have attempted to explain why they are standing against Claire Wright. Owl is not publishing the link as Owl considers the article to be very “economical with the truth” to say the least and will not give them the further oxygen of publicity for their excuses.

They are attempting to say that Claire Wright has not been explicit enough about being anti-Brexit. They also say she hadn’t asked them to stand down!

Claire Wright has always been totally consistent in her support for remain – much more explicit than Lib Dems whose policies on Remain have wobbled precariously.

Indeed pro-Remain groups supported her for her Remain stance at the last election in 2017:

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/east-devon-independent-endorsed-for-brexit-views-1-5043331

and Googling her provides HUNDREDS of links to her support for Remain.

True she is too highly principled to interfere in their internal debates. However, even the Lib Dems national Leader can’t influence them.

Owl suspects vastly over-estimated ego has trumped common sense and doing what is best for East Devon.

“Unite to Remain supports independent Parliamentary candidate Claire Wright for East Devon despite parties not standing down”

PRESS RELEASE

“Unite to Remain supports independent Parliamentary candidate Claire Wright for East Devon despite parties not standing down

The organisation behind a Remain alliance has backed independent candidate Claire Wright as its preferred general election candidate in East Devon despite rival parties failing to agree a truce in the seat.

Unite to Remain last week identified 60 seats where a deal had been struck between the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party, in a move to defeat Conservative candidates.

The non-party campaign group has revealed that it also proposed Claire Wright – and whose 21,000 votes in 2017 make her the clear challenger to the Tories – but were unable to persuade the Lib Dems or Greens to stand aside.

Unite to Remain director Peter Dunphy said the organisation had not included East Devon in the list of candidates but urged Remain voters to back Claire Wright as the best chance to wrest the seat from Tory control.

“It was not possible to gain cross-party agreement for a single candidate in every key constituency that we considered,” added Dunphy.

“Ultimately it has been up to the political parties in consultation with local members to make these tough choices.

“Sadly, we were unable to gain Unite to Remain all-party agreement in East Devon where we had proposed Claire Wright as the clear challenger to the Conservatives.

“Our suggestion therefore is to follow the excellent tactical voting advice of Best for Britain and Gina Miller’s Remainunited to support the Remain candidate with the best chance of victory, which in the case of East Devon is the Independent Claire Wright.”

Wright, who won 35 per cent of the vote compared to the Lib Dems’ 2 per cent, said she had never approached any of her rivals or asked them to give her a free run.

However, she welcomed the Unite to Remain endorsement and insisted voters could make their own decisions about whether to vote tactically based on past results.

“I have never asked for any favours from my rivals and I respect their decision to stand and fight for the seat,” she added.

“Of course, running as a sole candidate against the Conservatives would appear to give me a better chance but I am not asking anyone for an easy ride.

“I have fought a fair and positive campaign twice, without assistance, increasing my share of the vote without resorting to personal attacks and I don’t intend to start now.

“I would now urge my supporters to concentrate all of their energy on getting this people-powered campaign over the line.

“And, of course, we must avoid the danger presented by Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement – which could condemn us to years of trade negotiations and threaten the NHS – by offering the public a democratic vote which includes the option of Remain.”

Indie councillor Martin Shaw makes plea to East Devon Lib Dems in Guardian letters page

“It is ironic that Unite to Remain, founded by Heidi Allen when she was an Independent MP, has become a three-way deal between the Liberal Democrats, Greens and Plaid Cymru, excluding the only grassroots pro-remain independent with a chance of winning: Claire Wright in East Devon.

Claire won more than 21,000 votes (35%) in 2017 to the Tories’ 29,000, while the Lib Dems gained less than 1,500. Independents also won by far the largest share of votes and seats in this year’s council elections.

Can I appeal to the Liberal Democrats, who are admirably standing down for other independents like Dominic Grieve, to consider withdrawing their candidate so as to help East Devon get a pro-European MP?

Martin Shaw
Independent county councillor, Devon’

Owl says: Vote Lib Dem or Labour in East Devon – get Tory.

Labour delusion part 2: in it to win it?

Labour vote in the East Devon Constituency in the May 2017 elections:

District Council elections:
EDDC 2,126

Exeter City Council in local elections, part of EDDC constituency at General Elections:
1,344
(made up of St Loyes 550, Topsham 794)

Total 3,470

Exmouth Town Labour vote 265
(candidate Daniel Wilson – 5th of nine)

Vote Labour or Lib Dem – get Tory

East Devon: Vote Lib Dem or Labour – get Tory

Reposted comment:

“Here’s a letter I’ve just sent to local papers:

Tactical Voting or Confused.com?

I note that the Brexit Party is not fielding a candidate in the Devon East constituency. Is this by arrangement with Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party? Didn’t Boris tell us he wouldn’t enter into any such pact?

At the same time both the LibDems and Labour are standing, thus making a Conservative victory likely, as a look at the 2017 results indicates:

Hugo Swire (Con) – 29,306 (majority of 8,036)
Claire Wright (Independent) – 21,270;
Jan Ross (Labour) – 6,857;
Alison Eden (LibDem) – 1,468;
2 other Independents – 278.

As you can see, if the Labour and LibDem votes had gone to Claire Wright she would have won.

The LibDems are now happy to make a pact with Plaid Cymru and the Greens in order not to split the anti-Tory vote. Why then does the LibDem candidate not see that she cannot win from such a low base and why doesn’t the Labour candidate understand that he, too, is merely serving the Conservative’s ends?

So it’s a case of Vote LibDem or Labour and you get a Conservative.

Michael Temple”