The start of a Remain Alliance? Greens stand aside in Brecon as talks continue

"The best choice right now is to put Wales before tribal politics."

The Green Party have chosen to stand aside in the upcoming Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, in a move that is likely to boost the Lib Dems’ chances of taking the seat.

The August 1st by-election was triggered after more than 10,000 people signed a petition to remove Conservative MP Chris Davies, after he was convicted of filing a false expense claim in March.

The Tories have reselected Mr Davies to stand for the seat, but the Liberal Democrats are hoping to take it – further eroding the Conservatives’ already paper-thin working majority.

The 10,000 people who signed a petition against him represents around 20% of the electorate, and the recent electoral success of the Lib Dems means they stand a strong chance of winning on a strongly pro-Remain ticket.

Plaid Cymru are understood to be still in talks with the Lib Dems over whether to stand aside. Plaid Cymru got 3% of the vote in 2017.

The pro-Remain Renew party have also decided to stand aside.

The Greens did not run in the constituency in 2017, but secured 3% of the vote in 2015 and have surged in recent months.

The party said in a statement:

“The local Green Party in Brecon and Radnor has chosen not to contest the upcoming by-election, in order to maximise the chances of the candidate most likely to beat the Conservatives and the Brexit Party.

“Our local Green Party, like some other parties, has decided in these very particular circumstances that the best choice right now is to put Wales before tribal politics.

“We will always stand up for environmental and social justice, but current government policies, including the threat of crashing out of the EU, are bad news for people and environment.”

Labour, the Lib Dems and the Brexit Party are understood to be running candidates.

Responding, Best for Britain CEO Naomi Smith said:

“The Greens have a proud history of putting country before party in the national interest, and we welcome their brave move to stand aside in Brecon and Radnorshire.

“This by-election provides a real opportunity for all remain parties to join forces and stop the new PM taking us out of the EU against the will of this House and the country.

“75,000 people have already signed a petition calling on internationalist in MPs in all parties to work better together, and this is an example of exactly that in action.”

Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.

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7 Responses to “The start of a Remain Alliance? Greens stand aside in Brecon as talks continue”

  1. Tom Sacold

    The rightwing Blairites and LibDems getting together to ensure that a rightwing pro-EU, pro-market, pro-capitalism candidate gets elected.

    We need a real socialist Labour candidate to win who will support a real socialist exit from the EU capitalist club.

  2. steve

    “The Greens have a proud history of putting country before party in the national interest… ”

    Ah yes, that means the Green Party is prepared to enter an alliance with a party that has no qualms about forming a coalition with a Tory government.

    The Green Party is bereft of credibility.

  3. Peter Kemp

    This is very good news for all voters in Breecon & Radnor who see the best path for Wales is inside the EU. The Liberal Demcrats offer the ONLY viable option for a remain supporting party to win the by-election … this area has only elected conservative or Liberal/Liberal Democrats to Westminster and the current AM for the Welsh Assembly is a Lib Dem. I hope Plaid and change uk follow the lead by the Greens and renew 🙂

  4. thoughts on this

    Ruthi Brandt shared a link.
    Yesterday at 09:41
    Oh I do wish people would stop referring to standing in elections as “tribal politics”. Tribal politics is – for example – when you support something you think is wrong just cause it came from your party, or when you refuse to work with other parties even to further your own party’s goals.

    Not standing is a decision to try and reach your goals by means other than getting elected…

    ( “The best choice right now is to put Wales before tribal politics.”)

    LEFTFOOTFORWARD.ORG
    The start of a Remain Alliance? Greens stand aside in Brecon as talks continue
    ‘The best choice right now is to put Wales before tribal politics.’
    1919
    9 comments
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    Richard Firth
    Richard Firth I think the response from Best for Britain is very telling. We need to erode the perception that other parties can just expect us to stand down if they make enough noise.
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    Jack Lenox
    Jack Lenox Yeah, this is not a great statement from us and I feel it could easily be used against us. The implication is that when we stand, we’re putting our party ahead of x region/place. 🙁
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    Richard Firth
    Richard Firth I believe that was Labour’s attack line when we contested Pudsey constituency in 2015, that we would cost them votes. As it happened, the UKIP surge kept Stuart Andrew in the seat for the Tories.
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    Owain Sutton
    Owain Sutton Very poor statement indeed. Especially the bit about “current government policies” are a reason to not stand….in which case, when will they not be?!

    Ed Fraser Controversial view which I doubt would ever pass as a motion, but I think HQ should sign off any request to not stand a parliamentary candidate. Otherwise decisions like this by one branch impact on the perception of what the national party’s position is. I respect Brecon GP’s right to not stand a candidate but I think the rules should now be changed with proper penalties if a local party refuses to stand a candidate.
    2
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    Owain Sutton
    Owain Sutton I’d be up for supporting this! Perhaps with the added provision that the national party provides the deposit for Westminster by-elections, to remove that from being a factor for the local party to be concerned about.
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    Ed Fraser
    Ed Fraser Owain Sutton that’s a very fair compromise – bearing in mind how expensive deposits are at a national scale, it could be set that if the primary grounds for not standing are financial that HQ verifies there is genuine financial difficulty and then decides whether to front the deposit, or that providing the deposit is a lever of negotiation with the local party (wow, this is getting technical!)
    1
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    Owain Sutton
    Owain Sutton Or a loan to be recouped from capitations, etc.
    Then again, I’d like capitations to not be automatic, but to be dependent on a credible local election strategy being in place, or appropriate efforts demonstrated towards implementing one, approved by FOs.
    2
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    Lenia Evans
    Write a reply…

    Tony Nicholson
    Tony Nicholson Fielding a candidate in a by-election is a national affair. The focus is on who stands and who stands down and it looks like here we get a pat on the head from the lib dems telling us we’re brave for taking one for the country.
    The local party should have to justify standing down because it’s not just about winning, it’s also about credibility and being seen as a party that will fight it’s corner. Where’s the quid pro quo? Seeing another LBD in parliament?

  5. Julia Gibb

    Those who control our World are desperate to retain the devisive FPTP system. This move although designed to overcome that voting system simply helps maintain it. The answer is not for the Greens to step aside for the Yellow Rosette Tories. It is disrespectful to their voters. The problem lies with the “winner takes all” voting system.
    We need PR voting for multiple parties that have a sufficient choice of policies to reflect the public opinion.
    It is not just about power! The Labour and Tory Parties are combinations of several groups with wide ranging views who now do not even pretend unity.
    The answer is not to alienate people with games to manipulate the system but to recognise the system is broken.
    At the moment politicians do not try to work together or seek compromise. They simply wait their turn to implement “their vision”

    One thing I am sure about. The LibDems are not the answer to the current crisis anymore than Labour or the Tories.

    With the Brexit Party now on the scene and the increased public apathy towards voting, 1984 is just around the corner.

  6. John Renshaw

    Unfortunately the UK’s “first past the post” voting system means that if the Remain parties stand in this by-election then the Remain vote is divided and the the result will be the election of the first Brexit Party MP which none of us want. In this constituency under the fptp voting system the Lib Dems are the most likely party to prevent this. The best solution would be to reform the voting system for Westminster so that standing down candidates would be unnecessary but that isn’t going to happen this side of 1st August when the by-election is to be held.

  7. Greens deny they will stand down for ex-Tories | Left Foot Forward

    […] Green Party, along with Plaid Cymru, did stand aside to help the Liberal Democrats win the Brecon and Radnorshire […]

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