The Green Party in Oxfordshire has today (22 April 2017) written to the local Liberal Democrats and Labour parties calling for collaboration to prevent a Conservative super-majority on June 8.
The Chair of Oxfordshire Green Party, Sarah Wood, says in the letter: “As things currently stand, the UK is set to be ravaged by five more years of Tory government. None of us wish to see that, whatever our differences may be. Yet the fact is that, under our electoral system, the Tories will win many seats, where a majority of the voters in the constituency do not support them. The current plan is for the Green Party, as always, to contest every parliamentary seat in Oxfordshire, but we are willing to discuss reciprocal arrangements to ensure a better chance of beating the Tories. Our political system is broken. No political party has the answer to every question – but we should recognise the strengths that each of us can bring.”
The Greens are open to what form any arrangement could take, whether it would involve the candidates of some progressive parties not standing in certain seats, or a common candidate that was supported by as many parties as possible.
The letter continues: “At a meeting organised by the Oxford Progressive Alliance on Friday night, it was clear there is an appetite for something like this to happen. We know this would be a major step for parties to take. But given the damage that the Tories can do, we would hope that you can put the national interest above party political interests”
In a tweet to the Green Party, Oxford Labour have asked whether the Greens would be willing to stand down in the forthcoming General Election in the Oxford East seat vacated by Andrew Smith to avoid a Tory win. At the last GE in 2015, Lab polled 50%, Tories 19.9%, Greens 11.6% and LD 10.8%. Says Green Party City Leader Cllr Craig Simmons; "We are willing to discuss some sort of cooperation locally to try and stop another Conservative government, but the Labour Party would have to start by showing respect for the thousands of Green voters who reject Labour as they reject the Conservatives. Sadly, it seems that Corbyn has now ruled out any cooperation. And, to be frank, if Labour are genuinely anticipating the possibility of a drop of 30% in their vote in Oxford East, and a 15% swing to the Tories, then they are in a fairly hopeless position nationally."