A Unity Candidate for Somerton & Frome



It will be very difficult indeed for any parliamentary candidate to unseat the Conservative MP for Somerton & Frome on June 8th, unless the 3 “progressive” parties can all agree one candidate and unite their efforts. That choice shouldn’t just be about numbers but about the current position of the parties and their candidates on the ground.

Teresa May’s attempted power-grab on June 8th aims at strengthening the parliamentary majority of a reckless, self-serving and reactionary Conservative government for the next 5 years, to the detriment of our communities, our island and our planet.

Nationally and locally, the Greens have given the lead in calling for opposition parties to maximise the impact of anti-Tory votes by clearing the field to fight the election behind one progressive or “unity” candidate in their constituency. We do this because if inequality, austerity, xenophobia and environmental destruction continue unchallenged, everybody’s future will be in equal jeopardy.

2015 election result in Somerton and Frome
Warburton, Conservative Party.                 31960.     53%
David Rendel. Liberal Democrats               11692      19%
Alan Dimmick. UK Independence Party.     6439.     11%
Theo Simon. Green Party.                               5434.       9%
David Oakensen. Labour Party.                    4419.       7%
(Ian Paul Angell. Independent.  1%)

In Somerton & Frome, where the non-Tory, non-UKIP vote was split between LibDems, Labour and the Green Party, the question everyone is asking is can we do it, and which candidate should we unite behind? If we can achieve a unity candidate here, with agreement of the 3 parties, the ripples will travel well beyond Somerton & Frome.

Some party activists may say that there are organisational or time reasons why they couldn’t go along with finding a common candidate to unseat Conservative MP David Warburton. But if that’s the only way we could feasibly replace him, then, before the nominations deadline on May 11th, we should keep trying to find creative ways around those obstacles, for the common good of the constituency. The situation is far too serious not to try and have a serious plan..

We need to face the reality that none of our parties can win in Somerton & Frome on their own, not even the LibDems who lost their parliamentary seat 2 years ago to the Conservatives. In my opinion, socially-networked “tactical voting” plans will not be enough, because too many voters, particularly Labour supporters, will be resistant to voting LibDem for historical reasons. And although it’s possible that Labour could take a bigger share this time, they could not realistically expect to win, unless there was no LibDem or Green in the field. Whatever other party advantages we may gain, none of the progressive candidates can win the election except as the only candidate fighting. Equally, no party which stands down alone will gain any benefit.

It won’t surprise anybody that I think the best unity candidate would be me Theo Simon, the current Green Party candidate. That’s because those Labour and LibDem voters who would not feel comfortable with eachother,  could find plenty they liked about voting for me.  So also could disillusioned Tory remain-voters and some anti-establishment Ukippers. I am the only candidate who has already established an identity in the public eye here, and I would have the enthusiastic, active and growing organisation of the local Green Parties and their allies already behind me.

However, my own pitch aside, if any unity candidate out of the current 3 was actually agreed between Labour, LibDems, and my own party, I would support them. It may or may not mean we actually unseat David Warburton. But what I hope for at the very least is that we all wake up on June 9th having strengthened our unity as the democratic opposition in Somerton & Frome, and having shown the electorate and the world at large that there are people in politics here who are ready for rational thinking and co-operation to advance the common good.


2 Responses to “A Unity Candidate for Somerton & Frome”

  1. Good luck Theo! Not being in your constituency I will not be able to vote for you but amd pleased you are running with ’tis.

  2. Brilliant! Well said Theo! I support this man! I just hope some people are listening – have you been able to publicise this statement, and you should release it to the mainstream media. Very best from Andy (Plymouth/Tavi and Molly the Green MEP)

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