Primary Campaign announced in Walden Local

Article in Walden Local 17/04/2024


Call for opposition Unity candidate with MP 'at risk'


FOR A FEW months there have been calls for a 'unity candidate' to stand against the current Conservative MP.


Following surveys that show that local Tory support has collapsed a local group is taking action. They are proposing an election 'Primary' process which allows residents to whittle down all the opposition candidates to find out the best one likely to win, in effect making it a two-horse race.


The group says that the Primary process has worked in other constituencies and gives local people more control over who represents them.


John Lodge, chairman of the NW Essex Primary, said: "National politics is broken and we need to mobilise to make a change for the better. We read all the time about MPs looking out for themselves and their parties rather than those who elected them. Many, like our own, don't even pretend to live in their constituencies. How can they possibly know about our daily local issues - like access to NHS care - if they don't live here?


Voters have had enough. Recent polling by Electoral Calculus shows that support for our local MP has collapsed from 63% to 31% and research firm Survation shows that her so called 'safe seat' is now at risk of change."Unfortunately, our 'first-past-the-post' electoral system means that even our highly unpopular MP, who doesn't live in our consistency, may get re-elected. This is because all the other votes are split among the other parties.

However, there is a solution. It has been successfully used in South Devon and it's called a Primary. "The opposition candidates participate in a series of local hustings, importantly followed by indicative public votes by residents. These show which opposition candidate has the most support and guides locals who they should vote for with the best chance of winning. It provides more transparency over the candidates and gives you more control over effecting a change.


Our current MP has the lowest support of any local constituency Conservative in 100 years. Now is the time for a positivechange."


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MP Kemi Badenoch was approached for comment.

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