Press Archives - Best for Britain
Best for Britain's press

Brexit Backlash Sank May in June

The Conservatives cannot win an election by relying solely on supporters of Brexit, while Labour could get closer to its goal of majority government if it does more to peel off anti-Brexit voters who are still backing the Tories: these are two of the key conclusions of a new report published by Best for Britain today (24 October 2017).

The report – from independent data scientist Dr Abigail Lebrecht – shows that the Conservatives were successful in appealing for the votes of previous UKIP supporters and other leave voters but that was not enough to deliver victory in the face of a grassroots revolt by tactical voting supporters of remain.

Dr Lebrecht states that the evidence shows “the Conservatives cannot win on a leave only platform”.

She adds: “With the evidence from our previous studies, the BES and Ipsos Mori post-election polls, we can say with some confidence that the grassroots anti-Brexit tactical vote denied Theresa May her majority. While the Labour Party’s own campaign was more successful than expected, its impact was often localised and was helped by a general anti-Brexit tactical vote across the country – boosted in some places by a general anti-Conservative vote – that was often organised by those outside the parties.”

Dr Lebrecht has discovered statistically robust linear relationships between the Conservative constituency vote and support for both leave and remain, while for Labour she has demonstrated a similar relationship between the Labour vote and support for remain.

Her work shows that the Tories’ vote rose in proportion to support for leave in each constituency but also fell in proportion to remain voters. Labour’s vote rose in proportion to the remain vote, but there was no clear relationship with leave votes.

Eloise Todd, CEO of Best for Britain, said:

“Tactical voting over Brexit shaped the election result in a fundamental way. Even in seats where accepted wisdom is that Labour was at risk or could not win because of high levels of leave supporters backing the Conservatives – such as Ipswich – Dr Lebrecht’s work suggests Labour won or held on largely or in-part because of a switch in votes by supporters of remain.

“General elections are determined by voters in marginal seats and these are much more likely to be found in urban and suburban areas and in the South of England – all places where the support of Brexit-sceptic voters will be decisive.

“If the Tories want to win again they will have to abandon their Brexit-at-any-price approach, while to cross the line Labour need to strengthen their support from remain voters from across the country.”

In 2017, The Tories went for ‘peak Brexit’ and yet lost their majority – strongly suggesting that they cannot win by travelling further in that direction. Labour said little about Brexit during the campaign but were big beneficiaries of grassroots-organised tactical voting campaigns – including that organised by Best for Britain. B4B’s ‘tactical voting dashboard’ was visited over one million times during the course of the campaign – particularly in marginal constituencies.

Eloise Todd added:

“We did not issue a blanket call for Labour votes, but we did back Labour in many of the key marginals where Dr Lebrecht’s work suggests the outcome was determined by tactical, anti-Brexit, voting – such as Bristol North West and Kensington.

“We also endorsed Liberal Democrat and Plaid Cymru candidates in seats in which they were most likely to win and advised supporters where the Conservative candidate was likely oppose an extreme Brexit.

“The electorate has understood the power of their vote, the remain vote swung the 2017 election and both main parties will need to attract more of that floating vote if they want to get ahead and break the UK’s Brexit stalemate.”

ends

Notes to editors: Dr Lebrecht studied the relationship between the referendum result and the 2017 general election in each constituency in England and Wales. A full copy of her report is attached.

Current press coverage:

https://www.newstatesman.com/2017/10/how-remainers-cost-theresa-may-her-majority-2017-election

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/june2017/2017/10/how-brexit-cost-conservatives-their-majority

‘Inflation Shock Means We Deserve an Apology’

Eloise Todd, CEO of Best for Britain, commenting on the rise in consumer price inflation, said:

“The Brexiteers in government owe the people of Britain an apology, however we voted in the referendum.

“They promised us Brexit would make us better off when the opposite is true, and we haven’t even left yet.

“Rising inflation is hurting ordinary people and businesses, whether in the weekly food bill or in the cost of fuel or the rising price of raw material for export. This affects families around the country – but not many of the super-rich Brexiteers.

‘We need to hold those people to account for their broken promises and Parliament needs to keep all its options open when it judges any deal the government proposes on Brexit.”

ends

Media contact: Adrian McMenamin, 07812 766017

New polling shows lack of trust in government over Brexit negotiations

YouGov polling commissioned by campaign group Best for Britain show that half of all voters think Boris Johnson’s approach to Brexit is motivated by concern for the Foreign Secretary’s own interests, while less than a quarter (23%) think Prime Minister Theresa May’s views are primarily motivated by concern for the national interest.

Even amongst Conservative voters levels of trust appear to be low, with less than half (48%) of Conservative voters thinking Mrs May’s views are driven primarily by the national interest and with around one-third thinking the same for Boris Johnson (33%) and David Davis (30%).

In what might be a sign of the impact of Conservative divisions over Brexit dividing Conservative supporters in the country, even 40% of Tory voters say they think Mr Johnson’s views on Brexit are driven principally by considerations of personal interest.

For Theresa May, Boris Johnson and David Davis the poll asked: “From what you know about [politician’s] views on Brexit do you think she/he is mainly motivated by…”

The choices were then between:

  • Her/his personal political interests
  • The political interests of the Conservative Party
  • The national interest of Britain as a whole
  • Don’t know

Commenting on the findings (attached), Best for Britain’s CEO Eloise Todd said:

“Boris Johnson’s antics over Brexit impress nobody. Yet it is his escalating and ever more immoderate demands on the Prime Minister that are setting the tone of the UK’s Brexit negotiations.

“We are being driven towards isolation to satisfy Mr Johnson’s need to appeal to extreme anti-Europeans in Conservative ranks. That is why we must have the option to say ‘no’ to whatever deal Tory ministers sign up to in Brussels and instead be able to make a real choice, including having the option of staying in a reforming European Union.

“No Brexit is better than a bad Brexit. And a Brexit designed to deliver for Boris Johnson at the expense of jobs, prosperity and opportunities would be the worst sort of all.”

The polling also shows that voters have a flexible and pragmatic view on freedom of movement issues and appear willing to back its continuation if the right to move in search of work is balanced by the responsibility to leave if no job is found.

The poll shows slightly more Conservative voters (69%) support freedom of movement under such terms than voters as a whole (64%). Less than a quarter (24%) of Conservative voters oppose freedom of movement under such an approach.

The poll asked a number of questions on freedom of movement – the question referred to here was: “Please imagine EU citizens were allowed to travel to Britain for work, tourism or education, but had to return to their own countries if they had not found a job or a university place within 4 months. Generally speaking, would you support or oppose freedom of movement under these terms?”

Respondents were asked if they would support or oppose freedom of movement under these terms or if they didn’t know.

Eloise Todd commented:

“The British government has the powers to restrict freedom of movement in this way already, it does not require any new European law or treaty change. These figures show that freedom of movement is not a deal breaker when it comes to the UK staying in a reforming and modernising EU: if that is what people decide is a better option than accepting whatever deal the Tories sign up to.

“Ministers have no right to dictate to the people over issues like this. We and our elected representatives should have the final say on a choice between the terms they agree and the best offer we can get for continued EU membership.”

ends

Media contact: Adrian McMenamin, 07812 766017

Notes to editors

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,602 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25 – 26 Seeptmeber 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures are weighted and representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
Please see the attached spreadsheet for further details of the questions asked.

Attachments area

View and download the polling results in full here – Best for Britain YouGov poll (Oct 2, 2017)

These poll results have already been quoted in the following Evening Standard articles:

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/philip-hammond-slaps-down-boris-johnson-four-times-over-europe-a3648236.html
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/brexit-trade-talks-this-month-are-unlikely-senior-minister-admits-a3648286.html

Analysis data concludes Best for Britain’s tactical vote, and young voter and women registration campaigns had a significant impact on UK election, as Gina Miller prepares for new public interest projects

Tactical voting and increased turnout among young voters and women ensured a strong parliamentary voice against Extreme Brexit, say Best for Britain campaigners.

 Gina Miller thanked for her tireless work as a ‘charismatic and inspiring activist’ by Best for Britain’s Board Chair and CEO

Best for Britain today thanks Gina Miller for her tireless work as Mrs Miller continues to focus on her transparency and scrutiny agenda.

Anatole Kaletsky, chair of Best for Britain, said:

 “Gina Miller is an inspiring and charismatic activist who has helped to change the course of British politics. Best for Britain would not have achieved what we did in the general election campaign particularly in some key marginal seats, were it not for Gina’s extraordinary commitment and passion. It has been an enormous pleasure for the board and staff of Best for Britain to work with Gina in addressing the single most important issue facing this country – its future relationship with the European Union.”

Eloise Todd, CEO of Best for Britain, commented:

 “It’s been a privilege to work with Gina – a brilliant woman who cares deeply about the future of the United Kingdom. Her passion and determination were at the heart of the campaign, and we look forward to working with her in future on our shared goals.”

“Best for Britain’s campaign, along with many other efforts, showed that there are thousands of people across the country who took a positive choice to vote tactically and protect Britain’s interests in Europe against a potentially ruinous Brexit deal. Theresa May’s mandate for extreme Brexit has now disintegrated, if it ever actually existed, and all those in the UK: businesses, civil society groups, opposition parties and citizens alike, must use their voice to make sure all options are on the table when Parliament votes so the U.K. achieves the relationship with Europe most in the national interest.”

 She added: “Best for Britain will continue to ensure that politicians move beyond rhetoric into a meaningful discussion on the future of the country.”

Best for Britain made specific tactical voting recommendations across the whole of England and Wales, as well as in Scotland, identifying 132 top target seats in which digital campaigning was deployed. Almost two-thirds of Best for Britain’s “champions”, were elected to parliament on the basis that they would stand up against extreme Brexit.

These included Emma Dent Coad, who achieved a stunning victory in Kensington against Brexiteer Victoria Borwick, and Tulip Siddiq, who increased her slim majority by over 14,000 with support from Best for Britain and other groups.

The Labour candidates championed by Best for Britain achieved an average swing of 15.42% compared to a national average of 9.5%, while our Liberal Democrat champion candidates exhibited an average swing of 4.96% compared to a national average of –0.5%. Best for Britain also supported candidates from the Green Party, other parties and independents. Best for Britain was proud to work alongside other tactical voting groups who also worked for similar outcomes in the election.

 Best for Britain raised over £413,000 from more than 12,000 donors in the run up to the election. While some money went directly to constituency campaigns, over £100,000 was spent on targeted youth voter registration campaigns with further funds spent on nationwide tactical voting adverts. Two million people saw Best for Britain’s adverts encouraging voter registration; 2,395,000 people saw a Best for Britain Facebook advert.

Notes to Editors

Best for Britain is a non-partisan organisation campaigning to ensure the final negotiation with the EU ends with an outcome that is genuinely in the national interest by endorsing MPs that will fight for a meaningful vote on the final deal to include the option of Britain remaining in the EU if the new relationship proposed by the government is less desirable than retaining EU membership.

You can read the Best for Britain Charter here.

The Best for Britain GoFundMe crowdfunder raised over £413,000, and was the fastest growing political crowdfunder ever in the UK with over £300,000 raised in the first week.

For more information please contact: press@bestforbritain.org

Best for Britain Names New Champions

The Best for Britain campaign has named nine new “champions” who are committed to fighting extreme Brexit and will join the existing 16 champions as the Best for Britain Champions 2017. Together we believe they be formidable and effective voices to stand up to the government in the next Parliament.

Best for Britain champions who will receive campaign support include:

  • George Turner, the Liberal Democrat candidate who is fighting to win the seat from Labour’s Kate Hoey in Vauxhall, South London

  • Kelly-Marie Blundell, the Liberal Democrat candidate who is aiming to win Lewes in Sussex.

  • Amna Ahmad, the Liberal Democrat candidate aiming to gain the Sutton and Cheam constituency.

  • Mark Williams, the Liberal Democrat candidate hoping to hold his seat in Ceredigion in Wales.

  • Lloyd Russell-Moyle who is fighting to win Brighton Kemptown.

  • Vix Lowthion, the Green Party candidate for the Isle of Wight.

 

Best for Britain is pleased to endorse Claire Wright, the independent candidate who is mounting a strong challenge against Conservative Hugo Swire in East Devon.

 

“We are also proud to announce special endorsements for David Lammy and Chuka Umunna for their determination to speak out on the perils of extreme Brexit and the need for a real choice on the final deal.”

 

These three endorsed champions will not receive financial support from the Best for Britain campaign.

All of our champions have demonstrated that they put principle first and will speak up for what is best for Britain in the next Parliament.

Gina Miller, Board Member, Best for Britain said:

“Theresa May has said this election is about her mandate for negotiation with Europe. But this means accepting the Conservative manifesto’s Deal or no Deal rhetoric. Britain deserves considered debate, not posturing. By supporting independent minded candidates, we want to help to deliver a Parliament that scrutinises and holds the Government to account to ensure that Britain get the best deal from Europe. Tactical voting will make a real difference in this election. That’s why we are backing strong and talented candidates that agree with our position that MPs must have the right to a full and free vote in Parliament on the terms of the deal, with all options on the table.”

Eloise Todd, Chief Executive, Best for Britain added:

“We are proud to support all our candidates, and we will be visiting many of them in the next two weeks. We have also made recommendations on how to vote for candidates in 573 constituencies across the country so far through our Tactical Vote Dashboard to help increase the power of every single vote and fight to decrease the Tory majority in favour of people that will stand up to the government on Brexit’

Notes for editors:

Best for Britain is a non-partisan organisation campaigning to ensure the final negotiation with the EU ends with the best deal for Britain by endorsing MPs that will fight extreme Brexit and by trying to reduce the predicted Tory landslide.

 

The Tactical Vote Dashboard can be found here.

 

The list of candidates announced as B4B champions can be found here.

 

You can read the Best for Britain Charter here.

 

The Best for Britain GoFundMe crowdfunder raised over £400,000, the fastest growing political crowdfunder ever in the UK.

The campaign aims to inspire the biggest ever tactical vote in British history, to prevent a hard Brexit.

Best for Britain responds to Conservative manifesto

The Best for Britain campaign today responded to the Conservative party manifesto pledge on Brexit.

Gina Miller of Best for Britain commented:

“Achieving what is Best for Britain requires a leader with an open mind, rather than one who is inflexible.  The Conservative manifesto shuts down options for our country, and makes it clear that the Tories are committing to a bad deal forced upon us by the other 27 member states or leaving with no deal at all.  This is not giving neither Parliament or people real choice.

“It is crucial that this election results in a strong and effective Parliament to will hold the Prime Minister to account. Scrutiny and accountability are the bedrocks of our constitution. We need representatives in Parliament to stand up and ask questions, and not be afraid to hold the Government to account; representatives who will reflect the views of all of their constituents.

“That is why Best for Britain is supporting candidates who have an open mind and are determined to fight for a vote with all options on the table.

That includes Conservative candidates who will fight for what is right for the country, fight for a real choice on the final deal and reject this government’s form of Extreme Brexit.”

The Best for Britain campaign raised over £390,000 via crowdfunding to encourage voter engagement in the general election and support parliamentary candidates who will resist an extreme Brexit

For more information go to www.bestforbritain.org

For press inquiries, email press@bestforbritain.org

 

Press Release: Gina Miller’s Best for Britain announces support for parliamentary candidates

 

Nick Clegg, Clive Lewis and Sarah Olney on Gina Miller’s list

Today Gina Miller’s Best for Britain campaign has announced support for 16 parliamentary candidates – or champions – who will fight to stop an extreme Brexit.

 

The Best for Britain Champions (alphabetical order)

 

  1. Tom Brake, Carshalton and Wallington, Lib Dem
  2. Kevin Brennan, Cardiff West, Labour
  3. Nick Clegg, Sheffield Hallam, Lib Dem
  4. Fabian Hamilton, Leeds North East, Labour
  5. Mark Hunter, Cheadle, Lib Dem
  6. Rupa Huq, Ealing Central and Acton, Labour
  7. Peter Kyle, Hove, Labour
  8. Clive Lewis, Norwich South, Labour
  9. Caroline Lucas, Brighton Pavilion, Green
  10. Kerry McCarthy, Bristol East, Labour
  11. Sarah Olney, Richmond Park, Lib Dem
  12. Tulip Siddiq, Hampstead and Kilburn, Labour
  13. Andy Slaughter, Hammersmith, Labour
  14. Lisa Smart, Hazel Grove, Lib Dem
  15. Jo Stevens, Cardiff Central, Labour
  16. Gareth Thomas, Harrow West, Labour

The campaign will be carrying out its own activities in identified key constituencies. We will also be supporting the Best for Britain candidates with donations in line with the limits specified by the Electoral Commission, local ads, endorsements, visits, venue hire costs if possible, Facebook and hyper-targeted social media adverts as well as focussed digital marketing.

 

The Best for Britain Champions are supportive of our position that MPs must have the right to a full and free vote on the terms of any future UK-EU deal, with all options on the table. The candidates must do what is Best for Britain.

The campaign has raised over £380,000 through GoFundMe for its general election activities which have come from over 12,000 individuals across the UK.

As well as directly supporting candidates, Best for Britain is also:

 

Driving youth and women voter registration and turnout.

Last week, Best for Britain gave three grants to Bite the Ballot, My Life My Say and Citizens UK who are all working to increase youth registration. The campaign aims to reach over 1,000,000 young people through social media adverts to encourage young people to register to vote.

 

Notes for editors

Best for Britain is a non-partisan organisation campaigning ensure the final negotiation with the EU ends with the best deal for Britain. You can read the Best for Britain Charter here.

Gina Miller is the founder and a board member of Best for Britain.

The GoFundMe crowdfunder which is supporting the campaign is the biggest ever political crowdfunder in the UK.

The campaign aims to inspire the biggest ever tactical vote in British history, to prevent a hard Brexit.

For more information please contact:

Padraig Reidy

padraig@89up.org

07947 242476

Press Release: Best for Britain Partners With Bite the Ballot, My Life My Say and Citizens UK In Major Targeted Voter Registration Drive

Social advertising campaign will reach One Million Young People

The Best for Britain campaign, spearheaded by Gina Miller is launching a new drive to sign up young people to vote in next month’s general election in partnership with Bite the Ballot, My Life My Say and Citizens UK. Over a million young people are not signed up to vote.

 

To launch the drive, Youtubers Taha Khan, Jazza John and Leena Normington will release interviews with Gina Miller and Eloise Todd, CEO of Best for Britain on the plan to energise thousands more young people a actively participate in having a say in their future.

 

The combined efforts of all the organisations involved and their partners will be the biggest voter registration drive during this 2017 general election campaign.

 

Best for Britain have granted £55,000 of the £375,000 raised via crowdfunding to the three organisations for activities and events. This money will specifically aid the organisations in their campaign initiatives in the run-up to the deadline for voter registration on May 22.

 

YouGov polling from last week demonstrates that there is a gulf of opinion between younger and older voters on issues like taxation, education and immigration. These are key issues for the future of Britain’s young people, but those under 25 are the least likely to vote. The grants will support a-political online advertising, social content and on the ground events across the UK to showcase to young people the importance of registering to vote and participating in the democratic process. The social media adverts will be highly targeted and will reach over one million young people.  Best for Britain aims to urge young voters to register and to get out to vote on election day.

 

Gina Miller, of Best for Britain said: “This election cannot be just about the older generation.  Everyone in Britain must ensure that their vote and voices are heard. Young people must take this chance to shape their future, and not allow their choices to be written off.  At Best for Britain we are aiming to give young people the information, platform, and communities to have their say and exchange ideas about how politics can relate to them and do things differently .”

 

Amy Longland, Partnerships & Programmes Lead at My Life My Say said: “Over a million young citizens are still missing from the electoral register. Youth voter registration is incredibly important, as young people turning out to vote is fundamental in breaking the cycle of under-representation. We believe that young citizens aren’t apathetic, they are simply disillusioned by a politics that doesn’t work for them.
In this General Election, it is more important now than ever that they mobilise, turn up and demand a say in their future. That’s why we’ve organised National Conversation Week 15th-22nd May, a series of non-partisan ‘Café’ sessions in Starbucks across the UK that create a safe space for young people to discuss current affairs, engage with their peers and be inspired to register and vote.”
Josh Dell, Communications and Advocacy for Bite The Ballot said:  “Young voices must be heard at this general election. All evidence shows that political parties time and time again have focussed their outreach on the ‘grey vote’ at elections, as they know these are the ones that are most likely to turn out at the polls.

Bite The Ballot are asking young citizens to ‘start something’ at the 2017 general election and come out in numbers that have not been seen for decades in order to ensure that their concerns are ones that future governments make their priority.

Through the support of campaign groups like Best For Britain, we are able to enhance the voter registration efforts at the heart of the #TurnUp campaign, which we are coordinating with a coalition of partners from the tech, business, and charity sectors up until June 8.”

ENDS

 

For photographs and more information please contact:

press@bestforbritain.org