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Best for Britain Tactical Vote Dashboard methodology

Best for Britain’s Tactical Voting Dashboard to stop Extreme Brexit seeks to do two things:

  • Return as many cross-party candidates as possible that will fight Extreme Brexit and fight for a real choice on the final deal
  • Limit the majority of a likely Conservative Government in order to mount the strongest possible opposition to Theresa May’s Extreme Brexit agenda

In order to deliver this, Best for Britain has put the most emphasis on winnability of the seats, having considered a combination of commissioned research, the 2015 election results, polling from the last month, the attitudes to Brexit in the constituency and – where possible – local knowledge. In most cases, the candidate that looks most likely to beat a pro-Brexit candidate according to the data, has been backed. In some cases, because of the peculiarities of the local fight, candidate that is not the ‘obvious’ choice in data terms has been backed.

For the purposes of this Tactical Voting Website, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party are considered as parties that will fight Extreme Brexit. Which of these parties is most likely to win or be the closest contender for a seat is our default setting for our recommendation. These parties have different policies on Brexit, all have clearly expressed their willingness to fight Extreme Brexit and all have expressed their support for rejecting any deal that does not deliver the exact same benefits for the UK as membership. We believe that a majority of the candidates from these parties want to keep the door open to staying in if the deal is not in the national interest. For those seats in which there are Labour candidates who have been particularly vocal about leaving the EU, we recommend ‘voting your preference’, except in those cases in which we think a candidate has a credible chance of contesting the seat.

The Conservative Party and UKIP are considered as parties in support of Extreme Brexit due to their manifestos, so there are no direct recommendations for them. There are however, many Conservative candidates that we believe, though currently bound by the Conservative Manifesto, will speak up in Parliament against Extreme Brexit. We have indicated that voters should ‘vote their preference’ in these seats, except in some of the cases in which a strong Liberal Democrat has a chance of winning. We have not included Conservatives that are part of the government.

Our website focuses on England and Wales. We have not made calls in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The information supplied on the website from the 2015 election and polling should help voters make their decision.

We reserve the right to change our calls, according to any new information we receive from local knowledge and also from our digital outreach to candidates in the coming week. We also reserve the right to change calls to reflect any changes that may be needed in response to national and regional polling. We will update the list at least twice before 8 June.

The nature of creating a website for 573 constituencies means that we have taken a view based on the parties the candidates belong to. We are, however, committed to backing individual candidates that share our views. For any feedback on the website or the calls made, please write to Best for Britain at info@bestforbritain.org

Categories for calls

VOTE YOUR PREFERENCE     Conservative incumbents who are pro-Remain and Labour incumbents who are pro-Leave fall under this category

TO BE DETERMINED        We will make a call closer the elections

Party positions

The Labour position set out by Keir Starmer on 27 March: “Let me be clear: Labour will not support a deal that fails to reflect core British values and the six tests I have set out today.” The Labour manifesto supports a meaningful vote on the final deal.

The Liberal Democrat position in their manifesto is to give “the final say to the British people in a referendum on whether to accept the deal or remain in the EU” which would need a meaningful vote on the final deal in Parliament.

The Green party position in their manifesto is also a referendum on the final deal for Brexit.

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First constituency visits for Best For Britain

Gina Miller and the Best for Britain team made their first in a series of constituency visits today.

Gina plans to visit several of the constituencies of the 16 candidates recently announced as Best for Britain’s champions over the next few weeks. Gina first joined Andy Slaughter, the current Labour MP for Hammersmith, canvassing in Ravenscourt Park. His election campaign has been supported by Best for Britain because of his robust commitment to securing a meaningful vote on the Brexit process, and his vocal support for democratic values.

Gina then visited the nearby Flora Gardens Primary School, to talk to parents arriving to pick their children up at the end of the school about their thoughts on the current direction of the Brexit process, and the candidates in their area that had given their support to addressing their worries.

The Best for Britain team then travelled to Harrow West, going to door to door to speak to local residents about their thoughts on the election. Gina listened to residents thoughts on local candidates, and discussed their positions on the Brexit process.

Harrow West is a key constituency to support in the upcoming election. The Labour incumbent, Gareth Thomas has demonstrated his commitment to opposing an Extreme Brexit, voting against the Labour whip on the Article 50 Bill. However he has a modest majority, that is threatened by the conservative candidate.

Finally, Gina visited Hampstead and Kilburn, to join Tulip Siddiq in her
canvassing efforts. Tulip has been championed by Best for Britain, because of her courage in putting her principles over the Brexit process above party pressure, and resigned her shadow cabinet position over Labour’s imposition of a three line whip on the Article 50 Bill vote. She has demonstrated a clear commitment to representing her constitutes, stating; “In the EU
Referendum, 75% of my constituents voted to Remain. As their representative, this left me with little doubt as to how to vote on any motion to leave the European Union.”

Gina will be travelling to Richmond Park, Ealing and Brighton in the coming days, to further lend her support to Best for Britain’s champions, and talk to local residents about their thoughts on the government’s pursuit of an Extreme Brexit, and it’s effect on Britain’s future.

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Best for Britain launches youth voter registration drive

Last week, I wrote a blog post about the importance of young people voting in the upcoming general election. My call to arms went a little something like this: young people have been the biggest losers of the recent political agenda, most young people don’t vote, politicians only listen to voters, maybe if the young voted like the old, en masse, we would hear more about affordable housing than triple lock pensions.

 

At Best for Britain, we want to encourage a robust voter turnout in this election and ensure everyone is represented and heard. I am happy to announce that we are launching this election’s largest youth voter registration drive in partnership with Bite the Ballot, My Life My Say and Citizens UK.

 

Right now in the UK, it is estimated that one million young people are not registered to vote. Compared to the older generation, young people are under-registered, are less likely to turn up to the polls and, in turn, are less listened to by politicians. We shouldn’t stand for this!

 

Over the next few weeks we will be working closely with our partners, both online and on the ground, encouraging young people to register to vote and turn up to vote on June 8. We are going to be launching a series of adverts that are predicted to reach over one million young people. We are going up and down the country with My Life My Say, participating in their non-partisan “Brexit Cafes”. We will be meeting in coffee shops that create a relaxed and unimposing space for young people to discuss current affairs and engage with their peers. Brexit is a key issue for young people and we want to hear from them about their hopes and fears. We are also funding Rize Up UK to get young people excited about the election and encourage them to register to vote. They will be visiting marginal seats all around the country, running street teams in city centres, youth clubs, job centres, football matches and music events.  It is going to be a busy next few weeks and we want to get everyone involved. Will you join us?

 

“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 .”

– Gina Miller, of Best for Britain

Our Partners’ Take

 

“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.”

– Amy Longland, Partnerships & Programmes Lead at My Life My Say

 

“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.”

– Josh Dell, Communications and Advocacy for Bite The Ballot

How can I vote?

>Voter registration deadline for this general election is May 22nd. Register to vote here.

>Want to do a postal vote? First, make sure you are registered to vote then apply for a postal vote here. The deadline for postal voting is May 23rd.

>Want to vote by proxy? All the information you need is here. The deadline in England, Scotland and Wales is May 31st and in Northern Ireland May 18th. Make sure you choose someone trustworthy!

> Are you a student? You may be eligible to register to vote in more than one place. Check here for more information.

 

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VOTE FFS

Inspired to motivate his peers to vote, 17 year old Lawrence Perry has created this video for Best for Britain set to the tune of Rat Boy’s SIGN ON.

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Best for Britain Champions announced

Today, as you may have seen in The Observer newspaper, we have announced our candidates.

When we launched our crowdfunder, we promised to use the money to back candidates who pledge to support a full and free vote on the Brexit deal. We also promised to work with organisations with the same goals and to promote tactical voting.

We’re excited to say we are announcing the first set of candidates we will back – all of them in a fight for their seat and needing a tactical vote swing. This is an excellent group of talented candidates that agree with our position that MPs must have the right to a full and free vote on the terms of the deal, with all options on the table.

We developed criteria to pick these individuals, and we are ready to back candidates who:

  1.    Support a real choice on the final deal and ready to fight Extreme Brexit
  2.    Are fighting a winnable seat but not a dead certainty
  3.    Have an immaculate track record

We also decided to give a preference to candidates that are opposed by a leading contender in favour of extreme Brexit, to stop candidates not in favour of a choice on the final deal. We have also given preference to candidates at threat from UKIP withdrawal from some parliamentary seats to lend support to other candidates. All our actions will of course be fully compliant with Electoral Commission rules and other relevant legislation.

Here is the list of Best for Britain Champions:

Tom Brake, Carshalton and Wallington, Lib Dem

Kevin Brennan, Cardiff West, Labour

Nick Clegg, Sheffield Hallam, Lib Dem

Fabian Hamilton, Leeds North East, Labour

Mark Hunter, Cheadle, Lib Dem

Rupa Huq, Ealing Central and Acton, Labour

Peter Kyle, Hove, Labour

Clive Lewis, Norwich South, Labour

Caroline Lucas, Brighton Pavilion, Green

Kerry McCarthy, Bristol East, Labour

Sarah Olney, Richmond Park, Lib Dem

Tulip Siddiq, Hampstead and Kilburn, Labour

Andy Slaughter, Hammersmith, Labour

Lisa Smart, Hazel Grove, Lib Dem

Jo Stevens, Cardiff Central, Labour

Gareth Thomas, Harrow West, Labour

They will receive support for their campaigns in different ways, through endorsements, campaign support and in some cases events or visits to the constituency by Best for Britain.

This marks the second of our 3 main workstreams:

Youth and women voter registration and turnout.

Earlier this week, we gave three grants to three brilliant grassroots organisations: Bite the Ballot, My Life My Say and Citizens UK. They will be working hard to increase the number of young people on the electoral register across the country. We’re also pushing social media adverts to encourage young people are registered to vote. This is crucial to ensure the voices of young people and women are heard during this election. More on youth and women in the coming week.

Backing political champions
We will be touring marginal constituencies, over the coming weeks of the campaign, visiting some of our champions as well as other constituencies to be announced.

Fighting Extreme Brexit
We are also launching a tactical voting website to show voters how to vote in their constituency for the candidate that is most likely to fight Extreme Brexit and to keep the Brexit process transparent, open and democratic. We will also focus on more marginal seats prioritising our resources on the most strategic choices – seats that are important and winnable.

It is crucial that the next Parliament has independent MPs who will ensure the next government is held to account in the crucial negotiations on our future relationship with Europe. By backing our champions and with the launch of our tactical vote website we can make sure we win this fight.

Join us, spread the word and get your friends involved – only 25 days to go!

PS – if you haven’t seen it already, there was a fascinating feature piece on Gina, her life, court case and the campaign in The Guardian yesterday.

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Gina Miller – Keynote Speech – The Convention, 12 May 2017

This speech was given by Gina Miller of the Best for Britain campaign at The Convention on 12 May 2017:

As supposedly the Chief Wrexiteer, I am probably apt that I am opening The Convention. But I want to leave the name calling behind and have a serious conversation with you.

In my view the vote to Leave the EU was a mistake but that was the democratic outcome of the Referendum. The public decided to leave and we must respect that. However, it is in their interest and all our interest that this is done in a way to minimise the damage to our country, and in particular, to the prospects of our young people. There also needs to be a reclaiming of common sense.

We don’t know how Europe might change in the next 2 years and we certainly don’t know the final deal yet so to decide now exactly what we will do is insane.

If in the light of evidence and events in a future no one can predict, the British public decides it does not want the proposed deal, presumably because it’s neither best for their families or their country’s future, why should their wishes be ignored?

How we voted in June 2016, almost a year ago, is in a sense irrelevant as that is the past. Both remainer and leaver politicians need to move on to what will be best for Britain rather than their political career. They must put principles before party politics, rather than marching towards a hard Brexit like hapless lemmings over the cliff.

My question is – How did we get into this mess? I believe the answer is due to a series of political miscalculations. How can we get out of it? By using our voices and our vote to hold politicians to account throughout the process and at the end.

People chose to pillorise expert advice and information from all walks of life. Brexit became an evidence free zone. If Brexit was an NHS drug, it would have to pass an evidence based test showing that the benefits massively outweighed the possible harm. We have nothing like that. Remember the article 50 white paper? It was like no other I have seen. There was no cost benefits Test or comparison of alternatives or analysis. It was Mrs Mays way or no way.

If you are thinking about moving and decide you like the look of a house, you may put in an offer but you wait until you’ve had the surveyor’s report, a legal search before deciding whether to complete or not. Only a fool would do otherwise.

This decision is about our entire country and the futures of all our lives, not just a house. But the only choice we are being offered is to buy irrespective of the attractiveness of our proposed new place or pull the deal entirely at the last minute and end up homeless.

Just because Mrs May has called a snap election does not mean we have to all snap into line and jettison common sense.

Mrs May said Britain was uniting behind Brexit and Westminster is divided yet in many ways the opposite is true. I know this because of the messages I receive. Just reading last night the responses below the videos the Convention team posted and the responses on social media it is evident that many people in the country are angry and very unhappy – on both sides.

The country is divided: the Referendum opened a wound which cannot heal until Mrs May engages in a full and informed debate with the country to find common ground

By being inflexible and harsh, closed-minded, deaf to other’s opinions and concerns about Brexit, Mrs May is preventing the country from healing and recovering.

In terms of Labour, voters may be thinking of sitting this Election out because they do not have faith in Jeremy Corbyn. But having a vote is a great privilege so we must use it in a smart, tactical way.

Many people who voted Remain feel Leave won by lies and swindling.

I know that many of the people who voted Leave feel they were lied to.

Many people were dismayed at the consequences as the challenges of Brexit seep into the fore. In my view the only real solution that can bring the country back together, to go forward together, is if the differences are resolved or at least reduced through properly informed debate throughout the negotiation process and a free vote on the end terms of Brexit .

As a country we value fairness, reasonableness and compromise for the greater good. Mrs May is out of step with that. Robotically repeating mantras of Brexit means Brexit and the words Strong and Stable being trotted out to any question ring hollow.

Despite what many think or what we are being told – Extreme Brexit is not a done deal. It is unfinished business.

The Referendum was not Brexit.

There is no mandate or blank cheque for an Extreme or hard Brexit. People should be able to make an informed choice. They deserve to see options and to see them properly scrutinised in Parliament. There must be a meaningful vote and elected representatives (MPs) must be able to vote on amendments to the deal.

If Mrs May uses a landslide majority to deliver an extreme Brexit she will be remembered for putting political expediency above true democracy.

Mrs May seems to want there to be no opposition on Brexit, and the Official Opposition in Parliament appear to be obliging. It is up to us as ordinary citizens to do so. However small you may feel, together our voice is big and can be the opposition to Extreme Brexit now.

That is why we have launched Best For Britian.org and even the former Prime Minister appears to be our supporter and agrees that there should be opposition to extreme Brexit. Our goal must be damage limitation through using our voice in debates such as The Convention is hosting and voting for choice on the 8th June.

Some people voted Leave because they wanted to go back to the past but the future will not bring us back to the past because the world has changed. Extreme Brexit is likely to leave us more vulnerable, more isolated, poorer, and with less opportunities for our children.

There is a fundamental unfairness here which will not lie down and be forgotten unless there is a new political settlement with the country over Brexit. Many feel betrayed and angry – but I implore you not to turn away from democracy and responsibility on June 8th, as that could have even more profound consequences for our country.

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