Should the left unite in the Richmond Park byelection? | Letters

Should the left unite in the Richmond Park byelection? | Letters

You report (Ukip will back Goldsmith in byelection, 28 October) that “Labour frontbenchers Clive Lewis and Jonathan Reynolds and the former shadow minister Lisa Nandy suggested their party should not contest the seat” in the Richmond Park byelection. As a member of the Labour party and former Green I welcome their intervention. The 2015 election showed that the first-past-the-post electoral system is not fit for purpose, and until we have electoral reform and proportional representation there will always be an argument for electoral alliances. At the 2015 election in Richmond Park the Labour vote increased by 7.3%, the Lib Dems were down 23.5% and Zac Goldsmith increased his majority. However when he won the seat from the Lib Dems in 2010 Labour only just saved their deposit with 5% of the vote.

Goldsmith contested a racial campaign to become London’s mayor and supports a hard Brexit in a constituency where 70% voted remain. If those on the left of politics are serious about working together to defeat a rightwing Tory government, this is an opportunity to cut the Tory majority in the Commons. There is a need for the Lib Dems, Greens and Labour in the constituency to get together to see if an accommodation can be reached with one joint candidate as a one off – possibly via a primary election. No one will thank them if a Ukip-supported Goldsmith is elected because of their divisions: other than the Tories and Ukip.
David Melvin
Green party parliamentary candidate for the Halton constituency at the 2015 general election

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Source: Guardian Transport

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