WHILE there is suspicion that the Liberal Democrats will water down the Labour vote in Remain-heavy Hampstead and Kilburn with an anti-Brexit mission, there are fears among the Conservatives that they might pull votes away from them too.
The official Tory message on the campaign trail is of course that, however you voted in the referendum, the people have spoken: they want a divorce from Europe and now we’ve got to get on with it – and Theresa May is better than Jeremy Corbyn at getting on with things.
But the rush to the exit door does not sit comfortably among less flexible Remainers within the party. In fact some of them are feeling “lost”. Not my words, but those of local association chairman Gio Spinella, who has written to friends and fellow Conservatives warning against “cathartic venting” – otherwise known as a vote for the Lib Dems – next month.
“We know this is a Brexit election,” he says in a letter to supporters. “Our constituency voted overwhelmingly Remain, outpolling London on this matter. It is the defining issue of our time and many of us- though by no means all- will share grave concerns and worries over the future of our country. I know some of you feel lost in this election. Some of you have even thought about voting for other parties. I will say that a vote for the Lib-Dems may be felt as a cathartic venting but will achieve nothing else.”
Dear Friends and Fellow Conservatives,
Last week’s local government election results were quite inspiring and exciting for us Conservatives, with voters trusting our party and candidates across the country, from Cornwall to Edinburgh and from Essex to Glasgow. Between these results and the national leads we have in all polls, it would be easy to think that the election is in the bag.
I am here to remind us all it very much isn’t. London is unlike the rest of the country and Hampstead and Kilburn is unlike the rest of London. In this hyper-marginal and wonderfully unique constituency, it is all very much to play for.
We know this is a Brexit election. Our constituency voted overwhelmingly Remain, outpolling London on this matter. It is the defining issue of our time and many of us- though by no means all- will share grave concerns and worries over the future of our country.
I know some of you feel lost in this election. Some of you have even thought about voting for other parties. I will say that a vote for the Lib-Dems may be felt as a cathartic venting but will achieve nothing else. As for the Labour candidate, she is good on television but other than her media performances, her most noticeable contribution to the political process was to nominate Jeremy Corbyn to leader of the Labour party, with all that followed. She does not deserve to be re-elected on the back of her catastrophic lack of judgement alone.
In these uncertain times there are two certainties which are guiding me:
The first is that Brexit will happen. At this point no party, Conservative, Labour and Lib-Dem, is proposing to stop or reverse the result of the national referendum and the argument is over how to bring this about. We must therefore deal with reality as it is and work for the best deal possible for the UK.
Following from that, my second certainty is that Theresa May is the best person to be Prime Minister and lead the difficult negotiations. Corbyn is unfit to represent us – or his own party for that matter – and Tim Farron won’t win.
On the back of these two certainties, I am campaigning for Claire-Louise Leyland and I am asking you to help however you can. Even an hour spent delivering leaflets or knocking on doors will be priceless in the battle to secure our seat for the Conservatives.
We have to convince the electorate that only Theresa May’s Conservatives will be able to deliver the best Brexit deal possible and that Theresa May will need a large majority to be able to ensure the deal- an inevitable series of compromises with the EU- will be approved by Parliament.
We cannot afford to be complacent. We cannot afford to let Labour win this seat. So please let us know what you can do, give us your time and let’s work together to give the UK the best government possible in these difficult times.