Green Party step aside in York Outer to give Lib Dems best chance to win

7 Nov 2019 @ 12.10 pm
| News, Politics

You won’t be able to vote Green in York Outer on December 12 – because the candidate has stepped down.

As predicted by YorkMix, the Green Party will not field a candidate in the York Outer constituency in the General Election as part of a pro-Remain pact.

The Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Greens will not run candidates against each other in 60 seats across England and Wales, it was revealed today (Thursday).

In York Outer, that means Lars Kramm, the Green Party candidate, has withdrawn from the contest to give the Lib Dems the best chance of defeating the incumbent, Conservative Julian Sturdy.

The Lib Dem candidate for York Outer is council leader Keith Aspden, who was selected on Sunday.

‘The right thing for York’

Parliamentary candidate: Keith Aspden. Photograph: York Lib Dems
Lars said he had mixed feelings about making way for Cllr Aspden.

  • Unfortunately as part of the national arrangements, York Outer is one of the handfuls of seats where the Green Party is asked to stand aside.

    The results from our local member consultation clearly showed that the overwhelming majority in both constituencies are in favour of an agreement if it both increases the likelihood of us getting more Green MPs elected across the country and reduces the number of leave supporting Tories likely to be elected.

    This is the right thing to do for York and we all agree, that York Outer needs a better MP than Julian Sturdy, one that helps to avoid a deeply damaging Brexit and does not just follow Boris Johnson’s party line.

Even before the national pact was announced, the local Green Party had already approached other parties to say they would stand aside if the Lib Dems and Labour agreed to support a single candidate, he said.

Although Julian Sturdy had a healthy majority in the 2017 election, with the Lib Dems in third place, a September Comres poll put the Lib Dems ahead by 31.78% to the Conservatives 28.47%. That same poll showed 6.42% for the Greens.

‘An exciting day’

Former Lib Dem MP Heidi Allen is chair of Unite To Remain. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for York Outer Keith Aspden said he was delighted to be chosen as the Unite To Remain candidate:

  • This is an exciting day for those in the country who are committed to standing together and stopping Brexit.

    Whilst it is disappointing the national Labour Party have refused to engage, locally we know that more and more Labour voters are lending their vote to me as the best chance of beating the Conservatives and stopping Brexit.

Heidi Allen, chair of Unite To Remain, said: “This is a Brexit election, and staying in the European Union is possible – and this is the deciding moment.

“We are putting party politics aside in the interest of our country and have cemented a cross-party arrangement whereby Remain-voting parties in England and Wales are working together to back one Remain candidate.

“With a single Remain candidate in each of these seats we can deliver a greater number of MPs into Parliament. This is our opportunity to tip the balance of power away from the two largest parties and into a progressive Remain Alliance.”

‘Two way fight’

The Green Party candidate for York Central Tom Franklin
Lars said the York Green Party were now concentrating their efforts on supporting their York Central candidate Tom Franklin:

  • York Central is a two-horse race between the Greens and Labour with the benefit that there is no risk of letting a Tory or Brexit Party candidate in.

    We saw spectacular results in the 2019 local election for the wards in York Central clearly showing the Greens in second place, well ahead of LibDems and Conservatives.

    Even better, in the European Elections 2019, Greens beat Labour citywide by nearly a 10-point margin. York still has an excellent possibility to send a strong independent Green voice to Westminster.

He said the Green Party had promising results in York Outer in the last local elections and were hoping to gain more support and visibility during the General Election campaign before the pact was announced.