Kelly-Marie Blundell: 'Maria Caulfield can be beaten by a Progressive vote'
Nominations for the General Election closed last night. In this constituency there will only be three candidates on the ballot. This makes it a straight fight between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives.
This welcome development is in no small part down to the decision of the Lewes Green Party and their candidate Katie Hawks who have decided not to stand in order to maximise the chances of beating Maria Caulfield.
As a candidate and active party member myself, I am well aware of how difficult this decision was, both for Katie individually and the local party collectively. I would like to publicly recognise this and welcome their willingness to put aside party politics in order to help ensure that the Conservatives can be beaten in Lewes, as indeed we did in Brighton Pavilion for Caroline Lucas.
I’d like to confirm again that I will stick to the agreement and progressive commitments I made during our negotiations. I am personally opposed to a coalition with the Conservatives and am delighted that nationally the Liberal Democrat party has ruled out a coalition with Theresa May.
The combined Conservative and UKIP vote in the 2015 General Election was 24,633. The combined Progressive vote, Liberal Democrat, Labour and Green was 25,907.
Maria Caulfield can be beaten by a Progressive vote for Progressive policies. This is why I am asking every Green and Labour voter in Lewes to lend me their vote to help ensure that there is a strong opposition to the Conservatives, that there is a voice and opposition to the gutting of the NHS, to starving our schools of the funding they so deserve and to a hard Brexit which risks seeing us crashing out of Europe with all the economic costs that will result.
Our democracy is stronger when we hear from more voices and have more people involved at every level, including standing in elections. It is a sign of a broken democracy that good people and valuable views have to stand down to ensure that our Parliament is more representative of the people it serves. I have always been committed to changing our voting system and will push this agenda in parliament as the MP for Lewes.
If elected I will represent all voters in the constituency of Lewes regardless of their party loyalties; but to do that I need your vote.
Kelly-Marie Blundell, Parliamentary Candidate for the Liberal Democrats in Lewes