Labour's Kim Leadbeater won the by-election in Batley & Spen yesterday by just 323 votes.
While this is a great result for internationalists and progressives it should also be a lesson to all the parties that want to replace Boris Johnson's government at the next general election. Winning is possible, but it will take cooperation to do it.
No electoral pact or alliance was done ahea dof this by-election, though the Green Party chose to withdraw their candidate. Labour faced an insurgence from George Galloway which seems to have eaten into Labour's support as well as a campaign that at times became bitter and divisive.
Batley & Spen parliamentary by-election, result:— Britain Elects (@BritainElects) July 2, 2021
Lab: 35.3% (-7.4)
Con: 34.4% (-1.6)
WPGB: 21.9% (+21.9)
LDem: 3.3% (-1.3)
York: 2.2% (+2.2)
UKIP: 0.4% (+0.4)
Oth: 2.5% (+2.5)
Against the odds, a progressive, tolerant and pro-internationionalist candidate won this by-election. Before the next general election parties that share that outlook and that share the aim of replacing Boris Johnson's government have an opportunity to work together.
Best for Britain's polling has shown 64 per cent of voters say political parties that broadly agree with each other should work together at election time rather than stand against each other, including 63 per cent of Conservatives and 70 per cent of Labour supporters.
Naomi Smith, Chief Executive of Best for Britain, said:
“While this well deserved victory should be celebrated, over the last few years we have seen too often what happens when the progressive parties split each others’ votes, and let this divisive and nativist government in through the middle.
“Pacts between the Conservatives, UKIP and the Brexit Party are well rehearsed, and so before the next General Election, internationalist parties must agree between them how to deny this government another majority and deliver a fairer voting system that will make such agreements unnecessary in the future."
Support the Better Democracy Fund
You can help Best for Britain campaign and persuade the parties to cooperate in the national interest. While the UK's current voting system means votes don't always count, voters need parties with shared aims to at least cooperate with eachother to produce the result the country needs.
It works like this:
Parties that share values of tolerance and a pro-internationalist outlook need to be persuaded to cooperate to win together.
Cooperation can take many forms, from shared policy platforms, to fielding a single candidate or strategically allocating campaigning efforts to avoid hurting each other. Each seat needs to be assessed on the basis of what will work locally.
When the progressive parties have a majority in Parliament they get rid of Boris Johnson and change the voting system to something fairer and more proportionate - that way in future we could all just vote for the party and candidate we want without having to be tactical about it!