UK fund launched for pro-EU candidates
Gina Miller, the campaigner behind the successful Brexit legal challenge, has raised £300,000 in crowdfunding to directly support up to 100 pro-EU candidates in her tactical-voting election initiative.
Miller said the money would be given directly to candidates who had a chance of defeating those supporting Prime Minister Theresa May’s so-called “hard Brexit”.
The Best for Britain voting campaign ahead of the June 8 general election had received donations from 10,000 people reflected a grassroots appetite for a meaningful opposition to the Tory government, she said.
Her problem was that May had called a surprise election, giving her only six weeks to work out which candidates her group should support.
Miller and Eloise Todd, the chief executive of Best for Britain, said they were still researching which candidates to fund, but confirmed they were looking at all parties, including Conservatives.
Miller said she wanted to look at how strategic-voting websites had helped Justin Trudeau win in Canada in 2015.
The funds would be distributed using data and polling that took account of the June 23 referendum results, the 2015 general election results and people’s willingness to consider tactical voting.
“This is the most important election for a generation. It’s crucial that people feel inspired to register and vote,” Miller said.
An Ipsos-Mori poll this week suggested 49 per cent of the electorate saying they planned to vote Conservative, with support for Ukip down to 4 per cent. Meanwhile, the pro-EU Liberal Democrats (pictured), who want to maintain close ties to the EU and advocate a second referendum, had just 13-per-cent support.
“It is especially important for young people to vote as they will be living with the consequences of the decisions taken in the next parliament for their entire lives.”
The activist said she would “tour marginal seats to make sure the next government has no mandate to destroy our rights and our relationship with Europe. We need to prevent MPs and the people being forced into an extreme Brexit that is not in Britain’s best interests.”
Todd said it was “not about ideology” or party politics but about holding May to account and strengthening parliamentary democracy at a pivotal period in national history.
Todd said: “It’s not about being ‘in’ or ‘out’ [of Europe]. It’s not about that binary choice. It’s that the next government needs to connect with the people and do what’s best for the country. It’s not about forcing candidates to commit now to a deal that A doesn’t exist yet, B negotiations haven’t even started and C we don’t even know who the chief players are going to be in the negotiations.”