LAST night, millions of viewers watched four political leaders do battle with members of the public in a BBC Question Time special – today, Wokingham constituents will be visited by activists from a campaign calling for a second referendum on Europe.
Members of the People’s Vote group want to raise awareness that they feel Dr Phillip Lee would be the best candidate to achieve their aim.
They say that Wokingham is one of their key target seats, and are planning for hundreds of activists from across the political spectrum to take part in the event.
It says it recommends voting for the Liberal Democrat, Dr Phillip Lee, as the pro-People’s Vote candidate, with the best chance of winning – something that Labour disputes, as it came second in the 2017 General Election.
However, a poll earlier this month suggested that Dr Lee is breathing down the neck of Sir John Redwood, the Conservative candidate who has held the seat since 1987 and is a staunch Brexiteer.
And last weekend, a straw poll of shoppers in Wokingham’s town centre suggested that locally, people want to stay in the EU.
In a bid to boost Dr Lee’s chances, campaigners from throughout the South East will be canvassing in Wokingham today (Saturday, November 23) hoping to persuade voters this is their best chance of securing a majority for a People’s Vote in the next Parliament.
People’s Vote said that thousands of grassroots activists are expected to take to the streets in more than 50 coordinated events, in key battleground constituencies, in a nationwide ‘Day of Action’, as part of the campaign’s tactical voting drive.
And People’s Vote said it has seen a record surge in donations from grassroots supporters since the General Election was called, raising more than £500,000 in the last three weeks alone.
The cross-party campaign group says it is channelling those resources into a tactical voting campaign of ‘unprecedented scale’, which urges supporters to vote tactically to secure a final-say referendum.
And the People’s Vote campaign – similar to one launched by Berkshire For Europe – is urging people to vote tactically rather than on traditional party lines as it seeks to win support for a second referendum.
People’s Vote activist Jane, 47, is a teacher and is one of those who will be campaigning in Wokingham this Saturday.
In a statement supplied by People’s Vote, she said: “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to secure a People’s Vote. That means I’m not only voting tactically at this Election but I’m campaigning tactically too, to help spread the word to others who feel passionately about putting the final say on Brexit back to the people.
“I’ve always voted Labour, but I’m campaigning in Wokingham for the Liberal Democrats because I’m very keen to see them defeat the arch Brexiter John Redwood. I very much hope that Phillip Lee is successful in Wokingham as he believes so passionately about the need for a final say on Brexit.”
And a People’s Vote Spokesperson said: “This is an election unlike any other. Tactical voting could mean the difference between being stuck with Johnson’s disastrous deal or securing a People’s Vote.
“We applaud our activists who are putting the greater cause above their usual party affiliations and encourage anyone who feels the same, to vote tactically. Our tactical voting site recommends which pro-People’s Vote candidate has the best chance of winning in each constituency.
“If we all pull together, we can ensure the final say on Brexit is put back to the People.”
However, the Conservatives don’t think a second referendum is necessary.
Sir John Redwood’s agent David Edmonds said: “The Conservatives are the only party campaigning to respect the result of the 2016 National referendum.
“We want to end the current parliamentary deadlock and infighting and get back to building a prosperous economy and nation.”
For more on the group’s campaign, log on to https://tactical-vote.uk/
Wokingham parliamentary candidates
There are five candidates standing in Wokingham for the December 12 General Election:
- Kizzi Johannessen – Green Party
- Dr Phillip Lee Liberal Democrats
- Dr Annette Medhurst – Labour
- Annabel Mullin – Advance Together
- Sir John Redwood – Conservative