Progressive parties are being urged to work together to oust the Tories from one key Lancashire council this May as new research revealed a major democratic deficit at its heart.
The Tories hold all the power
At the last election, The Tories took 17 of the available 33 seats (51.5%) despite winning just 48% of the popular vote.
So Compass is urging Labour, Lib Dem and Green supporters across the area to come together and correct this democratic deficit by voting tactically at the local elections, scheduled to be held on 4 May.
Of the 230 councils up for election across England, 85 are Conservative majority-run – but Compass’ research revealed the Tories won a majority on 64 of these councils despite receiving less than 50% of the vote.
Compass labels these councils ‘tragedy councils’ because greater co-operation between progressive parties could have prevented the Tories from seizing control in a large number of them.
“Our voting system punishes Labour and other progressive parties, creating ‘tragedy councils,’ which the Conservatives run on a minority share of the vote. Compared to the Right, Labour, Lib Dem and Green candidates agree on so much – that’s why it’s madness that they compete with one another and let the real enemy win.
“At these next elections progressive candidates should stand where they are best placed to win and activists should go to their nearest marginal ward – that way we get the Tories out of councils now and send a signal that cooperation will win the general election too.”Neal Lawson (director at Compass)
While more than half of the public voted for non-Conservative parties in Pendle, the Tories took a majority of the seats – and all the power.
This is because the UK’s First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system punishes the fractured progressive vote and too often hands victory to the Tories.
Competition between progressive parties lets the single right-wing candidate through over and over again, and a lack of co-ordinated tactical voting further compounds this problem.
But there is another, more hopeful way of doing politics, one where progressives don’t divide while the Conservatives conquer.
Progressive parties standing aside in favour of the best-placed candidate to beat the Tories – or just campaigning more appropriately – has been shown to work in many councils across the country.
In the North West, three of the councils up for election in May (Cheshire East, Burnley and Lancaster) are progressive partnerships or coalitions.
Progressives in these councils are practising politics differently by cooperating with one another to keep the Conservatives out of power.
Compass’ Win As One campaign is focussed on facilitating cross-party collaboration in key areas across the country to help progressive parties win power – both at a regional and national level.
“Labour, the Greens and the Lib Dems agree on so much – we’ve seen that in councils up and down the country where they’re already working together successfully.
“Progressive candidates should stand where they are best-placed to win and activists should focus activity on their nearest marginal ward. That way we can ensure the best possible chance of getting the Tories out.
“The people of Pendle deserve better. This toxic Conservative Party has run out of steam and our progressive parties must work together to get rid of them and deliver better solutions for people locally.”Harry Gold (spokesperson for Compass)
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