Voting together, cross-party, to defeat the Conservatives: South Devon Primary update

Caroline Voaden garners support from across the progressive parties at the official launch of her campaign.

We are aware that Labour has announced a candidate for South Devon. Some are implying on social media that he intends to run a serious campaign.

But we would be very surprised if that’s his plan, after being dropped in by national HQ just weeks from the election. It would be a tragedy if a split vote ruined our chance of ending 100 years of Conservative MPs here and the experience of 2019 was repeated.

We are determined to see a change in South Devon. That’s why a cross-party team has been working for well over a year to build towards a community consensus on which candidate is best-placed to defeat the Conservative. Caroline Voaden was voted the winner of South Devon Primary with 78% of the vote at seven packed town hall meetings, which gained national media coverage.

We look forward to a Labour Government, but we are also determined that our local Conservative MP—who has enabled this dreadful Government—must go. And that means uniting behind the candidate chosen fairly by the Primary process, Caroline Voaden. We think this is more important than arguing over which progressive party to support.

We hope that South Devon Labour will recognise that hundreds of Labour, Lib Dem, and Green supporters have collectively put in  many 1,000’s of hours of work to unite the vote behind the Primary winner, and no-one wants to see this undermined.

It’s been incredibly heartening to see supporters of all three progressive parties (and none) coming together in common purpose. There’s far more that unites us than divides us, and there’s now a huge positive team effort going on to win this seat. 

Simon Oldridge, co-founder South Devon Primary

Editor’s comment:

The decision to stand in South Devon looks to be an odd one. Mr Steel is a councillor for Plymstock Radford which is in the adjacent and, for Labour, winnable seat of South West Devon. Labour have made it abundantly clear that they will be campaigning hard in neighbouring Plymouth Moor View to oust Johnny Mercer and are asking volunteers to go Plymouth and help. As a proud Janner, Mr Steel might reasonably have hoped to extend Labour’s reach in an area which includes a fair bit of overlap in terms of demographic and is his home turf.. 

We remain bemused. We were more than happy to advise our readers in Devon and Cornwall that Mr Steel was the tactical vote for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner, but he is not the tactical vote for MP for South Devon. We urge voters to keep their eyes on the objective – the removal of the Conservatives from power. We can all vote freely once we secure much-needed electoral reform.