PRESS RELEASE 22 April 2017
SURGE OF TACTICAL VOTING PLANNED FOR OXFORDSHIRE CONSTITUENCIES]
A packed and lively pre-election strategy meeting was held on Friday night in St Giles, Oxford.
Around 100 concerned voters (including many activists and members from Labour, Lib Dem and the Green Party) vowed to organise and co-ordinate tactical voting across the Oxfordshire constituencies to oppose the authoritarian shift in British politics. The specific targets agreed upon were a Labour hold in Oxford East and Lib Dem gains in Oxford West and Abingdon and in Witney.
The meeting was convened by Oxford Compass / Progressive Alliance ( http://www.compassonline.org.uk/). A strategy was thrashed out to put party differences to one side. Those present pledged to work in an alliance and avoid splitting the vote of progressive-minded electors in the June 8th General Election.
Participants agreed a raft of measures to increase voter registration and promote tactical voting with media campaigns and publicity supporting Lib Dem and Labour candidates for the constituencies in which they are most likely to win.
Note to editors: In 2010 Oxford West and Abingdon was taken from the Lib Dem Evan Harris by Conservative Nicola Blackwood with a majority of just 176. In 2015 the national Lib Dem vote collapsed and Blackwood held the seat with 9,582 majority. This year it is widely expected that the Lib Dem fortunes will be reversed. On Brexit, the constituency is one of the most pro-Europe in the country and it is expected that the Lib Dems will gain votes at the expense of the Conservatives.
In Oxford East, popular local MP Andrew Smith is retiring. In 2015 Smith defied the national trend, increasing his majority from 4,581 to 15,280.
In the Witney constituency David Cameron won in 2015 with a 25,155 majority. In a by-election a year later this was reduced to 5,702.