Politics has been grim for a long time. But today we woke up with a smile. The Tories, UKIP and the candidate they backed in Richmond Park were defeated. He was defeated by a margin so narrow that we can say the Progressive Alliance made a difference.
The politics of hard Brexit and soft racism met their end in a corner of south west London by parties and people working together for a greater good. If it can happen in Richmond, then it can happen everywhere.
Compass played its part. We spent hours getting people in one party to talk to people in other parties. We held a great public meeting that galvanised the idea of a progressive alliance, and we delivered thousands of leaflets calling on people to vote for the best placed progressive candidate. But most of all we landed on and stuck with the idea of a progressive alliance being the strategic political intervention our country needs. Today that idea passed its first big test.
We didn’t do it alone. We did it with some wonderful people locally in Richmond Park, people in every progressive party. We did it with Caroline Lucas and Lisa Nandy, Clive Lewis and Jonathan Reynolds.
And we did it with you. History will record a Liberal Democrat win, but it was not theirs alone, and they must work out how to be generous back to the Greens and the Women’s Equality Party.
We feel sad that Labour officially wasn’t part of this. The party needs to reflect on its closed tribalism. But so many people nationally and locally want Labour to be part of a progressive alliance – there is no future without Labour being on board. Let’s make that so.
The road ahead will not be easy. But today the right people won because they worked together. Let’s celebrate that and build for the next time.
Donate here so we can do that and take the progressive alliance from Richmond to the rest of the country. Your money will go into training and toolkits and everything else we need to make a progressive alliance a reality.
Yours in hope,
Neal, Frances and Ayeisha