Here at Compass head office, we don’t usually get involved in local election campaigns. We do of course want progressive parties and candidates to win, but in many areas progressives are competing with each other over real and pressing local issues – the best we can do here is hoping that a variety of progressive voices will be represented on the council.
The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, however, is different for us. It is here that in the autumn of 2016 a Progressive Alliance delivered a mighty blow to the Conservatives and the wider right, as Sarah Olney took the Richmond Park by-election in a landslide and unseated Zac Goldsmith. Voters in Richmond demonstrated that they understood that in our backward electoral system, working together is often the only way to elect progressives instead of conservatives.
During Theresa May’s snap general election last year, Progressive Alliances were responsible for remarkable results in both Richmond Park, where Sarah Olney very nearly fought off Goldsmith for a second time, and Twickenham, where the Conservative incumbent was beaten by Vince Cable, now the leader of the Liberal Democrats. In both constituencies, Green Party candidates stood aside and many voters joined the tactical voting surge, which ultimately helped to take away the Tories’ majority in Parliament.
This year’s local elections are seeing the next chapter of Richmond’s rise as the hotbed of a new politics: candidates from the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party are joining forces to put progressives in charge of Richmond council. Together, they stand a good chance of taking the council from the Tories, collaborating to protect public services and oppose Heathrow expansion.
If you live in any of the following wards, you have an opportunity to vote for a progressive team of Greens and Lib Dems:
- Fulwell and Hampton Hill
- Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside
- Hampton Wick
- South Richmond
- South Twickenham.
Elsewhere in the borough, you will find that the Green Party is not fielding candidates so that the progressive vote will be split across fewer parties.
Can you help to continue the extraordinary success of progressive collaboration in the borough of Richmond? It will once again inspire voters across the country, and give further heed to the need to fix our voting system.
Here are the contact details of the local campaign coordinators of the Green Party (firstname.lastname@example.org / 07772 534771) and the Liberal Democrats, should you want to help them in the final week of campaigning.
If you are keen to campaign for the Labour Party instead, and you want to help make a real difference, you could consider supporting their campaign in nearby Wandsworth, where they could take the council from the Conservatives.