PRESS RELEASE: Cross-party campaigners endorse two Oxfordshire MP hopefuls in first steps of national campaign

Campaigners have formally lent their support to two Oxfordshire prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs) in the first endorsements of a campaign to elect progressives committed to democratic renewal.

Crucial to this endorsement is that both candidates have pledged to support proportional representation (PR) as ‘the key to unlocking democracy.’

Compass Oxfordshire, a local group affiliated to the national cross-party campaigns group Compass, has come out in support of Sean Woodcock, Labour PPC for Banbury, and Freddie Van Mierlo, Lib Dem PPC for Henley & Thame. 

This decision is based on Compass Oxfordshire’s close analysis of both seats which shows that these two PR-supporting PPCs are best placed to win with the help of a tactical voting campaign.

Other Compass local groups are looking to secure similar such endorsements across the country. 

Compass, through the election-focused campaign Win As One, aims to facilitate collaboration between Labour, the Lib Dems and Greens in key seats to help a progressive government win power and change the voting system. 

Compass says it will back the best-placed progressive candidates who support wholesale reform of our democracy – starting with replacing our First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system with PR.

This is because FPTP stifles productive debate, promotes short-termism, tribalism and timidity, and blocks us from pressing ahead with the bold and transformative solutions that our age of permacrisis demands.

That’s why Compass Oxfordshire is urging voters in Banbury and Henley & Thame to lend their votes to Sean Woodcock and Freddie Van Mierlo respectively in the upcoming general election, expected this autumn. 

At the next election, voters in Henley & Thame and Banbury have an opportunity to elect two Members of Parliament that will fight to change the voting system so that every vote counts, at every election, and every vote can be genuine.

Both candidates have signed up to Compass Oxfordshire’s pledge for proportional representation, which reads as follows:

“We want a society that is happier, more equal and more sustainable. In a flourishing democracy we can tackle climate change, the cost of living, social care, and much more. This new politics starts with changing our voting system to proportional representation, the key to unlocking democracy.”

Compass Oxfordshire will hold a street stall in central Thame on Saturday 27th April to promote its recommendations and raise awareness of the new Voter ID requirements.

A spokesperson for Compass Oxfordshire said: 

“Just a cursory glance at Westminster politics over the last few years shows our politics is quite clearly not fit for purpose. That’s why we need an entirely new system. But this has to start with electing people committed to reform.

With progressive MPs representing both Banbury and Henley & Thame, we can begin to build towards a new democratic politics where tactical voting is unnecessary, where our vote counts, and where our needs, as a county and country, finally come first.”

For more information please contact: 

Harry Gold, Media and Press Officer at Compass:, 07500560643

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