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LONDON – Gina Miller believes tactical voting will play a much bigger part than people think in determining the outcome of next week’s general election.
Miller – who rose to prominence for spearheading the legal campaign to give MPs a vote on triggering Brexit – was speaking in Vauxhall, south London on Thursday alongside Lib Dem candidate for the area George Turner.
The London-based investment manager has launched a crowd-funded tactical voting campaign called Best For Britain, which is giving financial support to candidates in constituencies where their biggest rivals are “hard” Brexiteers.
Speaking to Business Insider on board a chartered boat in the River Thames yesterday afternoon, Miller said she has been greatly encouraged by how many people have expressed an interest in her tactical voting project.
“The first part of the campaign was getting people out to register to vote and so we’re excited that over a million young people have registered and a huge amount of women who didn’t do so either for the last election or EU referendum. We have to get them out to vote on June 8, and I appreciate that” Miller said.
“Lots of people have been visiting our tactical voting website. People are on there all the time.
“Vauxhall – where we happen to be today – is the second most-searched constituency on our website. People are talking about tactical voting. When we started everybody said it would not work, the public wouldn’t embrace it and it’s too complicated. Actually, nearly everyone wherever we go is talking about it, so I think we’ll prove them wrong.”
- Adam Payne/Business Insider
The Best For Britain campaign has been dismissed by critics as Miller’s latest attempt to sabotage Brexit. The Lib Dems – who Miller plans to vote for on June 8 – want to hold a referendum on the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU. Miller insisted yesterday afternoon that tactical voting is not about trying to reverse or undo the Brexit vote.
“The only people who are talking about revisiting the referendum result is Leavers and politicians who voted Leave. What George is saying, what other parties are saying, what I am saying, is that let’s get on with the process. It’s not about undoing Brexit – it’s about executing it in a way that’s transparent, holds up to scrutiny, and doesn’t give the government a blank cheque.”
Turner is hoping to unseat Labour’s Kate Hoey in the Vauxhall seat. The Lib Dem candidate conceded that it would require a “huge upset” to win here, given that the party finished fourth in 2015, 47% behind Labour’s Hoey. But 78% of Vauxhall residents voted Remain in last year’s referendum, putting them at odds with staunch Brexiteer Hoey.
“I am very confident that we can pull off a big upset here. Brexit is an issue that people really care about and we’ve been getting a huge response on the doorstep,” Turner said.
“Everyone accepts a deal needs to be negotiated. What we are talking about is how that deal is signed off. All of us – people who voted Remain and people who voted Leave – nobody wants a bad deal at the end of this. We want to do our best to make sure we keep as many of the benefits of EU membership.
“Brexit is going to dominate the political space for the next few years and one of the great disappointments is how little detail the government has come forward with. This is going to re-define all of our lives. The fact that the government has gone to the polls without saying in any meaningful way what their vision is for the country is a total failure.”