12 May 2017
Sefton Green Party firmly believes that every voter should have the opportunity to vote for a Green candidate, but in the forthcoming General Election Sefton Green Party and its candidate Laurence Rankin have decided not to be on the ballot paper in Southport.
We passionately believe our candidate for Southport, Laurence Rankin, would make a great MP and that the country would benefit from more Green MP's. We realise that in June 2017 this seat is a Lib Dem/Conservative marginal, and we are prepared to stand aside and urge all Green supporters to vote for the Liberal Democrat candidate.
We also call upon all potential Labour Party voters to be brave and to vote tactically to stop the threat of a Conservative MP in Southport.
We know this can work. Look at Richmond Park last year where a fantastic Green candidate, Andree Frieze, stood aside to support the Liberal Democrats overcome the Tory, Zac Goldsmith and the Labour vote appeared to be less than their number of local Party members.
Laurence Rankin, the prospective Green Candidate for Southport, and who stood for them in the 2015 General Election, said,
"This was a very difficult decision for us. We worked very hard to give people a chance to vote Green in 2015, and we still believe the Green Party is the best option to change the way politics works in Britain, and bring forward a genuine sustainable society that benefits all. However this is a critical time for everyone. Given free rein the Tories will press ever harder to dismantle our health services, academise our schools, and continue the austerity programme, which is targeting the less fortunate. They would also accelerate the rush to Frack for shale gas, which could seriously harm our local environment.
However, Southport is a marginal seat and could easily fall to the Tories. Everyone, whatever their usual political affiliation, who wants to see a more just society, and not let the Tories turn the UK into a low wage offshore tax haven, needs to support the LibDems in Southport this time."
While we know this will disappoint some Green supporters we believe, and hope you trust that, we have made the correct decision.
So it is with the greatest of regret, but with the greatest of hope, we are withdrawing our Southport Candidate, Laurence Rankin.
Sefton Green Party - 10th May, 2017