Our Chair, John Bland sets out his thoughts on the election.
This election is turning out to be like none other in that it is being fought with the spectre of Brexit in the background. Get it right and on 13th December a big step to make the Brexit debate stop will have been taken. Get it wrong and it is simple and stark. On 31 January we will depart from the European Union.
This will then trigger potentially years of negotiations with the European Union as to what our future trading relationship with our largest trading partners will be like, and we will also have to negotiate new trading relationships with our key trading partners throughout the World as we will lose access to those agreements that we currently receive the benefit of by virtue of our membership of the European Union. In short, years of uncertainty for our economy will ensue.
Lincolnshire is by modern tradition a Conservative stronghold. At first sight, it may seem that we will not have much influence on what happens in the General Election and afterwards. However this conclusion is wrong. We can influence things big time. We may not have many seats that are natural battlegrounds but we do have seats within the county and close by which will help decide this election campaign.
In Lincolnshire, or close to us Lincoln, Peterborough, Great Grimsby and Scunthorpe are all seats that could turn blue and even Bolsover is not guaranteed. Yes - that's right a seat that has been held by the Labour party continuously since 1950 could be taken by the Tories. This is what Brexit is doing. It is turning politics on its head.
So what can we do about it? Do we throw in the towel? Well if my father's generation took that attitude, he would not have returned from Dunkirk in 1940. Instead we must use the ingenuity of Operation Dynamo which enabled the British Army to find its way home to fight another day. We must use a form of improvisation of scale that has been unseen in our recent political history. We must put aside our political differences and do what is right for the country. We must all use our vote smartly.
The tactical voting campaign now underway is an ingenious solution to the dilemma that the Conservative Party of great Europeans such as Churchill, Macmillan, Heath, Thatcher and Major has overnight turned its back on internationalism and is now a party dominated by those who hold nationalistic views. A vote for the Conservative Party in this election will herald a period of international isolation for our country. From being one of 28, we will become one of one.
In the key marginal seats we urge our members and supporters to consider the tactical voting recommendations that are out there and vote for the candidate who has the best chance of stopping the Conservative winning in that constituency. In Great Grimsby and Bolsover that may mean voting a candidate who does not currently support the idea of giving the public a final say; it may seem that is at odds with the aim of securing a further referendum, but would a further Conservative MP not make the prospect of doing so less likely? Thus the candidates who are defending their seats can be seen to be some kind or insurance against a hard Brexit.
There are of course a number of seats that are currently safe Conservative seats. In such seats we recommend that you vote for a Remain Party that has the best chance of winning or you vote with your political conscience. In Lincolnshire these seats are:-
Boston & Skegness
Grantham and Stamford
Louth and Horncastle
South Holland and the Deepings
There are a number of tactical voting websites out there - we recommend VOTE SMART which collates the recommendations of all the other sites.
In conjunction with this find out who is standing in your constituency at Who can I Vote For
If you are in a safe Conservative seat and can't make your mind up, take the survey at Vote for Policies
Have you decided to vote tactically? Would you like swap your vote with someone else in another constituency who is voting tactically? If so Swap My Vote maybe for you.