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Green-Labour pact in Chiswick could make all the difference in two very marginal seats

By Bridget Osborne

Green-Labour pact in Chiswick could make all the difference in two very marginal seats 30 April 2017

This is Diane Scott, the Green party candidate for Brentford & Isleworth. She has until 11th May to decide whether or not to pull out of the general election campaign and support Ruth Cadbury.

Given the national debate on tactical voting, the Green party nationally has left it up to local the membership to decide what to do in their own constituency. The Ealing branch has decided not to put up a candidate to run against Rupa Huq in Ealing Central and Acton, as the seat is extremely marginal. In the New Statesman’s list of ’50 Labour MPs most at risk of losing their seats’, she comes an unenviable second.

Ruth Cadbury, Labour candidate for Brentford and Isleworth, is not far behind her. She ranks as the fourth most likely to lose her seat. Tony Firkins, the Green party co-ordinator in Brentford & Isleworth constituency, told me that they were “in discussions” with the Brentford & Isleworth Labour party about withdrawing their candidate in return for a promise of support on key policies, but he said that reaching an agreement was “not very promising”. Ruth won by just 465 votes last time so she could use their votes. In the last general election the Greens polled 2,120.

The deal struck in Ealing Central and Acton is that Rupa Huq has made three public commitments:

  • To campaign actively for voting reform to improve democracy in the UK
  • To resist a “hard Brexit” in the interests of protecting the natural environment, and to defend an open society and the rights of European nationals living in the UK
  • To oppose a third runway at Heathrow Airport, and airport expansion in general.

They have until 11th May to decide whether a similar deal can be struck in Brentford & Isleworth, as that is the date by which the deposit has to be paid.

Dr Scott is a senior medical researcher, with a specialist interest in immunology. She has campaigned against air pollution and recently co-ordinated measurements which highlighted the dangerous and illegal levels of air near the A4 in Brentford.

I did an interview with her last year about the level of air pollution in Brentford. The Green Party took part in a project to measure the level of air pollution along the M4 corridor, which is consistently above the level considered to be safe.

You can watch the interview by clicking here.