For the committed Brexiteer this election is unlike any other before.
We finally have a government committed to the UK leaving the EU and they are seeking a stronger mandate to do just that.
The question is what strategy should Brexiteers take – whether they are UKIP members of members of other political parties?
Presumably it should be a strategy that will most likely result in the UK leaving the EU?
UKIP could stand in every constituency. We know where we stand with UKIP but there is no chance of UKIP forming a government and every chance that this would result in some unhappy circumstances where a sitting, pro-Brexit, MP was ejected and a Remainer getting in. That would reduce the chances of the next government getting Brexit through our parliament.
What we should do is concentrate on going after any MPs who will not 100% support the Brexit process. It doesn’t matter whether they originally voted Remain, or which party they belong to, what matters is whether they are democrats that will implement the referendum decision.
If the sitting MP is 100% supportive then Brexiteers should support them. If they are not 100% supportive then either a UKIP candidate should stand or where the previous election result indicates that a bit of tactical voting would result in another party’s pro Brexit candidate getting in then UKIP should do a deal and help get them in this time.
By explicitly targeting those who wish to undermine the referendum vote Brexiteers would maximise the chance of getting what we all really want. Brexit. This really is a country before party issue.
There are many who will complain that they might not get the type of Brexit they wanted. Soft Brexit not hard Brexit. But any Brexit will break the primary shackles of the EU and take us out of the political project. If we don’t get the Brexit we want then that will be the battle line for the next election (UKIP must not pack up and go away – it could be needed post Brexit!).
You can be 100% sure that the Remainers will attempt to vote tactically to get as many backsliders into Parliament as possible (this article was written 2 days after the Referendum last year). This is why we need to be mature enough to see past the urge to stand everywhere and work to maximise the Leave vote in parliament (Gina Miller, the lady who took the government to court over enacting Article 50, is now attempting to set up a ‘progressive alliance’ to return as many Remain MPs as possible). In reality this does mean that we will probably be supporting Conservative candidates in the South and UKIP in the North. This may be difficult for the leadership of either party to stomach as a formal arrangement so it may need to be forced on them from the grass roots. But then I doubt that I am the only person who, over the years when out leafleting for UKIP in an EU election campaign would bump into Conservative leafleters who would say ‘we are only doing this because we have been told we must but we are 100% behind you and will be voting for you’! Sometimes the grass roots do have a better idea of the priorities than the leadership!
On the up side, take a look at this wonderfully titled post that was written in July last year ‘Why a Pro EU Party could get screwed at the next election’‘Why a Pro EU Party could get screwed at the next election’.
If you look at how the 2016 Referendum result would have worked out on a first-past-the-post count it would have resulted in 421 for Leave to 229 for Remain i.e. Leave gets 65% not the 52% it actually got. This should translate into a good result on the ground at this general election – AS LONG AS WE DONT SCREW IT UP!
So hold your nerve (and possibly your nose), put country before party and work to get as many pro-Brexit MPs back into Westminster as possible, whatever their party.