Unite to Remain

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Brexit
(withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union)
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Constituencies covered by the pact, colour-coded by standing party

Unite to Remain is a campaign and electoral pact during the 2019 United Kingdom general election. It involves three parties that support remaining in the European Union: the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party of England and Wales, and, in Wales, Plaid Cymru. Its stated goal is to avoid the spoiler effect and maximise the number of MPs elected who will oppose Brexit.

In 49 constituencies in England and 11 in Wales, only one of these parties will stand a candidate. Of the 60 constituencies, 43 will have Liberal Democrat candidates only, 10 will have Green Party candidates, and 7 will have Plaid Cymru candidates.[1][2][3][4][5] The seats covered by the pact include some defended by a Unite to Remain party, as well as target seats currently held by the Conservative or Labour parties.

Details[edit]

Though there was no formal pact, the August 2019 Brecon and Radnorshire by-election saw the Greens and Plaid Cymru stand aside for the Liberal Democrat candidate Jane Dodds,[6] who defeated the Conservative candidate by a small margin.[7] This arrangement was mooted as being the basis for a wider-ranging "Remain Alliance".[8]

The Unite to Remain group which brokered the pact was formed by the outgoing MP for South Cambridgeshire Heidi Allen in July 2019.[9][10] The alliance approached the Labour party at an early stage, but were rebuffed.[11] The Labour peer Jim Knight is one of the directors of Unite to Remain.[12] The group was registered as a "non-party campaigner" with the Electoral Commission in November 2019.[13]

Seats were selected based on a targeted pooling of resources and only with the consent of local parties. All the parties also support electoral reform.[11] Liberal Democrat activists in constituencies where their party are standing aside were encouraged to either campaign for the Unite to Remain candidate there, or to campaign in a nearby seat.[14]

On 13 November 2019, Unite to Remain and the Renew Party announced that Renew would not contest any of the 60 Unite to Remain target seats.[15]

List of constituencies[edit]

Incumbents marked in italics are not personally standing for re-election in that constituency.

Darker rows indicate constituencies where the Unite to Remain Party won the last election (the 2017 general election or the 2019 Brecon and Radnorshire by-election). The pact also covers three seats where, during the 2017–2019 Parliament, incumbent MPs defected from other parties to the Liberal Democrats.

Constituency Country Unite to Remain party Unite to Remain candidate Incumbent party Incumbent Refs
Arfon Wales Plaid Cymru Hywel Williams Plaid Cymru Hywel Williams [16]
Bath England Liberal Democrats Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrats Wera Hobhouse
Bermondsey and Old Southwark England Liberal Democrats Humaira Ali Labour Neil Coyle [17]
Brecon and Radnorshire Wales Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds [16]
Brighton Pavilion England Green Caroline Lucas Green Caroline Lucas [18]
Bristol West England Green Carla Denyer Labour Thangam Debbonaire [19]
Buckingham England Liberal Democrats Stephen Dorrell Speaker John Bercow [20]
Bury St Edmunds England Green Helen Geake Conservative Jo Churchill
Caerphilly Wales Plaid Cymru Lindsay Whittle Labour Wayne David [21]
Cannock Chase England Green Paul Woodhead Conservative Amanda Milling
Cardiff Central Wales Liberal Democrats Bablin Molik Labour Jo Stevens [16]
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr Wales Plaid Cymru Jonathan Edwards Plaid Cymru Jonathan Edwards [16]
Cheadle England Liberal Democrats Tom Morrison Conservative Mary Robinson
Chelmsford England Liberal Democrats Marie Goldman Conservative Vicky Ford
Chelsea and Fulham England Liberal Democrats Nicola Horlick Conservative Greg Hands
Cheltenham England Liberal Democrats Max Wilkinson Conservative Alex Chalk
Chippenham England Liberal Democrats Helen Belcher Conservative Michelle Donelan
Dulwich and West Norwood England Green Jonathan Bartley Labour Helen Hayes [17]
Dwyfor Meirionnydd Wales Plaid Cymru Liz Saville Roberts Plaid Cymru Liz Saville-Roberts [16]
Esher and Walton England Liberal Democrats Monica Harding Conservative Dominic Raab
Exeter England Green Joe Levy Labour Ben Bradshaw [22]
Finchley and Golders Green England Liberal Democrats Luciana Berger Conservative Mike Freer
Forest of Dean England Green Chris McFarling Conservative Mark Harper
Guildford England Liberal Democrats Zöe Franklin Independent
won as Conservative
Anne Milton
Harrogate and Knaresborough England Liberal Democrats Judith Rogerson Conservative Andrew Jones
Hazel Grove England Liberal Democrats Lisa Smart Conservative William Wragg
Hitchin and Harpenden England Liberal Democrats Sam Collins Conservative Bim Afolami
Isle of Wight England Green Vix Lowthion Conservative Bob Seely
Llanelli Wales Plaid Cymru Mari Arthur Labour Nia Griffith [21]
Montgomeryshire Wales Liberal Democrats Kishan Devani Conservative Glyn Davies [21]
North Cornwall England Liberal Democrats Danny Chambers Conservative Scott Mann
North Norfolk England Liberal Democrats Karen Ward Liberal Democrats Norman Lamb
Oxford West and Abingdon England Liberal Democrats Layla Moran Liberal Democrats Layla Moran
Penistone and Stocksbridge England Liberal Democrats Hannah Kitching Liberal Democrats
won as Labour
Angela Smith
Pontypridd Wales Plaid Cymru Fflur Elin Labour Owen Smith [21]
Portsmouth South England Liberal Democrats Gerald Vernon-Jackson Labour Stephen Morgan
Richmond Park England Liberal Democrats Sarah Olney Conservative Zac Goldsmith
Romsey and Southampton North England Liberal Democrats Craig Fletcher Conservative Caroline Nokes
Rushcliffe England Liberal Democrats Jason Billin Independent
won as Conservative
Kenneth Clarke
Stroud England Green Molly Scott Cato Labour David Drew
South Cambridgeshire England Liberal Democrats Ian Sollom Liberal Democrats
won as Conservative
Heidi Allen [23]
South East Cambridgeshire England Liberal Democrats Pippa Heylings Conservative Lucy Frazer
South West Surrey England Liberal Democrats Paul Follows Conservative Jeremy Hunt
Southport England Liberal Democrats John Wright Conservative Damien Moore
Taunton Deane England Liberal Democrats Gideon Amos Conservative Rebecca Pow
Thornbury and Yate England Liberal Democrats Claire Young Conservative Luke Hall
Totnes England Liberal Democrats Sarah Wollaston Liberal Democrats
won as Conservative
Sarah Wollaston
Tunbridge Wells England Liberal Democrats Ben Chapelard Conservative Greg Clark
Twickenham England Liberal Democrats Munira Wilson Liberal Democrats Vince Cable
Wantage England Liberal Democrats Richard Benwell Conservative Ed Vaizey
Warrington South England Liberal Democrats Ryan Bate Labour Faisal Rashid
Westmorland and Lonsdale England Liberal Democrats Tim Farron Liberal Democrats Tim Farron
Watford England Liberal Democrats Ian Stotesbury Conservative Richard Harrington
Wells England Liberal Democrats Tessa Munt Conservative James Heappey
Wimbledon England Liberal Democrats Paul Kohler Conservative Stephen Hammond
Winchester England Liberal Democrats Paula Ferguson Conservative Steve Brine
Witney England Liberal Democrats Charlotte Hoagland Conservative Robert Courts
Vale of Glamorgan Wales Green Anthony Slaughter Conservative Alun Cairns [21]
York Outer England Liberal Democrats Keith Aspden Conservative Julian Sturdy
Ynys Môn Wales Plaid Cymru Aled ap Dafydd Labour Albert Owen [21]

Analysis[edit]

Psephologist John Curtice stated that the pact could be critical in "half a dozen" seats that could have otherwise been won by the Conservatives.[24]

An analysis published in the Financial Times attempted to evaluate the potential impact of the pact. This analysis applied uniform regional swing based on polling (as of early November) to the 2017 result to estimate the parties' standings in the seats before the pact, then assumed that voters for parties standing aside would transfer their support as per the pact. The analysis found that in 18 seats the Unite to Remain party would not need the pact in order to win, in 39 the pact would be insufficient to secure victory, and in two (Brecon and Radnorshire and Winchester) the pact would make the critical difference between winning and losing for the Unite to Remain party.[25]

Other pro-Remain arrangements[edit]

In addition to the Unite to Remain pact, the Liberal Democrats will not stand candidates against the following anti-Brexit or soft Brexit supporting incumbents:

In Canterbury, the original Liberal Democrat candidate (Tim Walker) stood down in aid of the Labour incumbent Rosie Duffield, but the Lib Dems are standing a replacement candidate.[29]

In Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin, the SDLP and the Green Party in Northern Ireland have stated they will stand aside in certain constituencies to increase the chances of anti-Brexit candidates.[30]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Guardian view on the Unite to Remain pact: a response to a failed system | Editorial". The Guardian. 7 November 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  2. ^ Nixon, Matthew (7 November 2019). "Polling expert John Curtice makes prediction about Remain pact". The New European. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  3. ^ Hymas, Charles (7 November 2019). "Tories seek electoral watchdog inquiry into Remain electoral pact that threatens their seats". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Unite to Remain agreement". Liberal Democrats. 7 November 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  5. ^ Proctor, Kate (7 November 2019). "Lib Dems, Greens and Plaid Cymru reveal remain election pact". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  6. ^ Devlin, Kate (4 July 2019). "Remain by-election pact could cut new PM's majority to three". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  7. ^ "'Surely now he has to listen?' Newly-elected MP Jane Dodds says she will challenge PM to take no deal off table". ITV News. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Hopes grow for General Election 'Remain Alliance' following Brecon and Radnorshire by-election". Left Foot Forward. 2 August 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  9. ^ "Green Party responds to announcement of formation of Unite for Remain | The Green Party". www.greenparty.org.uk. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  10. ^ Tidey, Alice (7 November 2019). "'Unite to Remain': UK parties form anti-Brexit election pact". euronews. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  11. ^ a b Rea, Ailbhe (7 November 2019). "A guide to the Remain pact between the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Greens". New Statesman. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  12. ^ Walker, Peter; Stewart, Heather (6 November 2019). "Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and Greens to launch pro-remain pact". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  13. ^ "View registration – Unite to Remain". The Electoral Commission. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  14. ^ http://www.libdems.org.uk (7 November 2019). "Unite to Remain agreement". Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  15. ^ Allen, Heidi (13 November 2019). "Thank you @RenewParty ! This is what country first politics looks like https://twitter.com/renewparty/status/1194570741410344960 …". @heidiallen75. Retrieved 14 November 2019. External link in |title= (help)
  16. ^ a b c d e "The seats in Wales that are part of the 'Remain Alliance' pact". ITV News. 7 November 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  17. ^ a b Salisbury, Josh (7 November 2019). "General Election 2019: 'Unite to Remain' pact agreed in Bermondsey & Old Southwark and Dulwich & West Norwood". Southwark News. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  18. ^ le Duc, Frank (7 November 2019). "Brighton Pavilion Lib Dem candidate stands down for second election running". Brighton and Hove News. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  19. ^ Cork, Tristan; Rogers, Alexandra (7 November 2019). "Lib Dems will not field a candidate in Bristol West". Bristol Post. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  20. ^ Dean, Sam (7 November 2019). "Liberal Democrat candidate 'grateful' The Green Party is stepping aside in Buckingham". Buckingham Today. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  21. ^ a b c d e f "The seats in Wales that are part of the 'Remain Alliance' pact". ITV News. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  22. ^ Lloyd, Howard (7 November 2019). "Liberal Democrats reveal they will not contest Exeter at general election". Devon Live. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  23. ^ Gardner, Gemma (7 November 2019). "General Election 2019: Green Party step aside for Liberal Democrats in Unite to Remain agreement". Cambridge Independent. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  24. ^ Nixon, Matthew. "Polling expert John Curtice makes prediction about Remain pact". The New European. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  25. ^ Payne, Sebastian; Stabe, Martin (7 November 2019). "Three anti-Brexit parties launch election pact in 60 seats". Financial Times. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  26. ^ Jones, Amy (30 October 2019). "Lib Dems will stand aside for Dominic Grieve, as polling predicts a Boris Johnson majority". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  27. ^ "Luton Liberal Democrats Put Country Before Party By Standing Down In Luton South For Pro-Remain Independent – Luton Liberal Democrats". www.lutonlibdems.org.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  28. ^ Sandeman, Kit (7 November 2019). "Lib Dems will not stand in Broxtowe against Anna Soubry, party confirms". Nottingham Post. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  29. ^ Francis, Paul (13 November 2019). "General Election 2019: Liberal Democrats line up new candidate Claire Malcolmson to replace Tim Walker in Canterbury". Kent Online. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  30. ^ Rory Carroll (4 November 2019). "Sinn Féin to stand aside for remain candidates in three constituencies". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 November 2019.

External links[edit]