Unite to Remain
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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. 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.
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, who defeated the Conservative candidate by a small margin. This arrangement was mooted as being the basis for a wider-ranging "Remain Alliance".
The Unite to Remain group which brokered the pact was formed by the outgoing MP for South Cambridgeshire Heidi Allen in July 2019. The alliance approached the Labour party at an early stage, but were rebuffed. The Labour peer Jim Knight is one of the directors of Unite to Remain. The group was registered as a "non-party campaigner" with the Electoral Commission in November 2019.
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. 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.
List of constituencies
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|||
|Bath||England||Liberal Democrats||Wera Hobhouse||Liberal Democrats||Wera Hobhouse|
|Bermondsey and Old Southwark||England||Liberal Democrats||Humaira Ali||Labour||Neil Coyle|||
|Brecon and Radnorshire||Wales||Liberal Democrats||Jane Dodds||Liberal Democrats||Jane Dodds|||
|Brighton Pavilion||England||Green||Caroline Lucas||Green||Caroline Lucas|||
|Bristol West||England||Green||Carla Denyer||Labour||Thangam Debbonaire|||
|Buckingham||England||Liberal Democrats||Stephen Dorrell||Speaker||John Bercow|||
|Bury St Edmunds||England||Green||Helen Geake||Conservative||Jo Churchill|
|Caerphilly||Wales||Plaid Cymru||Lindsay Whittle||Labour||Wayne David|||
|Cannock Chase||England||Green||Paul Woodhead||Conservative||Amanda Milling|
|Cardiff Central||Wales||Liberal Democrats||Bablin Molik||Labour||Jo Stevens|||
|Carmarthen East and Dinefwr||Wales||Plaid Cymru||Jonathan Edwards||Plaid Cymru||Jonathan Edwards|||
|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|||
|Dwyfor Meirionnydd||Wales||Plaid Cymru||Liz Saville Roberts||Plaid Cymru||Liz Saville-Roberts|||
|Esher and Walton||England||Liberal Democrats||Monica Harding||Conservative||Dominic Raab|
|Exeter||England||Green||Joe Levy||Labour||Ben Bradshaw|||
|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
|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|||
|Montgomeryshire||Wales||Liberal Democrats||Kishan Devani||Conservative||Glyn Davies|||
|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
|Pontypridd||Wales||Plaid Cymru||Fflur Elin||Labour||Owen Smith|||
|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
|Stroud||England||Green||Molly Scott Cato||Labour||David Drew|
|South Cambridgeshire||England||Liberal Democrats||Ian Sollom||Liberal Democrats
won as Conservative
|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
|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|||
|York Outer||England||Liberal Democrats||Keith Aspden||Conservative||Julian Sturdy|
|Ynys Môn||Wales||Plaid Cymru||Aled ap Dafydd||Labour||Albert Owen|||
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.
Other pro-Remain arrangements
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:
- Dominic Grieve (independent), Beaconsfield
- Gavin Shuker (independent), Luton South
- Anna Soubry (The Independent Group for Change), Broxtowe
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- 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
- "The seats in Wales that are part of the 'Remain Alliance' pact". ITV News. 7 November 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cork, Tristan; Rogers, Alexandra (7 November 2019). "Lib Dems will not field a candidate in Bristol West". Bristol Post. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
- Dean, Sam (7 November 2019). "Liberal Democrat candidate 'grateful' The Green Party is stepping aside in Buckingham". Buckingham Today. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
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- Rory Carroll (4 November 2019). "Sinn Féin to stand aside for remain candidates in three constituencies". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 November 2019.