Vote-OK

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Vote-OK are a group of political activists which were active on the topic of hunting animals during the 2005,[1] 2010 and 2015 general election campaigns.[2]

The group stands as a single issue lobby group and is a Registered Recognised Third Party, one of only 11 in the country Its main aim is to galvanise and organise more people to get involved in political campaigning in order to defeat any Members of Parliament who voted in favour of the Hunting Act 2004. Their tactic was to aid other candidates in any constituency where the sitting MP supported a ban in order to bring about a government that will repeal the current ban on hunting. This usually meant supporting the Conservative Party candidate.[3] They did not focus efforts in campaigning against the fox hunting ban itself but provided extra volunteers during the campaigning stage of the election. They became involved in telephone canvassing, leafleting and other activities as required.

Vote-OK is a group of active campaigners co-ordinating support in marginal constituencies. Vote-OK head office consists of half a dozen people supporting Vote-OK Directors allocated to target constituencies. Liaising closely with the local candidate, the Directors role is to organise volunteers in the most effective way. Vote-OK is independent and are working with Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Plaid Cymru Candidates.

2005 general election[edit]

They targeted 139 seats (out of a total of 646 contested in the election).[1] After the election the group claimed to have helped defeat 29 MPs as well as reducing the majorities of 21 anti-hunting MPs to under 3%, although anti-hunt groups such as Save Our Wild Animals dismissed this claim as "ludicrous". Members of Parliament who they have claimed to have helped defeat include David Rendel (Liberal Democrat) of Newbury, Peter Bradley (Labour) of The Wrekin who was the Parliamentary Private Secretary of Alun Michael, the minister in charge of handling the ban, and Helen Clark (Labour) of Peterborough. It is difficult, however, to separate out such local swings from the national swing in the election.[4]

2010 general election[edit]

Vote-OK stated it had helped more than 30 pro-hunt MPs win or keep seats. Conservative leader David Cameron had pledged to give a free vote on repealing the Hunting Act if he won, but within the coalition that won this was not possible.[3]

2015 general election[edit]

The Independent reported that they believed candidates Angie Bray (Ealing Central and Acton) and Ben Howlett (Bath) accepted help from Vote-OK.[2] Alex Chalk (Cheltenham) received help from Vote-OK.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Duncan Campbell and David Hencke (30 April 2005). "Hunt lobby in covert bid to oust Labour MPs". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b Tom Bawden (22 May 2015). "Fox-hunting lobbyists fronted by Otis Ferry target backing of Tory candidates in stealth campaign". The Independent. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Hunt supporters urged to work to help secure Tory election victory". Western Morning News. 5 April 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  4. ^ Duncan Campbell (9 May 2005). "Hunt backers claim scalps of 29 MPs". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  5. ^ "General Election 2015: Pro-hunt volunteers delivering leaflets for Alex Chalk in Cheltenham". Gloucestershire Echo. 6 April 2015. Archived from the original on 14 August 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2018.

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