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Tactical voting boosted Labour’s dominance in Hackney ‘to the detriment of democracy’, complain Lib Dems

PUBLISHED: 08:51 13 June 2017 | UPDATED: 09:11 13 June 2017

Meg Hillier delivers her acceptance speech. Dave Raval from the Lib Dems (centre) and Green candidate Rebecca Johnson listen on. Photo: Pat Venditti

Meg Hillier delivers her acceptance speech. Dave Raval from the Lib Dems (centre) and Green candidate Rebecca Johnson listen on. Photo: Pat Venditti

Pat Venditti

Hackney’s disappointed Lib Dem parliamentary candidates believe they fell victim to tactical voting as people were urged to “vote Labour to keep the Tories out”.

Returning officer Tim Shields announces the result in Hackney North. Labour's Diane Abbott (left), Amy Gray (Conservative),  Shahahandria Khan (Friends Party), Joseph Richards (Lib Dems) and Alastair Binnie-Lubbock (Green) listen on. Photo: Pat VendittiReturning officer Tim Shields announces the result in Hackney North. Labour's Diane Abbott (left), Amy Gray (Conservative), Shahahandria Khan (Friends Party), Joseph Richards (Lib Dems) and Alastair Binnie-Lubbock (Green) listen on. Photo: Pat Venditti

“In Hackney this achieves nothing but to bolster the dominance of Labour and squeeze the smaller parties, which is bad for democratic representation in the borough,” Dave Raval and Joe Richards said in a joint statement, following the election night result that saw huge, increased majorities for Labour’s Diane Abbott and Meg Hillier.

“The fact that we have a voting system that requires tactical voting to make sure people feel their views are being represented just highlights how utterly undemocratic our system is and how much it needs to change.”

The pair conceded they were pleased to have increased the Liberal Democrat vote share, which was up from 2015 bringing the party into third place in both seats.

“With the nation so deeply divided, now more than ever, we must present an alternative Britain that is open and tolerant and work together to find common ground over the difficult period to come,” they added.

Returning officer Tim Shields announces the result in Hackney South. Meg Hillier (centre) and Dave Raval from the Lib Dems (right) wait expectantly. Photo: Pat VendittiReturning officer Tim Shields announces the result in Hackney South. Meg Hillier (centre) and Dave Raval from the Lib Dems (right) wait expectantly. Photo: Pat Venditti

“We have taken a principled stand as a pro-European party and will continue to fight for those open and tolerant values that has seen so many new members and volunteers join us over the last year.”

Alastair Binnie-Lubbock (Hackney North and Stoke Newington Green candidate) said although he and Rebecca Johnson (Hackney South and Shoreditch) are disappointed by the result, they were pleased to see Hackney voters, and many others around the UK, reject vindictive personality politics so emphatically.

He said: “The Greens pushed for a progressive alliance in this election, to kick the Tories out, and in many areas they sacrificed their own candidates so the other parties could benefit, and this had a huge impact on the overall result.

“However, now the Conservative government is limping on in a regressive alliance with the DUP, we believe our Green voices are needed more than ever to stand up for the environment, equality and human rights. We will also continue to argue for a fairer voting system, the scrapping of Trident and a second vote on the terms of Brexit.

“Here in Hackney we’re looking forward to holding Diane Abbott and Labour to account from the left and fighting to get more Greens elected locally and nationally.”

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