Why I stood down as the Brexit Party’s Candidate in Broxtowe
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BY CALVIN ROBINSON
It was only a week into the election campaign, but I had already hit the ground running. A lot of attention was on me and my campaign, in a constituency that voted to leave the European Union, with “Remoaner-in-chief” Anna Soubry as the incumbent Parliamentary representative. Everything was to play for. Here, it could go any way.
Thousands of constituents had pledged their support to The Brexit Party, with hundreds volunteering to actively campaign. The Liberal Democrats chose not to stand so that they could support Ms Soubry in thwarting the will of the British people. While the Labour vote-share in 2015 was pretty close, they’d lost a lot of support as of late, with their inability to commit, either way, to remain or leave. On the doorstep, we heard the same story over and over again “Well I’ve voted Labour all my life, but I cannot, I will not vote for that man!” Corbyn, with his anti-British rhetoric, has turned off traditional Labour voters in the Midlands. These are the voters who have been coming over to us in waves. Ordinary working-class people who couldn’t bring themselves to vote Tory, for historical reasons, but who no longer support Labour – these are the votes we have been winning over.
However, with growing concern from Leave voters that we could potentially split the Leave vote, considerations had to be made. What if we did take some votes from the Tories? Darren Henry is a great chap – he’d make a fantastic representative. But if the Labour guy gets in, we could be one step closer to a Corbyn government, and that’s not something anyone wants. Not even Corbyn, half the time.
That’s why it made absolute sense when The Brexit Party asked those of us standing in Conservative seats (i.e., those the Tories won in the last General Election) not to stand. And that is why I didn’t hesitate to not only step aside and make way for the Conservative candidate but why I also fully pledge my support to the Conservative Party in this election. We need to ensure we get a Conservative majority if we’re going to ‘get Brexit done’, to coin a phrase.
The Brexit Party has functioned more like a pressure group than a party; they have indeed served a purpose. But they are making the right decision in standing down the 370-strong army, in the name of Brexit.
Some things are more important than party politics. In this case, the threat of a Corbyn government, and a second referendum are too big a risk to take. We have to put the country first and believe in the Conservatives to deliver on Brexit. I can only hope this is the start of a trend and a sign of things to come. We really are changing politics for good.
Calvin Robinson is a writer, speaker and educator. Follow him on twitter: @calvinrobinson