In recent years Labour has become a growing force in Folkestone and Hythe. In 2017 we doubled our share of the vote from 14% to 28%, moving into a clear second place (see table).
Earlier this year in the local elections, in a night where Labour did not make gains nationally, we gained 6 councillors in Folkestone and Hythe District Council and won a majority on Folkestone Town Council.
There is a momentum behind Labour locally: we now have over 700 members and many more active supporters. We are ready to fight a people powered election with more members and volunteers than all other parties locally combined.
In the last week we have started to see “tactical voting” websites spring up, many of which such as tactical.vote recommend voting for Labour. However, one in particular has shocked us by recommending that people in Folkestone and Hythe vote Lib Dem (EDIT: This website has now updated its recommendation to Labour). The website, Best for Britain, which is run by a former Lib Dem parliamentary candidate has caused controversy by recommending the Lib Dems in many areas where they are behind Labour. In one case, in Kensington, the website is recommending voting against the sitting Labour MP and for the Lib Dems who came a distant third in 2017. If people take notice of this reckless advice it will gift the seat to the Tories. The website has not made its full methodology available to be scrutinised, however, we do know that they have ignored previous election data and instead chosen to focus on an opinion poll taken last month. Opinion polls are not reliable at the best of times, but attempting to predict voting intention and make recommendations based on those predictions, a month before the general election campaign even starts is laughable. We know from the last election that opinion can shift rapidly during an election campaign. In 2017 Labour were polling at 25% prior to the election and prior to the manifesto launch, but during the campaign Labour built up public support and finished on 40% of the vote share.
The Lib Dems are fighting this election with misleading data – do not fall for it.
This election is a choice between the Tories and Labour, but a vote for Labour is not just a vote against the Tories. A vote for Labour is a vote for a fairer society, where working people are paid a fair wage, where disabled people are treated with dignity and where people can grow old knowing that if they need it they will have free personal care. A vote for Labour is a vote to tackle climate change and create new good jobs with a Green New Deal. A vote for Labour is a vote to finally get Brexit sorted by giving people the final say. A vote for Labour is a vote to tackle the housing crisis, to make housing affordable to rent and buy and to end homelessness once and for all.
If you would like to get involved in our campaign, please get in touch and let us know how you can help out.