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The Greens have been quick out of the blocks writing to Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader and his Liberal Democrat counterpart Tim Farron to discuss tactical voting to thwart the Conservatives in the June 8 general election.
Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for south-west England and Gibraltar, said the party’s co-leaders Jonathan Bartley and Caroline Lucas wrote to their two opposition leaders on Wednesday to urge them to consider electoral pacts “to move beyond the tribal politics of the past and cooperate for the sake of the country”.
She told BBC Today programme: “We’re waiting to hear what the response is.”
She said they were keen to discuss options but added “I think it would be unlikely we would have any kind of national arrangement”.
She said: “It’s important to set the discussions in context. The reason we’re talking about this is that, like a lot of progressives, we’re very concerned about the direction the Tories are taking the country. I think they’re using Brexit as an opportunity to move us to the right ”
“Theresa May has given us an opportunity ( by calling the snap election) … but to use that opportunity we need to cooperate as parties of opposition who don’t want that Tory future”.
In London, at the Richmond Park by-election in February the Lib Dems ousted Zac Goldsmith the Tory MP, without a formal pact but with the Greens not standing a candidate.
Labour in the past has strongly rejected the idea of electoral deals, insisting it contests every seat. But Ms Scott Cato said: “What we saw from Richmond Park is that it doesn’t particularly matter if Labour becomes part of this agreement. Where the Greens made very clear indications the Liberal Democrats were the party most likely to beat Zac Goldsmith, Labour’s voters actually followed that cue.”
The BBC reported that in Plymouth Sutton & Devonport, which the Tories held with a 500 vote majority, the Greens have said they are willing to not put up a candidate to try and ensure a Labour victory.
St Ives is another possibility, analysts say. A Lib Dem seat since 1997, it was won by the Tories in 2015 with a majority of around 2,500.
Commentators point out that Andrew George, who held the seat for the Lib Dems from 1997 until 2015, has campaigned with Caroline Lucas, the Green party co-leader.
Ms Scott Cato said there were also opportunities including in the three Tory-held seats in Gloucestershire – Stroud, Cheltenham and Gloucester.
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