A Liberal Democrat official in South West Surrey is telling Lib Dems to vote for the National Health Action Party after their own candidate was suspended.
Local Lib Dem treasurer, Chris Hyland says:
“I would urge Lib Dem supporters to vote for Dr Louise Irvine of the National Health Action Party. I’ve seen Louise in action at local hustings and have been really impressed by her and what she stands for. She has the best chance of defeating the sitting MP, Jeremy Hunt. Given there is now no chance of a Lib Dem winning this seat, I’d want her as my MP.”
Earlier this week the Lib Dems suspended their candidate, Patrick Haveron, pending police investigations over his nomination papers. But due to electoral rules, his name will still appear on the ballot paper, so people who turn up polling stations in the constituency unaware that he has been suspended, may still vote for him. Election officers say they are not allowed to put up notices at polling stations or reprint the ballot papers.
The Lib Dems came second and polled over 17,000 votes in 2010, that’s more than Jeremy Hunt’s current majority. With the Lib Dems out of the running, and over 19,000 people who didn’t vote last time still up for grabs, Jeremy Hunt’s majority could rapidly vanish. Remember how in the 1997 election the then Tory Defence Secretary Michael Portillo lost his seat despite being in what he thought was a similarly safe seat.
It’s a massive boost for Dr Louise Irvine who was already the bookies’ favourite to snatch the seat from the Health Secretary, way ahead of the main political parties. She said:
“This endorsement from Chris Hyland is a great boost to my campaign. It underlines the fact that I am now the only candidate able to beat Jeremy Hunt. This election has become a straight choice for the voters of South West Surrey: vote for Jeremy Hunt if you want more austerity, more cuts and more NHS chaos. Or vote for Louise Irvine if you want an MP who is honest, independent and responsive to your needs, backed by a party that knows how to fund and fix the NHS, and will invest in housing and education, work to reform the EU and make MPs more accountable.
“I would urge all Liberal Democrats, and all voters in this constituency who care about the future of our NHS and the future of our country, to back me on May 7th.”
Dr Irvine, who as chair of the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign has already twice beaten Jeremy Hunt in the courts over his attempt to downgrade her local hospital, is also being endorsed by Queen star Brian May and his Common Decency campaign which is backing honest and compassionate candidates with high morals from across the political spectrum.