National politics has caused immense frustration in the Gourley household for a long time now. For reasons that must be obvious.
Is it realistic for us to win this safe seat off the Tories?
- The party has done this before. Most notably in 2016 in Richmond Park when Sarah Olney beat Zac Goldsmith with a swing of 22%. And in 2019 in Brecon and Radnorshire when Jane Dodds beat the Tory with a swing of 12%. So the 15% swing needed here isn’t crazy.
Sarah Green is a credible candidate: local, smart, an experienced campaigner, a good communicator.
- 55% voted Remain in this constituency. This seemed to show in the 2019 General Election result here where the Lib Dem gained votes from Tories and Labour to come a clear second.
- Whilst the smart money is still on the possibility that a split opposition will let the Tories back in, Stephen Bush, writing in the New Statesman, gives us a chance and Polly Toynbee, writing in The Guardian, is worth a read.
The national party certainly thinks this is a seat worth fighting for and they are throwing people and resources at it. Early reports are that the other parties aren’t campaigning much yet, that this is a constituency that has been taken for granted and neglected by the Tories, and that the reception on the doorstep is friendly and engaged.
Importantly, there’s tell of a “buzz” around the campaign: an energy and excitement about what might be possible here. I remember that from the Brecon by-election. Fiona and I spent a day door knocking there. Meeting activists from across the UK was memorable and the win put a smile on our faces for weeks, knowing we were part of that result!
Amersham is close enough to do in a day trip (about an hour on the tube from Paddington or 2 hours away by car) and they seem well prepared for us. There’s a phone bank available too for those who can’t travel.
So Team Gourley are going (all four of us). It’s an opportunity to put aside our frustrations for a while, do something positive, and be a part of any win. For us, unmissable.
PS: If you’re going by car, be sure to offer spare seats on Facebook or WhatsApp. And let us know how you get on!