Only Labour can be trusted to speak up for working people in Stoke and Copeland
Labour's Elections and National Campaign Coordinator Andrew Gwynne says the two by-elections tomorrow will be "competitive and close contests" but that Labour will be "fighting for every vote until polls close".
On Thursday, voters in Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent will choose their new MPs. While the outcomes may be uncertain until Friday morning, what we can be certain of while we wait is that we have run two excellent campaigns and demonstrated that only Labour stands up for working people.
Over the past two months we have seen a well-coordinated and truly extraordinary effort to deliver Labour’s message to every corner of these two constituencies: that only we can be trusted to speak up for working people, to protect our NHS and build an economy that works for everyone.
In Copeland, we have used digital advertising on a larger scale and in a more targeted way than ever before. Despite the geographical challenges of the area we have held over 35,000 conversations with voters on the doorstep. In Stoke, Labour activists spoke to 12,000 people in the past week alone and over 600 volunteers were out on the streets over the weekend. We have delivered thousands of leaflets and posters in both constituencies. It has been a fantastic effort and a hard-fought campaign.
Labour is proud of everyone who has helped our campaigns in these by-elections and the many people knocking on doors and talking to people, fighting for every vote until polls close. Ground campaigning is arguably the most important part of any election and our operation in both Copeland and Stoke has been outstanding.
From the beginning it was clear to all of us that these would be competitive and close contests. With a low turnout predicted, no party was ever going to run away with victory. Add in the fact that Theresa May is still in what the press refer to as a ‘honeymoon period’ as Prime Minister and the period of flux that politics is in after the EU referendum, and it is clear we can expect a close result.
In Copeland, the choice for voters will be between allowing the Tories to strip NHS services away from Copeland and sending them a message that it's unacceptable. Labour's Gillian Troughton, a former hospital doctor, has seen first-hand the damage this Tory Government is doing to our NHS and has run a campaign speaking up for the area in which she lives, works and has raised her family. Gillian also knows the importance of Sellafield and Moorside to the local economy and is fully behind the nuclear industry: no ifs, no buts.
Stoke-on-Trent Central faces a close, three-horse race. Labour’s Gareth Snell has been fighting to win for Stoke-on-Trent, against cuts to early years’ provision and to ensure that the Royal Stoke Hospital gets the funding it needs. Gareth is a local campaigner, trade union worker, and Councillor. His plan for Stoke will defend local health services and fight for a Brexit deal that will bring jobs and investment to the Potteries. Meanwhile, a vote for the Tories or UKIP is a vote for further harm to our NHS, for cuts and privatisation.
We have run strong, well organised, local campaigns in both Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent Central. We are fighting for every vote and we’ll continue to make our case until polls close. Only Labour can be trusted to speak up for working people, to protect our NHS and build an economy that works for everyone.
Andrew Gwynne is Labour’s Elections and National Campaign Coordinator. He is the MP for Denton and Reddish.
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