Eleanor Rylance selected in East Devon

Eleanor Rylance and Vince Cable
At the 2017 general election, East Devon had an unusually strong showing for an independent candidate who isn’t a former MP for a party, with Claire Wright scoring 35% and the Conservatives winning the seat.

In the party’s better previous elections, the Lib Dems have got above 30% themselves, and that’s something Eleanor Rylance is hoping to emulate with her early selection as the new PPC for the seat:

I was honoured to be elected to represent my home district ward of Broadclyst in May 2017. Since then, I have immersed myself in the role. Some of my casework has brought me into contact with people in very difficult situations whose situations can only be improved by radical changes to national policy- on housing, health, welfare, employment, broadband, transport and training.

This government has run down funding for public services, whilst increasing inequality, to such an extent that some people are stuck in vicious circles of deprivation entirely not of their own making. This has to change. The Lib Dems have a presence at every level of government in the country: Lib Dem councillors and activists can swiftly make problems with national legislation known to our MPs and peers. Activists working alongside a Lib Dem MP can make real change happen very quickly, as shown by the upskirting bill earlier this year.

My ward contains 10% of the residents of the constituency, living in houses and settlements from a few thousand years to brand new, from very rural to brand new towns. I am lucky that in my district role, I meet a huge variety of people from a huge range of occupations. I am very happy to defend at district council level people who often feel that they don’t have a voice. As MP for East Devon, I would continue to work hard for the area and in collaboration with my colleagues in the Houses of Commons and Lords, to make radical change happen where it is needed.

There’s a full list of Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate selections so far here.

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One response to “Eleanor Rylance selected in East Devon”

  1. Much as I admire any relatively inexperienced politician (like Eleanor) for putting themselves out there and standing in a General Election – a daunting undertaking even with a party machine behind you – the introduction to this article pretty much indicates that Eleanor should stand down in favour of Claire Wright.

    In the last election the votes cast were as follows:

    Hugo Swire (Con) 29,306
    Claire Wright (Ind) 21,270
    Jan Ross (Lab) 6,857
    Alison Eden (Lib Dem) 1,468

    The hard reality of these numbers is that if Jan Ross and Alison Eden (and the two other Independent candidates who between them amassed only 278 votes) had stood down in favour of Claire Wright, then she might well have been elected instead of Hugo Swire.

    Before the 2017 election I asked both Labour and Lib Dem candidates to do this, and they both refused. Alison Eden also explained how the Lib Dems had a historical right to be considered the most likely runner up because the 2015 results had been “an outlier” – unfortunately this proved not to be the case as the above numbers show.

    Turning now to the current General Election, do the Lib Dems really think that they have a chance of winning this seat based on the above numbers?

    Or will this be yet another General Election where a refusal to recognise the numbers will result in a Tory being elected yet again?

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