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Could anti-Brexit voters deliver Johnson's victory?

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on December 2, 2019 - Duration: 01:34s

Could anti-Brexit voters deliver Johnson's victory?

Voters in the medieval English city of Canterbury who want Britain's next government to stop Brexit could hand power back to a pro-Brexit Conservative Party candidate due to divisions among pro-Europeans, a pattern that could be repeated in dozens of seats across the country.

Francis Maguire reports.

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Could anti-Brexit voters deliver Johnson's victory?

Britain heads for another unpredictable election next week where Brexit is the key issue, The medieval city of Canterbury shows the tough tactical choices Remain voters face.

Support is split between Labour - who have pledged to call a second referendum - and the Liberal Democrats who want to cancel Brexit.

If the pro-European vote splits, it could inadvertently help Boris Johnson's Conservatives win the seat, and edge closer to a Parliamentary majority he needs to take Britain out of the EU.

Labour candidate Rosie Duffield.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR CANTERBURY AND LABOUR PARTY CANDIDATE, ROSIE DUFFIELD, SAYING: "My position is I am the biggest 'remoaner' in parliament and I will carry on campaigning for remain and a people's vote so that we can say to people - and this is now the Labour Party's position, thank goodness - we can say to people, did you really want this?

Duffield's rival Claire Malcomson argues the Lib Dems are the true Remain party.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LIBERAL DEMOCRAT PART CANTERBURY CANDIDATE, CLAIRE MALCOMSON, SAYING: "If you want to remain or you want to stop Brexit you should vote Liberal Democrat." The election is likely to see tactical voting - a longstanding tradition in British polls.

Research published last week showed fewer than 120,000 anti-Brexit tactical votes in 57 seats could stop Johnson winning an overall majority.

John Curtice - professor of politics at Stratchclyde University.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) POLITICAL SCIENTIST AND PROFESSOR OF POLITICS AT STRATHCLYDE UNIVERSITY, JOHN CURTICE, SAYING: "All that one can say is if we were to get tactical voting on the kind of scale we did in 1997 it could conceivably cost the Conservatives about 20 seats or so.

Now it would therefore depend how big the Tory lead is." Britain votes on December 12th...

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