Anti-Brexit group aims to win MPs’ backing for second referendum

By Jessica Elgot Political correspondent

An anti-Brexit campaign group hopes to micro-target more than 1 million swing voters in one month with the aim of convincing MPs to back a second referendum.

Best for Britain, which has partnered with the anti-fascist group Hope Not Hate, says it has detailed street-level data of target voters in swing seats. Its volunteers for the We Want The Final Say campaign will target residents in those streets, in the hope of convincing them to contact their MP to back a vote on the final Brexit deal.

Among them are the constituencies of several high-profile Labour MPs, including the shadow Brexit minister, Jenny Chapman, and the party chair, Ian Lavery, as well as Tory seats such as that of the former home secretary Amber Rudd and the marginal seat of Tom Pursglove in Corby.

Other seats that will be targeted include the seat of Angela Rayner, shadow education secretary, and Owen Paterson, a Conservative former environment secretary and a staunch Brexiter.

Organisers hope that receiving multiple contacts from swing voters will convince more MPs that a second referendum is a positive electoral strategy.

The group has identified 90 constituencies which currently sit between 45% and 50% support for staying in the EU and that have moved 3.5% or more towards that position since the 2016 referendum, according to the most recent polling.

Over eight weeks, the campaign said it would use online targeting to reach swing voters with videos and stories at least four times each. That would be followed by the delivery of half a million leaflets directly to the doors of swing voters, by volunteers linked to both groups. The eventual aim is to deliver leaflets to 4 million swing voters by late November.

Best for Britain’s chief executive, Eloise Todd, said there was limited time to convince MPs of the merits of a new poll. “Whether you are Labour, Conservative or non-aligned, there are people like you in your local community that need persuading,” she said. “It really is now or never for our movement.”

Nick Lowles, the chief executive of Hope Not Hate, said: “The tens of billions Brexit will cost us – in continuing payments to the EU and lost tax revenue – could be better spent rebuilding our broken communities, investing in our crumbling national infrastructure and properly equipping our young people with the skills to compete in this modern world.”

Organisers will have detailed constituency maps to show volunteers areas where swing voters live where they should be campaigning.

The group will launch its volunteer drive at the Labour party conference this week. Delegates arriving in Liverpool on Saturday ahead of Labour’s annual conference will be greeted at Lime Street railway station by a installation featuring a mocked-up giant crack in the ground with a Stop Brexit red button.

Other anti-Brexit groups are organising during the conference hoping to persuade Jeremy Corbyn to keep the option for a second vote on the table. More than 100 constituency Labour parties have submitted motions to the Labour conference calling for the party to back a referendum on any final Brexit deal; campaigners believe that the number of constituency parties is unprecedented.

The drive has been spearheaded by a number of leftwing groups, including Another Europe is Possible, Remain Labour, Labour for a People’s Vote and the student group For Future’s Sake (FFS).

Dozens of volunteers from Another Europe is Possible and Labour for a People’s Vote will hand out Love Corbyn, Hate Brexit tote bags, T-shirts, stickers and leaflets. Campaigners will also hold delegate briefings and prepare detailed packs ahead of the conference debates.

FFS’ young campaigners have also produced a conference campaign app, Together Against Brexit – the Fight of Our Generation, – to target older Labour members who are more likely to be delegates.

This article provided by NewsEdge.