Former MP predicts General Election win for independent Claire Wright
PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 November 2019
Martin Bell has predicted general election victory for East Devon independent Claire Wright at her campaign launch.
Former Independent MP Martin Bell OBE has launched the official General Election campaign of Claire Wright, Independent Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for East Devon.
On Saturday, November 2, Mr Bell, who was an MP for Tatton, said he thought she could emulate his historic victory of 1997.
Speaking to an audience of more than 100 at the Royal Beacon Hotel in Exmouth, Mr Bell added: "I think there is going to be a lot of tactical voting in this election - you don't have to be persuaded how important it is.
"What you need is a champion, a person of integrity, a person in the community and my goodness you have that - Claire I think you are going to win...
"Contrary to popular misconception, independents do have a strong voice in Parliament and, such is the current, mass disillusion with mainstream parties, their voice will only become louder.
"I think for the people of East Devon to vote for this particular candidate is the very reverse of a wasted vote. It is a useful vote."
East Devon has been a Conservative seat since the establishment of the constituency in 1997 and under previous boundaries as far back as 1868.
Miss Wright was the runner-up with more than 21,000 votes at the last General Election in 2017.
Her results in both the 2015 and 2017 elections make her the most successful Independent PPC in the country, by more than 10,000 votes.
Miss Wright, who is also the Devon County Councillor for the Otter Valley ward, said: "I've always been elected because of my hard work and the way I stand up for people, not because of the party I'm from...
"It's a complete myth that you need a party around you in the Commons. You don't.
"It's all about the person. The Green Party's Caroline Lucas is probably one of the best known and effective MPs in the country.
"I've worked cross-party for the last 10 years to achieve a range of things and I would be exactly the same in Parliament.
"In 2015, I was an unknown.
"Now, after two campaigns, I can really challenge. I just think I can do so much good...
"I think I can attract voters from across the political spectrum. I'm a hard-working and effective councillor and will be a hard-working and effective MP. I know I can win."