Unite to Remain
Unite to Remain (Welsh: Uno i Aros) was a campaign and electoral pact during the 2019 United Kingdom general election. It involved three parties that supported remaining in the European Union: the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party of England and Wales, and, in Wales, Plaid Cymru. Its stated goal was to avoid the spoiler effect and maximise the number of MPs elected who will oppose Brexit.
|Part of a series of articles on|
|Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union|
In 49 constituencies in England and 11 in Wales, the pact led to only one of these parties standing a candidate. Of the 60 constituencies, 43 had Liberal Democrat candidates only, 10 had Green Party candidates only, and 7 had Plaid Cymru candidates only. The seats covered by the pact included some defended by a Unite to Remain party, as well as target seats currently held by the Conservative or Labour parties.
Nine Unite to Remain candidates were elected (5 Liberal Democrats, 3 Plaid Cymru, 1 Green), which represented one gain and one loss compared to the 2017 general election results.
Though there was no formal pact, the August 2019 Brecon and Radnorshire by-election saw the Greens and Plaid Cymru stand aside for the Liberal Democrat candidate Jane Dodds, who defeated the Conservative candidate by a small margin. This arrangement was mooted as being the basis for a wider-ranging "Remain Alliance".
The Unite to Remain group which brokered the pact was formed by the outgoing MP for South Cambridgeshire, Heidi Allen, in July 2019. The alliance approached the Labour party at an early stage, but were rebuffed. The Labour peer Jim Knight is one of the directors of Unite to Remain. The group was registered as a "non-party campaigner" with the Electoral Commission in November 2019.
Seats were selected based on a targeted pooling of resources and only with the consent of local parties. All the parties also support electoral reform. Liberal Democrat activists in constituencies where their party stood aside were encouraged to either campaign for the Unite to Remain candidate there, or to campaign in a nearby seat.
On 13 November 2019, Unite to Remain and the Renew Party announced that Renew would not contest any of the 60 Unite to Remain target seats.
List of constituencies
Incumbents marked in italics did not stand for re-election in that constituency.
Darker rows indicate constituencies where the Unite to Remain party won the previous election (the 2017 general election or the 2019 Brecon and Radnorshire by-election). The pact also covers three seats where, during the 2017–2019 Parliament, incumbent MPs defected from other parties to the Liberal Democrats.
|Constituency||Country||Unite to Remain party||Unite to Remain candidate||Incumbent party||Incumbent||Refs||Result|
|Arfon||Wales||Plaid Cymru||Hywel Williams||Plaid Cymru||Hywel Williams||Elected|
|Bath||England||Liberal Democrats||Wera Hobhouse||Liberal Democrats||Wera Hobhouse||Elected|
|Bermondsey and Old Southwark||England||Liberal Democrats||Humaira Ali||Labour||Neil Coyle||Not elected|
|Brecon and Radnorshire||Wales||Liberal Democrats||Jane Dodds||Liberal Democrats||Jane Dodds||Not elected|
|Brighton Pavilion||England||Green||Caroline Lucas||Green||Caroline Lucas||Elected|
|Bristol West||England||Green||Carla Denyer||Labour||Thangam Debbonaire||Not elected|
|Buckingham||England||Liberal Democrats||Stephen Dorrell||Speaker||John Bercow||Not elected|
|Bury St Edmunds||England||Green||Helen Geake||Conservative||Jo Churchill||Not elected|
|Caerphilly||Wales||Plaid Cymru||Lindsay Whittle||Labour||Wayne David||Not elected|
|Cannock Chase||England||Green||Paul Woodhead||Conservative||Amanda Milling||Not elected|
|Cardiff Central||Wales||Liberal Democrats||Bablin Molik||Labour||Jo Stevens||Not elected|
|Carmarthen East and Dinefwr||Wales||Plaid Cymru||Jonathan Edwards||Plaid Cymru||Jonathan Edwards||Elected|
|Cheadle||England||Liberal Democrats||Tom Morrison||Conservative||Mary Robinson||Not elected|
|Chelmsford||England||Liberal Democrats||Marie Goldman||Conservative||Vicky Ford||Not elected|
|Chelsea and Fulham||England||Liberal Democrats||Nicola Horlick||Conservative||Greg Hands||Not elected|
|Cheltenham||England||Liberal Democrats||Max Wilkinson||Conservative||Alex Chalk||Not elected|
|Chippenham||England||Liberal Democrats||Helen Belcher||Conservative||Michelle Donelan||Not elected|
|Dulwich and West Norwood||England||Green||Jonathan Bartley||Labour||Helen Hayes||Not elected|
|Dwyfor Meirionnydd||Wales||Plaid Cymru||Liz Saville Roberts||Plaid Cymru||Liz Saville-Roberts||Elected|
|Esher and Walton||England||Liberal Democrats||Monica Harding||Conservative||Dominic Raab||Not elected|
|Exeter||England||Green||Joe Levy||Labour||Ben Bradshaw||Not elected|
|Finchley and Golders Green||England||Liberal Democrats||Luciana Berger||Conservative||Mike Freer||Not elected|
|Forest of Dean||England||Green||Chris McFarling||Conservative||Mark Harper||Not elected|
|Guildford||England||Liberal Democrats||Zöe Franklin||Independent
won as Conservative
|Anne Milton||Not elected|
|Harrogate and Knaresborough||England||Liberal Democrats||Judith Rogerson||Conservative||Andrew Jones||Not elected|
|Hazel Grove||England||Liberal Democrats||Lisa Smart||Conservative||William Wragg||Not elected|
|Hitchin and Harpenden||England||Liberal Democrats||Sam Collins||Conservative||Bim Afolami||Not elected|
|Isle of Wight||England||Green||Vix Lowthion||Conservative||Bob Seely||Not elected|
|Llanelli||Wales||Plaid Cymru||Mari Arthur||Labour||Nia Griffith||Not elected|
|Montgomeryshire||Wales||Liberal Democrats||Kishan Devani||Conservative||Glyn Davies||Not elected|
|North Cornwall||England||Liberal Democrats||Danny Chambers||Conservative||Scott Mann||Not elected|
|North Norfolk||England||Liberal Democrats||Karen Ward||Liberal Democrats||Norman Lamb||Not elected|
|Oxford West and Abingdon||England||Liberal Democrats||Layla Moran||Liberal Democrats||Layla Moran||Elected|
|Penistone and Stocksbridge||England||Liberal Democrats||Hannah Kitching||Liberal Democrats
won as Labour
|Angela Smith||Not elected|
|Pontypridd||Wales||Plaid Cymru||Fflur Elin||Labour||Owen Smith||Not elected|
|Portsmouth South||England||Liberal Democrats||Gerald Vernon-Jackson||Labour||Stephen Morgan||Not elected|
|Richmond Park||England||Liberal Democrats||Sarah Olney||Conservative||Zac Goldsmith||Elected|
|Romsey and Southampton North||England||Liberal Democrats||Craig Fletcher||Conservative||Caroline Nokes||Not elected|
|Rushcliffe||England||Liberal Democrats||Jason Billin||Independent
won as Conservative
|Kenneth Clarke||Not elected|
|Stroud||England||Green||Molly Scott Cato||Labour||David Drew||Not elected|
|South Cambridgeshire||England||Liberal Democrats||Ian Sollom||Liberal Democrats
won as Conservative
|Heidi Allen||Not elected|
|South East Cambridgeshire||England||Liberal Democrats||Pippa Heylings||Conservative||Lucy Frazer||Not elected|
|South West Surrey||England||Liberal Democrats||Paul Follows||Conservative||Jeremy Hunt||Not elected|
|Southport||England||Liberal Democrats||John Wright||Conservative||Damien Moore||Not elected|
|Taunton Deane||England||Liberal Democrats||Gideon Amos||Conservative||Rebecca Pow||Not elected|
|Thornbury and Yate||England||Liberal Democrats||Claire Young||Conservative||Luke Hall||Not elected|
|Totnes||England||Liberal Democrats||Sarah Wollaston||Liberal Democrats
won as Conservative
|Sarah Wollaston||Not elected|
|Tunbridge Wells||England||Liberal Democrats||Ben Chapelard||Conservative||Greg Clark||Not elected|
|Twickenham||England||Liberal Democrats||Munira Wilson||Liberal Democrats||Vince Cable||Elected|
|Wantage||England||Liberal Democrats||Richard Benwell||Conservative||Ed Vaizey||Not elected|
|Warrington South||England||Liberal Democrats||Ryan Bate||Labour||Faisal Rashid||Not elected|
|Westmorland and Lonsdale||England||Liberal Democrats||Tim Farron||Liberal Democrats||Tim Farron||Elected|
|Watford||England||Liberal Democrats||Ian Stotesbury||Conservative||Richard Harrington||Not elected|
|Wells||England||Liberal Democrats||Tessa Munt||Conservative||James Heappey||Not elected|
|Wimbledon||England||Liberal Democrats||Paul Kohler||Conservative||Stephen Hammond||Not elected|
|Winchester||England||Liberal Democrats||Paula Ferguson||Conservative||Steve Brine||Not elected|
|Witney||England||Liberal Democrats||Charlotte Hoagland||Conservative||Robert Courts||Not elected|
|Vale of Glamorgan||Wales||Green||Anthony Slaughter||Conservative||Alun Cairns||Not elected|
|York Outer||England||Liberal Democrats||Keith Aspden||Conservative||Julian Sturdy||Not elected|
|Ynys Môn||Wales||Plaid Cymru||Aled ap Dafydd||Labour||Albert Owen||Not elected|
Psephologist John Curtice stated that the pact could be critical in "half a dozen" seats that could have otherwise been won by the Conservatives.
An analysis published in the Financial Times attempted to evaluate the potential impact of the pact. This analysis applied uniform regional swing based on polling (as of early November) to the 2017 result to estimate the parties' standings in the seats before the pact, then assumed that voters for parties standing aside would transfer their support as per the pact. The analysis found that in 18 seats the Unite to Remain party would not need the pact in order to win, in 39 the pact would be insufficient to secure victory, and in two (Brecon and Radnorshire and Winchester) the pact would make the critical difference between winning and losing for the Unite to Remain party.
Other pro-Remain arrangements
In addition to the Unite to Remain pact, the Liberal Democrats did not stand candidates against the following anti-Brexit or "soft Brexit" supporting incumbents:
- Dominic Grieve (independent), Beaconsfield
- Gavin Shuker (independent), Luton South
- Anna Soubry (The Independent Group for Change), Broxtowe
All failed to be elected.
In Canterbury, the original Liberal Democrat candidate (Tim Walker) stood down in aid of the Labour incumbent Rosie Duffield, but the Lib Dems stood a replacement candidate. Duffield retained her seat.
- "Gwil #FBPE #RevokeA50 #UniteToRemain 🚥 🌏 (@Better_Gov) | Twitter". twitter.com.
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