St Albans candidates address key issues in aftermath of election
- Credit: Archant
St Albans MP Anne Main has spoken out on the current political situation after being re-elected last week.
She received 24,571 votes in last week’s election, compared to Liberal Democrat Daisy Cooper on 18,462 votes, Jack Easton from the Green Party with 828, and Labour’s Kerry Pollard winning 13,137.
Speaking this week Anne said: “I am delighted to be re-elected as the Member of Parliament for St Albans for the fourth time.
“I stood on my record and fought a local campaign. I know the public in St Albans dislike negative campaigning, which was why I was determined to fight a local campaign supported by local people and local issues.
“Whilst we will not enter into coalition with the DUP, they have often in the past supported the Conservatives on UK-wide matters. Right now the country does not need a period of uncertainty, so I believe the Prime Minister is right to work on a confidence-and-supply arrangement with the DUP.
“Some have expressed concern over the DUP’s position on social issues such as gay marriage and abortion. These matters are devolved so I feel certain that they will not be revisited by the UK government. Over the past decade the UK parliament has expressed its will that issues such as gay marriage should be embraced. I would not support any attempts to reverse the current laws surrounding these matters.
“Most important is the Good Friday Agreement, which is vital is in keeping peace and stability in Northern Ireland. I wholeheartedly support the current settlement and I would not back any attempts to dilute the agreement.
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“Being re-elected by the people of St Albans was an honour. Going forward I will be taking to parliament the concerns that people raised on the doorstep, and during the campaign. I am determined to work as hard as ever for St Albans. I look forward to taking local issues back to parliament, and ensuring local people are represented by their MP.’
Lib Dem Daisy said her party “bucked the trend” both nationally and locally, which she puts down to their message on Brexit, and greater investment in public services.
“Ultimately Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn ran an election in a presidential fashion, and there were enough people who voted for who they wanted the Prime Minister to be.
“Theresa May and the Conservatives were campaigning against a coalition of chaos. Now what has transpired is a very dangerous right-wing coalition, that I think will be quite shocking in St Albans.”
Labour man Kerry said: “I think the key issues were rail freight, school places, not enough houses, and the health service. Those were the issues I was getting on the doorstep.”
Jack Easton for the Greens added: “There are a number of different ways to analyse the St Albans result, but I think the essence of it lies in the strength of the underlying loyalties of the much of electorate to their main party of choice.
“A naturally Conservative voter is never faced with a choice between two small state, low tax parties and therefore needs more even than disagreement over the EU to vote for any other party.
“Whereas the voter who would rather that the government was not just proactive in addressing the inequalities in society but ready to do more of the heavy lifting itself, always has a choice.
“Here in a St Albans, we all witnessed the strength of pro-EU feeling, but with Anne Main buttressed by UKIP not standing, either of Labour or the Lib Dems would have needed to win over the lion’s share of the other’s voters to carry the seat, and both were determined to try.”
During the election campaign, left-wing parties in several constituencies stood aside for one another to combine the anti-Tory vote, a situation which did not emerge in St Albans.
Jack said: “We struggle to differentiate ourselves enough to win votes under the current system of first past the post - much loved by Labour and Conservatives alike - especially with many Green Party economic and social and environmental policies found in other manifestoes.”
Kerry put himself forward as the prime candidate for a progressive alliance: “I have done the job before, so I should have been in pole position.
“Daisy Cooper has only lived here for six months. She knows nothing about St Albans and they know nothing about her.
“I would have been quite happy to stand as the progressive candidate, and would not have stood down for under any circumstances. It would not have made any sense and would have let people down. I have given my heart and soul to St Albans.”
Daisy said: “I am all in favour of people of all different parties trying to achieve a particular goal.”
But, she added: “You cannot predict where the votes are going to go.”
Both Kerry and Daisy confirmed they would run again in a snap election, if the party asked them.