The Island is set to have an independent ‘Brexiteer’ candidate despite the withdrawal of Brexit party candidates in Conservative seats across the country.
Former UKIP candidate for the Isle of Wight Daryll Pitcher told the Isle of Wight Observer that he believes the deals made between Remain and Leave supporting parties are undemocratic, and may yet backfire on those who are treating Islanders’ votes as though they can be “horse-traded”.
Last week Mr Pitcher announced that he would be supporting the Brexit Party in the December 12 election. However, following this week’s announcement, he will be putting himself forward so that Brexit Party supporters and others wanting a ‘real Brexit’ have a proper choice at the ballot box.
Speaking about Nigel Farage’s decision to stand down 317 candidates he said: “It is very disappointing, people have had their choice taken away from them. It is also perplexing because the decision will not achieve its stated aim of helping the Conservatives. The Brexit Party is still standing in many seats that the Conservatives need to win in order to have a majority.”
Mr Pitcher disagreed that splitting the pro-Brexit vote might let a Remain candidate win on the Island. “The Brexit Party standing aside on the Isle of Wight merely reduces choice. Put simply the island voted 62% Leave in the 2016 Referendum and even splitting that vote in half sets the bar at an almost impossible 32% for any Remain party to win. Anyway, votes do not belong to parties, they belong to people and I think that these deals may backfire on those doing them.
“With the Brexit Party’s withdrawal and UKIP not fielding a candidate, Leave supporters have only Hobson’s choice of voting for the Conservative Bob Seely. Many Leave supporters are not Conservatives and Bob himself is not very popular, a fact he no doubt realizes every time he visits. Allowing him a free run as the only possible Leave candidate is not democratic.”
In the 2017 General Election Mr Pitcher polled less than 2,000 votes, but claims that unlike then, this election is all about Brexit. He said “Many people think that trusting Brexit with the Conservative Party again would be madness, whatever Boris Johnson says – the reality is he will be at the mercy of the views of MPs – as we have seen over the past three years.
“I would ask for all those Brexit Party and UKIP supporters wanting a real Brexit, along with Conservatives and independents who do not want Seely as their MP, to consider supporting me on December 12.”