For Faversham people wanting to vote tactically to change their MP, the choice boils down to Labour or Lib Dem. But which vote is most likely to count?
Faversham and Mid Kent has always been regarded as a safe Tory seat. For good reason: In 2017 the party won a significant majority here with more than 30,000 votes, compared with around 13,000 for Labour and just over 3,000 for the Lib Dems.
But then so was Conservative stronghold Canterbury until the last general election, when it fell to Labour after 185 years by a margin of just 187 votes.
So, while there’s every likelihood of another Tory win here, it’s not over ‘til it’s over.
But if you don’t want to be represented by Helen Whately MP any more, where should you place your X and why?
Many people in the town have been impressed by Hannah Temple, the Greens’ excellent local candidate (including at Eye HQ). Sadly, Hannah has zero chance of winning, so a Green vote will only dilute our chances of getting a new MP.
So what’s the best bet: Labour or Lib Dem?
The Lib Dems enjoyed a huge swing in their favour back in May’s local elections which initially made us wonder if they could repeat their success in the general election.
But, after much research, animated discussion, black coffee and head-scratching, our conclusion was no. It is wildly unlikely.
The Faversham and Mid Kent parliamentary constituency and Faversham the town are two very different things with very different voting patterns and election results.
The constituency’s boundary covers a much bigger area, stretching out towards Maidstone and taking in many staunchly Conservative-voting areas far outside Faversham.
Plus general election voter turnouts are much higher and choices are swayed more by national policies, personalities and issues than in local contests.
And whatever Lib Dem campaign leaflets might claim, their support has, if anything, dwindled in the Faversham and Mid Kent constitiency over the last decade, as stats from previous elections reveal.
So while we’re spoilt for choice with three very different but very capable local candidates – all women – standing against Helen Whately, the swing required for Lib Dem candidate Hannah Perkin to win the seat is simply unrealistic.
That’s why we will be voting for Labour’s Jenny Reeves. Jenny is a no-nonsense candidate with solid community links and a good track record on local issues. She has proved a passionate and articulate campaigner and we think she would make an effective local MP prepared to fight for Faversham’s interests.