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Could South Holland and the Deepings provide the biggest General Election upset in 30 years?

The constituency of South Holland & The Deepings stands out for two reasons.

First, it’s the safest Conservative seat in the UK, having been in Conservative hands for over 93 years.

This means that, under normal circumstances, no candidate from any existing party can realistically challenge the incumbent MP, Sir John Hayes.

Letter writer Alan Meekings believes there could be a political shock
Letter writer Alan Meekings believes there could be a political shock

Second, this year’s election in SH&TD is unique because it features a truly Independent candidate, Mark Le Sage, who is well-positioned to win against Hayes.

If Mark is elected next Thursday this will be the biggest political upset since BBC war correspondent Martin Bell, known as ‘the man in the white suit,’ defeated the infamous Neil Hamilton on an anti-sleaze platform in 1997.

This event occurred in Tatton, then the fourth-safest Conservative seat in the country.

Moreover, a victory for Mark would be the biggest embarrassment for a Conservative MP since Michael Portillo’s shock defeat in Enfield Southgate, also in 1997.

But why does our country need such a significant upheaval to our discredited political system now?

To reverse Britain’s decline over the past 14 years, we must address the real root cause of today’s problems, namely our outdated, adversarial, corrupt, dysfunctional political system in Westminster.

The British public is aware of this issue, even if today’s politicians aren’t.

This is evident from last year’s YouGov word cloud highlighting public sentiment on this issue – and things have become far worse since then.

The national movement for a fresh start to politics in the UK that I represent has already developed a comprehensive agenda for improving today’s dysfunctional political system in Westminster.

However, merely switching from one Conservative government to another Labour government alone will not be sufficient to drive implementation of the improvements necessary, however straightforward, inexpensive and hugely beneficial they will be once implemented in practice.

Real progress also requires clear public demand. Just as the demands of the Chartists in the 1800s and the Suffragettes in the 1900s achieved fundamental improvements in British democracy, we must do the same now.

Specifically, if voters in the very safest Conservative seat in the country can oust their incumbent MP, for all the right reasons, at this year’s General Election, then this sends the message to all parties and politicians in the UK that no MP will be safe in their seat in future unless they play an active part in enabling the fundamental improvement of today’s dire political system in Westminster.

Additionally, the constituency and constituents of SH&TD stand to benefit hugely from having a truly Independent MP in Mark Le Sage.

These benefits include both funding improvements and the implementation of key community initiatives’, designed to make a significant difference to the lives of local people, which only a non-party-affiliated MP can champion effectively.

Alan Meekings,

Via email

Candidates for South Holland and the Deepings are: Rhys Baker (Green), Jack Braginton (Liberal Democrat), John Hayes (Conservative), Paul Hilliar (Labour), Mark Le Sage (Independent), Matthew Swainson (Reform UK)

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