Well, election time in Thanet is getting stranger by the day.
Now a member of the House of Lords is telling everyone to vote for Labour’s Will Scobie to stop Farage getting in – and has been out canvassing with him.
The lord is Matthew Oakeshott who years ago was a member of the Labour Party and stood for parliament for them in the 1970s. He became a parliamentary assistant to Roy Jenkins and tn the 1980s he shifted to the SDP–Liberal Alliance and after that toiled for many years for the Lib-Dems.
But Oakeshott fell out with the Lib-Dems hierarchy after they got into bed with the Tories and formed the coalition government. He attacked the coalition’s austerity policies and its reorganisation of the health service.
In July 2012 he referred to George Osborne as a “work-experience chancellor” and in 2013 called for Nick Clegg to resign as leader of the Lib-Dems, even suggesting that the Coalition may have to break apart.
In 2014 he commissioned telephone polls which indicated that the Lib-Dem’s would pick up votes if Clegg was replaced as party leader.
Clegg accused Oakeshott of seeking to “undermine” the Lib-Dems and Oakeshott subsequently resigned from the party.
At the beginning of this year in an effort to “help save our country from a Tory government cringing to UKIP”. Oakeshott donated thousands of pounds to candidates of his choice across the Labour Party, Lib-Dems and also to the Green Party’s MP, Caroline Lucas.
Oakeshott describes himself now as a “non-party social democrat” but he’s been canvassing with Will Scobie in South Thanet and is calling a tactical vote to get Will elected.
He says: “Voters have three options: a) Nigel Farage’s bitter brew, b) the non-alcoholic UKIP-lite version from the Conservative candidate Craig Mackinlay – an ex-leader and deputy leader of UKIP and twice UKIP candidate for Gillingham – or c) progressive, local Will Scobie for Labour.
“I’m calling on all Liberal Democrat, Green, moderate Conservative, and progressive voters in South Thanet to unite behind Scobie – if they do, Will will win.”