Our plan to win

No candidate can win an election alone, and I recognise the crucial value of campaigning and engaging with people, as it's the only way that we have seen Labour win in this city.

1. Southampton Itchen is the most marginal seat in the country. We need to mobilise activists, communities and non-voters to win.

We came close to winning Itchen last year, but whenever the next general election comes, circumstances won’t be the same. We need a candidate who will listen to our members and to voters about what’s important to them. We need a candidate who can communicate our radical Labour policies to the widest range of people. When I was elected a Councillor, I was the first Labour voice in Peartree ward for more than a decade. We won that seat with by working with a strong team, knowing our neighbourhoods, and winning the trust of local residents. When I was parliamentary candidate in Romsey & Southampton North, colleagues saw how I gained the respect of members across the party, put in the hard graft, and engaged successfully with voters, many of whom hadn’t voted Labour before. Together we achieved the highest ever Labour vote in that tough Tory seat.

2. To get a Labour government, we need to win this seat. I will fight for every single person who needs a Labour MP and a Labour government

Knocking on doors, running street stalls, community organising, talking to families at the school gates, running phonebanks, hustings, and online media are all absolutely essential to any campaign and ever since I joined Labour I’ve shown that I’m a dedicated campaigner. I will lead from the front and use all possible means to take Labour’s ideas, vision and message to all corners of our city. I still meet people who have never voted, some of them are my age. My mission will be to take the time to persuade them that their voices and votes matter, and that they will have a Labour MP who listens to them and speaks for them in parliament.

3. We can't let Royston Smith run away from his record. We need to highlight the government’s wilful destruction of our treasured public services and fight for a Labour alternative. 

Since 2015, Itchen has had a Conservative MP who is so busy between simply propping up the government in the voting lobbies, and doing private consultancy work, that he barely has time for constituents’ concerns. People’s concerns continue to change regarding Brexit, more lives are being affected by the disastrous roll-out of Universal Credit, their children are taught in underfunded schools, and they tell us about having operations cancelled due to lack of capacity in our NHS hospitals and overworked medical staff. Harsh Tory cuts continue to hit people hard in Southampton. Our campaign must address these vital issues, and we must make clear that we are listening, that Labour will tackle these challenges and inequalities, that the Tory government's policies are failing them, that Labour is on their side, and that there is an alternative. I will be a candidate - and MP - who builds relationships and networks with local people, working together to empower residents and transform Itchen’s communities.