The infamous Gina Miller has used her campaign group, Best for Britain, to back Europhile candidates she believed would wreck Brexit. She raised £413,312 from small donations via crowd-funding to further her cause. Her group gave endorsements, paid for targeted social media adverts and campaigned for 35 anti-Brexit candidates in the recent 2017 General Election. Of the 36 who received support, 21 won in their constituencies, while 15 lost. On the face of it, this seems like something of a victory for Gina Miller.
Dig deeper, and you see 17 of those who won were Labour candidates, and while they were personally ardent Europhiles, their party was running on a manifesto which was committed to enacting Brexit and ending free movement. Running directly against Brexit were 15 Liberal Democrats. Devastatingly for them – and for Gina Miller – only 3 won a seat in Parliament! Even former Deputy Prime-Minister Nick Clegg, one of Best for Britain’s notable beneficiaries, lost his seat.
Of the Liberal Democrat losers, 9 lost to Conservatives, 2 to Labour and 1 to Plaid Cymru. This means 11 lost to the candidates of actively pro-Brexit parties. The Miller-backed Liberal Democrat candidate in London’s Vauxhall, George Turner, supported by a huge quantity of LibDem activists and promotion, campaigned heavily against prominent Labour Brexiteer Kate Hoey, and was buried under Hoey’s 20,000-vote Labour majority, almost double her majority last time!
Miller also backed minor candidates with the intent of derailing Brexit. These were 2 Greens, a National Health Action candidate, and a Europhile independent. Only one – the Green Party’s Joint Leader, Caroline Lucas, made it back into Parliament. Money, campaigning, paid adverts and publicity were not enough to tip the scales in their favour.
With this in mind, we can see Gina Miller’s campaign was a flop. Most of Miller’s successful candidates rode Jeremy Corbyn’s coattails into office. Of those who didn’t – barely a fifth – got in. Perhaps these results will show Miller she cannot buy the votes of the Great British Public to advance her arrogant and fixated anti-Brexit crusade. All of her money and the money she raised could not pay for a Liberal Democrat pro-EU surge. The Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron, who has now resigned under pressure from figures like Lord Paddick, lost his party £187,500 as 375 of his hapless candidates lost their deposits. While in the 12 constituencies they won their vote nearly doubled, the Lib Dems nationally received 44,090 fewer votes than in the last election!
This General Election has shown Miller’s war against Brexit will not overturn the democratic will of the people. Over 85% of voters backed parties which are committed to leaving the EU. We will Get Britain Out and forge a global future, and the sooner Gina Miller realises this and stops wasting her time and money the better.
Alexander Fiuza is a Research Executive at Get Britain Out