Caroline Voaden wins with a huge swing

Caroline Voaden, winner of the South Devon Primary, has secured a historic victory by being the first non-Conservative elected here in 100 years.

This is a remarkable achievement for which she has worked hard, quitting her job as chief executive of a charity over a year ago to campaign six days a week. She is a person of compassion, conviction and determination, and deeply embedded in the community she will represent at Westminster. “We're a team,’ she has written to her supporters. “I may be the face of it, but none of it happens without all of you.”

Caroline was chosen as People’s Champion by 78% of the voters in the South Devon Primary process. The Primary was born of frustration at the centre and left fighting amongst itself and handing victory to the Conservatives time and again.

It is premised on the conviction that progressive voters share the common values of compassion, fairness and care for the environment. Our rotten first-past-the-post voting system fosters needless division, and so we set out to game it.

We thank Green candidate Robert Bagnall, who embraced the Primary and proved an articulate messenger for a more thoughtful approach to politics. Our thanks also to the thousands of Labour and Green voters who put their trust in the process and lent their votes to Caroline.

Above all, our heartfelt thanks to all our amazing volunteers who put their trust in us, and gave their time and skills to the Primary project. They did so in the belief that politics is better when it originates in the town square than when imposed from above by press barons and lobbyists who don’t have our interests at heart.

Simon Oldridge, Anthea Simmons and Ben Long

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