A STROUD parliamentary candidate believes tactical voting is pointless as polls predict Labour is on course for a “landslide victory”.

Best for Britain, an anti-Brexit campaign group which is promoting tactical voting as a way of unseating as many Conservative MPs as possible, has suggested Labour are on course to win Stroud with 44 per cent of the vote.

They predict Dr Simon Opher will take the seat from incumbent Tory Siobhan Baillie who is predicted to receive 25.70 per cent of the vote while the Green Party’s Pete Kennedy would poll more than 20 per cent of the vote.

They think some seven per cent of the electorate will back Reform UK and one per cent will vote for the Lib Dems with the two per cent of the vote going to the other candidates.

Given the prediction that the Conservatives cannot win in Stroud, Mr Kennedy is calling for more people to back him to push the Tories into third place.

But while Ms Baillie agrees that there should not be any tactical voting in Stroud she warns against voting Green as they have ceased to be “cuddly tree huggers”.

And she claims the Labour Party are socialists pretending to be centrist Tories.

Meanwhile, Dr Opher is certain the polls will be wrong and he does not share the Green’s confidence in the predictions.

He believes it is obvious the final Tory vote will be much higher than predicted.

Dr Opher said: “A lot of those who are currently appearing as ‘don’t knows’ are people who previously voted Conservative, and who are toying with the idea of taking their vote elsewhere.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to assume that, in the privacy of the voting booth, their votes really will go elsewhere.

“Many people I’ve spoken to who care about repairing the environment and everything else the Tories have damaged in their time in office are planning to vote Labour on July 4.

“It’s the only way to protect Stroud against a Conservative win.

“Meanwhile, the Conservatives are banking on the Green vote to get them over the line and send Siobhan Baillie back to Parliament.

“The real danger is that by encouraging people to vote Green ‘strategically’ and ‘send a message’, they are playing straight into Siobhan Baillie’s hands.

“If enough people are taken in by their gaming of the numbers we run the real risk of once again electing a Conservative – and that would be an utter disaster.”

Mr Kennedy believes Labour are on course for a landslide victory, both in Stroud and across the country.

And as the Conservatives can’t win in Stroud, and Labour are sending their activists to campaign in other constituencies, he said.

“Tactical voting is pointless now. For months, all the polls have shown that there is no combination of Green and Labour votes that could let the Tories in.

“YouGov now rates Stroud as a ‘safe Labour seat’ with Labour beating the Conservatives by two votes to one.

“And Survation shows Labour winning Stroud by 19%, while Greens and the Conservatives battle for second place.

“Stroud’s politics is at a turning point – voting Green can push the Tories into third place, just as we did in the May elections.

“Tactical voting isn’t just pointless this time – it will make the Conservatives look stronger by letting them come second.

“We need a strong Green vote in Stroud – it will send a huge message to Keir Starmer demanding real hope and real change.

“So don’t vote tactically. Vote strategically to knock the Tories out of the fight completely.”

Ms Baillie said she rarely agrees with the Greens but certainly agrees that there should be no tactical voting in Stroud.

“This is a weird election,” she said.

“The Green Party ceased to be cuddly tree huggers or environmentally focused many years ago.

“There is evidence of them being so hard left they would make Jeremy Corbyn blush.

“The Labour Party are socialists pretending to be centrist Conservatives and sticking to all our fiscal rules.

“Left leaning voters tell me they think Starmer is basically a Tory. But who knows with him.

“He changes his mind more than I have hot dinners. I’ve not been impressed with how local Greens and Labour have messed up big issues like planning here.

“My experience tells me not to trust them with our beautiful constituency or the country. The stakes are high in this election.

“If people want an aspirational positive approach to this area, continue the rebuild after the pandemic, ensure there is a focus on defence and security while having lower taxes and a smart approach to immigration – people should vote for me.”

You can read more about all the Stroud candidates and what they stand for here.

Also standing for election are Volt UK’s Jason Hughes, Liberal Democrat George James, Reform UK’s Christopher Lester and Independent Saskia Whitfield.