An adviser on tactical voting said to have helped swing the Canadian elections for the left wing Liberal Party is advising Gina Miller’s campaign to elect candidates with an “open mind” on Brexit.
The British Guiana-born financier’s Best for Britain group has amassed a formidable war chest from partly foreign online donations and a contribution from businessman Sir Richard Branson – a keen EU enthusiast who was still arguing for Britain to join the euro as recently as 2015.
The Financial Times reports her new adviser, Egyptian-born Hisham Abdel-Rahman, played a key role in helping swing the Canadian elections for the left leaning Liberal Party in 2015. His victory came despite a number of gaffes, such as leader Justin Trudeau complaining that honour killings should not be called “barbaric” because it was “pejorative” and could “set someone’s hackles up”.
Wow, Justin Trudeau really did say calling honour killings "barbaric" was too "pejorative". What was Canada thinking?https://t.co/2mBSlqkbtb
— Jack Montgomery ن (@JackBMontgomery) March 28, 2017
The London-based IT consultant told the FT: “When we started in Canada, we did not start hoping for a majority Liberal government. All we were hoping for if we were lucky was either to bring the Conservatives to a minority or to get a minority progressive government, of any flavour.”
That the party ultimately triumphed over Stephen Harper’s Conservatives was due in part to Liberal, New Democratic, and Green voters casting their ballots tactically, Abdel-Rahman believes, suggesting Miller’s campaign could “swing a lot of seats towards progressive candidates or people who are for a softer Brexit rather than a hard Brexit” if it is able to replicate the Canadian left’s success.
— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) April 21, 2017
Miller claims her campaign is not about stopping Brexit, but about creating “the biggest tactical voting effort in UK history to ensure that candidates across the country that promise to do what’s best for Britain in the Brexit process get the extra support they need to win”.
She added: “If the deal the next government negotiates doesn’t match up to our current terms, MPs should do what’s best for Britain and reject it. We will be asking MPs to pledge to keep an open mind and not be bullied into giving the next government a blank cheque for the final deal.”
The 52-year-old was not clear on what should happen following the rejection of a deal, but the Campaign2018 initiative which preceded Best for Britain was very clear that “the possibility of [continued] membership” of the European Union should be retained.