Hackney residents may have noticed that the Liberal Democrats have already started campaigning in earnest.
They are targeting the Labour strongholds of Hackney North and Stoke Newington and Hackney South and Shoreditch in the general election taking place on Thursday June 8.
Both Hackney constituencies have been Labour strongholds since their creation and are regarded as some of Labour’s safest seats to defend. Both seats have never had an MP from any other political party.
Both the constituencies follow very similar voter trends, due to their similarities in demographics and class differences.
The Liberal Democrats will look to use tactical voting to their advantage, hoping to build on the 2015 general election, where they underperformed in both the Hackney constituencies, gaining only 2,492 votes in Hackney North and Stoke Newington and 2,186 votes in Hackney South and Shoreditch.
Hackney North and Stoke Newington
Click on the election years at the top of the visualisation above to see the proportion of votes that went to each respective party. In GE2015 it is evident that Labour secured more than half of the vote. However, the Liberal Democrats are looking to take over this majority in June.
The Lib-Dem candidate Joe Richards will look to contest the constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington, which has been held convincingly since 1987 by Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott.
Richards was announced as the candidate for the Lib-Dems on April 20 and looks to push Ms Abbott with a campaign emphasis on defying a hard Brexit.
— Hackney Lib Dems (@HackneyLD) April 20, 2017
According to the Lib-Dem website, Richards will also look to “protect important local social spaces, to protect communities in Hackney from over development, and to protect the rights of young people to have an equal start in life.”
Outside of politics, Richards has a background in charity and serves as a co-founder of a local East London charity that makes economics accessible and works with the community.
Abbott herself will be defending her seat with ideas that she announces would reach and benefit the entire country along with her constituency if fully successful.
— Diane Abbott MP (@HackneyAbbott) April 22, 2017
Abbott is a key part of the Shadow Cabinet and of the Labour party heading into the general election, as one of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest and most trusted allies.
Since 2010, Abbott has moved from the back bench of the House of Commons to become a figurehead in the Labour party, representing her constituency not just as an MP but also as Shadow Minister for Public Health, Shadow Secretary for International Development, Shadow Secretary for Health and currently as Shadow Home Secretary.
Hackney North and Stoke Newington Candidates
Diane Abbott – Labour Party
Joe Richards – Liberal Democrats
Alastair Binnie-Lubbock – Green Party
Conservative Candidate Not Yet Chosen.
Hackney South and Shoreditch
In Hackney South and Shoreditch, the Lib-Dems are fielding Dave Raval in an election for a third time.
Raval is already out campaigning after having previously run unsuccessfully for MP in the 2010 general election and for Mayor of Hackney in 2016.
Raval will be campaigning against Labour’s Meg Hillier, who has been the MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch since 2005 and has been widely supported by the community.
Since the announcement of the snap election, Hillier has been on her campaign trail around Hackney, spreading the word to her constituents that she will continue to represent them and their thoughts.
— MegHillierMP (@Meg_HillierMP) April 22, 2017
Along with this, Hillier regularly holds surgeries in which her constituents can address any questions or queries face to face as part of her attempt to connect with the community.
Raval is using criticism of the Labour Brexit plan as his main campaigning point, wanting to represent the majority of the Hackney South constituency who voted to remain in the EU.
Speaking to Hackney Lib-Dem news, Raval also discussed his campaign, saying; “I would fight to put residents and local communities back at the heart of the planning process so we don’t only build homes but build strong communities”
Outside politics, Raval has a background in green energy, as Chief Executive of a green technology business.
Hackney South and Shoreditch Candidates
Meg Hillier – Labour Co-Operative
Dave Raval – Liberal Democrats
Rebecca Johnson – Green Party
Conservative Candidate Not Yet Chosen.