Originally published 27 April 2017.
Brighton and Hove Liberal Democrats have announced they will not be standing a candidate against Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas, echoing the decision by Cheltenham Green Party not to stand in 2010 against then Cheltenham Liberal Democrat MP Martin Horwood.
Martin, now running to regain the seat in Cheltenham at the General Election on 8 June, said:
"I'm really not sure if this is the beginning of a 'progressive alliance'. It's always better to allow democratic local parties to reach their own decisions not impose pacts from on high. That's what happened here in Cheltenham in 2010 when I welcomed the Green Party's support and beat the Conservative candidate Mark Coote.
"I co-operated with Caroline Lucas on a range of issues after we were both elected that year, from oppposing the badger cull to supporting the rights of pub landlords. And of course we shared strong views on the need to tackle climate change.
"Both Greens and Liberal Democrats have been consistently cheated by the electoral system in this country, the Lib Dems winning just 8 seats for our two and a half million votes at the last General Election while the Greens won just one seat - Brighton and Hove - despite getting over a million votes nationwide. It would be great to always get to vote and campaign for your first preference but under this voting system that can just help someone else win. Sometimes you have to opt for the candidate who agrees with you on many issues and who has a real chance of winning. For Green Party supporters in Cheltenham, that would be me and I would warmly welcome their support again."