A long queue of Labour supporters assembled yesterday to hear Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, live-streamed from Birmingham with Brighton Parliamentary candidates centre stage at the Synergy Centre at 6pm yesterday.
First speaker to take the to the podium was Brighton Pavilion candidate, Solomon Curtis, who said people have empowered politics and argued that it was the Labour Party who would form a strong and stable government with less austerity, more teachers, more nurses and a future for young people.
He said: “Come home, come back to Labour. It has always been the people in the Labour Party that make it great… If you want to live next to a black person, vote Labour.” Mr Curtis said he was feeling the spirit of 1945 and rallied the crowds with the words: “Brighton, solidarity!”
Brighton Kemptown candidate, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, took to the stage next and predicted a Labour victory in Kemptown. He said Labour must save the NHS in Brighton which is in special measures. He said healthcare must be free at the point of delivery and private companies should be kicked out.
He criticised cuts to school budgets which affected special needs children and a predominantly female workforce. Mr Russell-Moyle said 10% of Brighton and Hove’s population are on a housing waiting list and this city has the second highest homeless population in Britain. Labour has promised they will build one million council houses for Britain.
He said there was a simple choice: a Britain spiralling into despair or a Britain with an economy that grows not just for the very rich, but for everyone. He urged supporters to spend today and tomorrow (polling day) with their Labour family.
First-time voter Farah Alice Black spoke and explained that she became interested in politics after her youth centre came under threat of closure.
She said: “We will not let Theresa May be the Mrs Thatcher of my generation.”
She said she would be voting for Jeremy Corbyn and encouraged supporters to take heart that they have, in Mr Corbyn, a politician for the people even if the TV and media hate him.
Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade Barry Gardiner said in response to recent terror attacks: “We are united in solidarity, love, love for life and nowhere expresses that better than Brighton. Brighton knows about solidarity, coming together of people of all genders, races, colours, religions, gay, transsexual and straight people.” He criticised Mrs May for pitting the young against the old and for promoting tax giveaways for the richest.
Mr Corbyn urged voters to vote Labour because the party will fight for an NHS free at the point of use which is a fundamental human right, address unrequited ambition in young people by empowering them and reduce the great gap between rich and poor.
Music was provided by Brighton’s DJ Enzo Siffredi, long-time Labour supporter and singer-songwriter Robb Johnson and folk singer Sam Lee at the Brighton event last night.
A retired head teacher from Comart in Whitehawk is now the founder of the “teach a friend to read” campaign. She said: “Like all my friends and anybody I am close to, like anyone who cares about society and future of the planet, we’re all passionate about Jeremy Corbyn and his team.
“He is gaining power to make the world a better place. If the Tories win the election, it doesn’t matter because young people will just take over, having all the brainpower, IT and heart at their disposal. Either way, now is our time and our moment. The good guys are going to win.”
Jess Reilly wanted to show solidarity with Labour and planned to put a bet on Mr Corbyn winning, she was not a Labour Party member until Mr Corbyn became leader.
While the rally was mainly Labour Party members, some people were voting tactically.
Bethan Hudson, aged 23, supports the progressive alliance. She is training as a counsellor and working full-time. She said Mr Corbyn had a very different outlook and his approach with a costed manifesto compared well to the Conservative one which, she said, just supported the wealthy.
She said: “Prime Minister Theresa May going back on the dementia tax and social care shows how her government is not strong or stable.”
David Hudson who is a videographer said he would be voting for the Green Party because he lived in Brighton Pavilion. He said: “That is not to say I don’t wholeheartedly support Jeremy, I support the Labour Party and specific politicians. The Greens have fantastic policies, if there is a hung parliament, the Green Party have much in line with Labour and their manifesto.”
Sophie White from Hove said she will vote for Labour’s Peter Kyle. She said, in Hove, Labour have the best chance of being re-elected. She said: “I like the Green Party and their values but I also support Labour so they have got my vote.”
If you are a voter who does not feel represented in your constituency, you can vote tactically against Brexit here to support Gina Miller’s cross-party campaign.
Alternatively, you can swap your vote with a voter in a different constituency where your party is stronger and more likely to win so that your vote makes more of a difference.
You must arrange swapping your vote before 10pm today and use social media to verify your identity. You need to confirm that you are a real person and give the person you swap with an idea of your political preferences and convictions. Effectively, you should then be able to help two parties you like win, rather than just one which may be a minority party where you live.
However, be warned, you can’t necessarily choose the constituency of the person you swap with at this election, only the party. The tool may become more sophisticated in future elections.