A major advertising campaign aimed at boosting voter turnout to stop the far right in this Thursday’s (May 23) European elections is being launched today (May 20) across towns and cities in the North West of England.
The campaign by Unite, will see billboards in 44 locations across Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Liverpool, in addition to full page adverts in the Liverpool Echo, Manchester Evening News and Metro newspapers. A major national Facebook campaign potentially reaching millions of voters will also be launched.
The union fears that a low turnout on Thursday could allow the likes of far right activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, to sneak in and get elected to the European Parliament.
Turnout in the last European elections in the North West was 33 per cent and in 2009, with turnout just below 32 per cent, Nick Griffin, the former leader of the far right BNP was elected with little more than 8 per cent of the vote.
The ‘Keep them out. Get out and vote Labour,’ adverts feature various slogans, including ‘we will fight them at the ballot box’ which invokes Winston Churchill’s famous ‘we will fight them on beaches’ quote. The adverts can be viewed online by clicking here.
There will be a photo opportunity at Unite’s Liverpool office, Jack Jones House, 2 Churchill Way, L3 8EF at 10:30am today (May 20), where the adverts will be unveiled on a giant ad van.
Commenting Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said, “The only winners of a low turnout in this week’s European elections will be the likes of Yaxley-Lennon and those that seek to divide our communities.
“Don’t wonder ‘if only I had voted’ when the results are in. Make sure the tolerance and respect that runs through the communities of the North West is the winner by using your vote.
“Stop those seeking to use these elections to gain a platform to spread their message of fear and hate by getting out to vote to stop the far right and voting Labour this Thursday.”