Gina Miller takes Brexit battle to British elections

Businesswoman Gina Miller has launched a tactical voting drive ahead of the British general election in an attempt to stave off an "extreme Brexit" (AFP Photo/CHRIS J RATCLIFFE) (AFP)

London (AFP) - She may have endured death threats and racist taunts for challenging the legal basis of Brexit, but Gina Miller is not done testing the British government on its exit strategy.

"Brexit is going to be the main issue for this election," Miller, an investment fund manager, told AFP after launching her tactical voting campaign on Wednesday.

Miller's Best for Britain initiative puts her back in the spotlight, after winning a court case against the government by successfully arguing MPs should give the green light before Britain starts pulling out of the European Union.

The high-profile case made her a national hero for some and saw her receive death threats and abuse from others, with some opponents viewing Miller as a "black widow spider" seeking to frustrate the result of last June's Brexit referendum.

She has not been cowed by the experience, despite having to hire security, and has her sights firmly on the June 8 general election.

Within hours of the British Prime Minister Theresa May taking the country by surprise last week by announcing a snap election, 52-year-old Miller launched a crowd-funding appeal calling for the "country's biggest tactical voting drive ever".

The Best for Britain campaign will target marginal seats and support candidates who are committed to keeping the UK's Brexit options open.

Miller hopes to encourage voters to back those who "will not just accept a hard Brexit", referring to May's decision to take Britain out of the single market and end free movement of EU citizens into Britain.

"We'll work with any candidate who basically has strong principles... and that will vote with their conscience about what's best for Britain, and that's cross-party," she said, rejecting any potential criticism that her campaign is against the ruling Conservative Party.

- 'Very weak opposition' -

A Best for Britain crowdfunding page has already been backed by 10,000 people and raised over £300,000 ($385,000, 350,000 euros), which will be used to commission research to identify the best candidates.

"In reality, there's probably about 100 to 115 marginal seats, but we'll probably only be able to work with about 20 or 30 of them, because of the time we've got but also because of the cap in spending," Miller explained.

Her grassroots campaign also intends to educate the British public about tactical voting and fight "election fatigue", as voters head to the polls for the third national ballot in little over two years.

In calling a snap election May is seeking to shore up her mandate for the Brexit talks, with polls suggesting her Conservatives will return with an increased majority.

"If this predicted landslide happens, it would basically diminish democracy, it would just be an electoral dictatorship," Miller argued, lamenting a "very weak opposition" in the Labour Party.

"There is no standing up and holding the government to account", Miller argued.

"We cannot let that happen and that's a problem that every one of us should be worried about".

Miller grew up in a politically-active household -- her father, Doodnaught Singh, was attorney general in Guyana -- and previously launched a campaign to bring more transparency to financial investments.

But although she has seen herself become a key voice in the Brexit debate and will criss-cross the country to support candidates, Miller is adamant a political role is not for her.