Tag Archives: tactical voting

Grasping the cross party nettle

Whoops of delight and the whoosh of triumphant fists punching the air were apparently to be heard at Lib Dem HQ on Tuesday when Theresa May announced the 8 June election. For a party hammered so badly two years ago, the chance to regain some lost ground is indeed enticing, but if we’re to make the most of the opportunity some nettles need to be grasped.

Tempting though it is to believe in our invincibility based on recent by-election successes, we are still only around 11% in the polls. That will go up in certain seats, but our final total of MPs will depend on whether we’re willing to be smart, and to set aside the tribalism of past elections.

If you’re sick of terms like ‘progressive alliance’ or ‘cross-party cooperation’, fair enough. But then think of it like this: in an election that is going to defy traditional party allegiances because of the role of Brexit, we cannot adopt the old “my party right or wrong, and all other parties are the enemy” attitude. We have to think of the broader concept of liberalism, as well as openness, tolerance and internationalism.

That means recognising that there are plenty of people in other parties – largely Labour and the Greens – who are philosophically close to us. We may have issues with the Labour leadership, but that doesn’t stop us recognising that there are many good people in Labour. And while we believe we’re big on the environment, it helps to have a specifically environmental party to keep us all honest.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 86 Comments

Maximising the number of pro-European MPs

Not just Liberal Democrats but small “l” liberals in all political parties should welcome the opportunity the June General Election will provide for voters to make clear their priorities by voting for candidates committed to the fight for us to maintain a continued close relationship with Europe.

In this increasingly uncertain world, there is nothing more important than that.

Those candidates will not just be Liberal Democrats.

If we want to maximise the strength of the opposition to May’s “hard Brexit”, the Lib Dems should have the courage to concentrate their limited resources on their candidates in seats that we can win this time ,which means making hard decisions about not squandering time,energy and money in seats that we cannot.

If we want to make a reality of any version of a progressive alliance, the Liberal Democrats cannot expect Labour to stand aside in some seats (or decide to make only a token effort )unless we are also prepared to stand aside (or make only a token effort) in selected seats where a pro-European Labour candidate has a very much better chance.

It will go against the grain – but it must be done!

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 22 Comments

Lib Link: Stephen Tall: The ins and outs of tactical voting (nose pegs optional)

Our esteemed former co-editor Stephen Tall has a piece on the Independent Voices site looking into tactical voting. Why might you, he asks:

For all the complexity of political debates about the economy, public services, the environment and immigration, the choice each of us faces when handed our ballot paper is simple: which candidate should receive our solitary “X”?

Suppose you’re a Conservative supporter living in Nick Clegg’s seat of Sheffield Hallam; should you stick by your party, even if that means handing the seat to Labour? Or lend your vote to the Lib Dem leader this time?

Or perhaps you’re a Scot who wants to see the UK stick together – then the canny choice will be the candidate best-placed to thwart the SNP. Danny Alexander is pinning his hopes of survival in his Inverness seat on rallying anti-nationalist voters.

He adds that voting for the party that most reflects your values is not always the best way of getting something like your values enacted under the first past the post electoral system:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Labour split on tactical voting advice to supporters

Labour embarked on an odd campaigning trick yesterday. Two of Labour’s most senior (and tribally partisan) figures – Ed Balls and Peter Hain – called publicly on Labour voters to lend their support to the Lib Dems in those seats where the choice is Lib Dem or Tory. It’s inconceible that Ed Balls in particular would do so without the explicit consent of Gordon Brown.

In public Gordon Brown makes the case for a “maximum Labour vote” – how could he do otherwise as party leader? Yet the mixed signals will have given their cue to many Labour …

Posted in General Election | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

Tactical voting set for a boost?

Earlier this month I wrote,

For a long time after David Cameron’s election to leader of the Conservative Party there was widespread talk of “tactical unwind”, that is how his changes to the Conservative Party may result in much less anti-Tory tactical voting at the next general election. It’s one of the range of reasons that many Tories quote for believing that they will do better in terms of seat numbers than the overall vote numbers suggest.

However, what’s struck me for some time is how the overall political campaigning is playing out in a way that is likely to rewind the

Posted in General Election | Also tagged | 49 Comments

LibLink: Stephen Tall – I’m not seduced by Adonis

Over at The Guardian’s Comment Is Free website, LDV Co-Editor Stephen Tall has a pop at Labour’s Lord Adonis for begging for Lib Dem votes, aguing that left-liberal voters have been let down by both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – so we’re scarcely inclined to prop them up now. Here’s an excerpt:

There is a respectable argument for tactical voting, given our clunking electoral system. And if Lord Adonis really wants to pursue his “don’t let the Tories in” scare tactic to its logical conclusion, it’s very clear what progressives should do in Lib Dem-Tory marginals: vote Lib Dem. And

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 3 Comments
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