Author Archives: Alix Mortimer

Who are Vote for a Change?

UPDATE: the data extracted from Vote for a Change and used in this post was extracted around 1.30 this afternoon. Since then, the site’s data has been changed. Please see comments for further details.

Ever hear of Vote for a Change? Vaguely?

Another of the plague-on-all-your-houses, real-reform-now campaigns which have been springing up all over the internet over the past year, right? Yes, that’s what I assumed too.

Their aim, they say, is to advise people on how to vote tactically in each constituency to bring about a hung parliament. This is what they say about how they made their choices:

We began by looking at the latest national opinion polling, which has the Conservatives in first place, Labour in second, and the Lib Dems in third. In each constituency, we assessed how many candidates had a strong chance of winning the seat – based on polling, personal draw, and the political dynamics of that constituency.

Out of those candidates, we then picked the one whose party was likely to win the fewest seats in Parliament according to current predictions. So we would favour Labour over Conservative, Lib Dem over Labour, and minor parties over the “big three”.

For example, in a constituency like Batley & Spen, where only Labour and Conservative candidates look likely to win, we have recommended the Labour candidate Mike Wood. In Brighton Pavilion, where Green candidate Caroline Lucas has a strong chance of winning, we have recommended her over her Tory, Labour, and Lib Dem opponents. In a battle between Labour and the Liberal Democrats, we will normally recommend the Liberal Democrat candidate. A few exceptions have been made, however, where the Labour incumbent has been outspoken in their support for “hung” or “balanced” parliaments. One example is Edinburgh North & Leith, where we have recommended Labour’s Mark Lazarowicz because of his work with the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform.

Correction: this is what they said up till today. While I’ve been writing this post, their FAQs page has changed and relevant passages can be found here.

Up until today, they haven’t actually displayed their choices publicly. You have to put in your postcode to get your personal recommendation for a hung parliament. No-one could get a look at the overall picture of what is really being recommended by Vote for a Change. Under, I gather, some pressure, they have today released a list (PDF), which covers the 300-odd more marginal seats.

This, on the other hand, is what Ryan scraped off their website a couple of hours ago, asking for its recommendations for all constituencies:

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Why blog?

Welcome to the final part of our “Introduction to blogging” guide for Liberal Democrat bloggers or would-be bloggers. It’s been appearing each Saturday in the run-up to Christmas, with all the posts available via this page. The series will then be revised and collated into an e-book, so please do post up your comments as the series progresses. Today we’re finishing where we started, with reasons to blog. Alix Mortimer is at the keyboard…

Why blog?

The whys and wherefores of political blogging generate a lot of heat. Amble around the internet a little, and you’ll find denunciations of blogging as a …

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Is that what I think it is?

There was I, all set to wind down from the keyboard, when this inspirational news descends from politicshome:

The Independent says that Nick Clegg plans a new tax on homes worth over £1m in order to fund raising the basic starting-point for income tax.

It’s a wealth tax! A redistribution of taxation burden on to static capital accumulations and away from economically productive activity! Has anyone told Jock?

Woohoo! If the party adopts this, I’ll even overlook all that airbrushing nonsense…

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Sweetly misguided he may be, but…

…top marks for Sunder Katwala of the Fabians for this, reported by James Graham:

When Cameron claims you can’t put a cigarette paper between the Tories and LDs, it makes you wonder what he’s smoking.

Meanwhile, twittery excitement is growing about this afternoon’s debate on civil libs. Richard Dawkins is speaking to his amendment in about half an hour:

@bengoldacre #ldconf there’s also dawkins doing amendment on libel in civil liberties session at 4pm, main hall, we’re going thru his speech now

But never mind the mere intellectual giants and dishy sci-geeks of our age. What could possibly be …

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[email protected] – bumper edition

I am agog to hear the podcast of last night’s LDV fringe event (hint), but in the meantime, some snippets of news from the jumping-up-and-down-on-the-sidelines school of conference reporting.

First, David Howarth is plugging away the civil liberties message in the Guardian:

…I am still profoundly unconvinced by the Tories’ conversion to the cause of freedom.

First, Tory proposals have a tendency to smack of too little, too late. For instance, its surveillance proposals looked oddly similar to those to be found in the freedom bill. Scrapping ID cards? Getting rid of the ContactPoint database? Reining in councils’ investigatory powers? It’s

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Conference: Day 2

The agenda

Reports from the Campaign for Gender Balance and the Diversity and Equality Group this morning, then a Scotland/Wales double-act in the form of the policy mortion on the  Future of Devolution (short version: more of it please!). There’s a presenttation from Kingston’s Lib Dem group (go Mary!), speeches from Norman Lamb and Ed Davey and a policy motion on the paper “Thriving in a Globalised World – A Strategy for Britain”.

And that’s just before lunch.

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Conference: First pictures

It’s that time of year again, folks. Doesn’t it come round quickly? And each year more glorious than the last. Yes it’s:


Arrr. This should make for some interesting speeches from the platform at Bournemouth.

Mark and Alex have already started reporting direct from the Lib Dem Cupboard this morning, which is as luxurious as ever:


I, meanwhile, can’t be in Bournemouth, so I will be your host on the home front, scanning the papers for coverage (with a telescope. Arrr), stealing gossip and …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 24th Feb - 2:19am
    @Roland. Consultation Paper 134 on Tuition Fees does not, of course, represent party policy, which is yet to be decided by Conference, probably next September....
  • User AvatarJoe Bourke 24th Feb - 12:28am
    Roland, Predictions are difficult to make, especially about the future - so goes the quip. Keynes in the 1920s predicted that productivity and incomes would...
  • User AvatarJoe Bourke 24th Feb - 12:11am
    Peter, to be fair to the associate professor he does not claim that the UK will face insolvency. His argument is "the falling pound and...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 23rd Feb - 11:22pm
    @ Micheal BG, "bigger government deficits will bigger government deficits will everything else being equal produce a bigger economy in that economy produce a bigger...
  • User AvatarRoland 23rd Feb - 11:09pm
    @Joe Burke - "The conclusion notes “Keynes believed that aggregate real income would continue to increase as more and more capital is accumulated. This increase...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 23rd Feb - 11:05pm
    @ David Raw When someone makes an incorrect statement even if it is off topic others should rebut it. Like Laurence Cox did with me....