Tag Archives: tactical voting

Time for Smart Tactical Voting

Tactical voting was essential in helping me to win four Parliamentary elections in a row, and its absence led to the defeat of so many of my colleagues along with myself in 2015.

The danger in this election is that a simple ‘let’s unite to kick out the Tories’ could well end up with a hung Parliament that has more Leavers than Remainers in it.

Those who advocate such a simple solution to change the Government need to examine precisely whom it is they are helping to elect.

My first preference is for a Liberal Democrat majority Government. If I can’t have that, …

Posted in Op-eds | 27 Comments

Lord Paul Tyler writes… Voting tactically to end tactical voting

New polling for the ERS on #DemocracyDay today (Thursday 5th) shows that 80% of people feel they have little or no influence on how decisions are made, and 85% think our political institutions need significant improvement.

We now know that around a huge proportion of Labour supporters are likely to vote tactically (almost all for Liberal Democrat candidates) and a similar number of Liberal Democrats will do likewise (most for Labour candidates). These well-informed citizens are determined not to be cheated again by the absurdly anachronistic and unfair electoral system.

They wouldn’t have to vote tactically if a proportional system operated in this election. If we all enjoyed the STV preferential ballot which the Lab/Lib Dem Coalition introduced for local elections in Scotland almost every vote would count – there 95% of those who vote are represented by councillors they have helped to win. In England and Wales barely half can say that.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 32 Comments

Hugh Grant on Boris Johnson: Sinister, narcissistic and alarming with potentially no principles at all

Chuka Umunna and Hugh Grant talk with the press yesterday in St John’s Gardens, London SW1

“Could someone interview Hugh Grant tomorrow?” came the call from our esteemed LDV editor Caron, late on Sunday.

Well, one of the advantages of being gloriously retired is that you can often turn on a sixpence. So I jumped at the chance to interview the great man despite basic logistics issues such as “where” and “when” being still unclear. As these basics remained unclear as hours passed I realised I would have to bring forward my powers of initiative and assertiveness.

Fortunately, thanks to the great assistance of our old friend Dr Evan Harris of Hacked Off and Helen Davies, chair of City of London and Westminster Liberal Democrats, yesterday I was introduced to Hugh Grant as a “friend” and got my three minutes with him. You can hear the whole interview here on SoundCloud. (It includes a section about press abuse.)

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 2 Comments

Time to ditch the People’s Vote organisation – but not a People’s Vote

Many Liberal Democrat candidates at the next election are going to be surprised  to  find that the People’s Vote campaign will be recommending voting for their Labour opponents – and sending activists to back  that on the ground. 

Liberal Democrats have generally been very supportive of the campaign  which is supporting  our core policy on Brexit and have been happy to promulgate its messages , help at its events and donate money to it. All of that has helped give it credibility – but that credibility may now be used against us. 

According to leaked documents in the Guardian and  the Sunday Times (£) the People’s Vote Campaign are going to be recommending that Lib Dem and Green voters in some constituencies  vote Labour. According to the  leaked document, James McGrory, Director of the People’s Vote organisation says (my emboldening):

In some cases we will be asking Labour supporters to vote for other parties such as the Liberal Democrats. In many others we will be asking supporters of the Liberal Democrats, the Greens or others to vote Labour.

We can expect Labour candidates who are endorsed by the People’s Vote campaign to be using this endorsement to squeeze our vote. 

This is madness – Labour is a pro Brexit party and Corbyn has made  it clear time and again that  what he wants is a Labour Brexit

Anyone elected as a Labour MP will be voting to put life long Brexit supporter Jeremy Corbyn in charge of the negotiations. 

The People’s Vote campaign have a track record on this – they pressured Femi Oluwole to drop out of the Peterborough by election for fear it would  harm the Labour vote.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 50 Comments

Tactical voting and the Brecon by-election

How did we win the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election? To state the obvious, people changed their vote between 2017 and 2019. Contrary to most of the comment in the press from both Tories and Liberal Democrats, the main reason we won was not because of a remain alliance. The numbers are very clear. We gained 14.3% of the vote between 2017 and 2019.

Where did those votes come from? They certainly didn’t come from the Conservatives. The vote for the ‘pro-Brexit’ parties (CON, BREX and UKIP) stayed remarkably stable: they took exactly 50% of the vote in 2017 and 50.3% …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 38 Comments

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 | 85 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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    @Caron - I bet you enjoyed doing that. :) Parliament would be a less colourful place without the legend that is Jamie Stone. I hope...
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Tue 7th Jan 2020