Welsh Lib Dems ask Labour supporters to vote Lib Dem on list to stop UKIP

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are making a big play for Labour supporters to vote Lib Dem on the regional list to stop UKIP candidates like Neil Hamilton and Mark Reckless (really) from getting elected.

From Wales Online:

Jenny Randerson – the former Acting Deputy First Minister who became a Wales Office minister – has intervened in the Assembly election campaign to urge Labour supporters to lend the Liberal Democrats their votes on the regional list in a bid to stop Ukip winning AMs.

The former Cardiff Central AM who is now a member of the House of Lords argues that Labour voters have the power to “stop Ukip”.

Baroness Randerson said: “The truth is that Labour voters can stop Ukip gaining large numbers of Assembly Members. The power, so to speak, is in their hands.

“Even Labour insiders know, in their heart of hearts, that it’s unlikely that they will pick up regional Assembly Members. Therefore, Labour voters must consider lending their regional vote to the Welsh Liberal Democrats to stop Ukip.

“We are confident we can win constituency seats, but in some regions the battle for the fourth seat is between Ukip and the Welsh Liberal Democrats. It’s a clear choice.

“If Ukip don’t represent your values, then people really must vote tactically.”

She continued: “Almost on a daily basis here in Wales we are seeing Ukip in complete chaos. Their mission may to be to divide communities, but at the moment it’s their own party that is divided.

“Kirsty Williams was absolutely right in the leaders’ debate to raise the question of whether Ukip Assembly Members would even turn up.”

UKIP are incandescent, treating tactical voting against them as some affront to democracy.

It certainly makes sense to appeal to Labour supporters whose votes on the list are not likely to result in more Labour MPs because they will win so many of the constituency seats.

It would be a shame if Wales were to lose out on the more nurses, better schools and more affordable housing that the Welsh Lib Dems would bring to the Senedd.

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  • Richard Underhill 24th Apr '16 - 3:59pm

    Diane James MEP said on the Sunday Politics that UKIP is the only party that “does not whip its councillors” so did she hear Green Leader Natalie Bennett make the same claim? does UKIP whip its parliamentarians?

  • The last time lots of people like me voted tactically for the Lib Dems we ended up with the dreaded Bedroom Tax. Trust has been broken. The May Elections will be a nasty reminder of Cleggs destruction of the party.

  • Rightsaidfredfan 24th Apr '16 - 4:07pm

    I wouldn’t say tactical voting is an afront to democracy, but calling for it is down right hypocritical and not worthy of any mainstream party.

    The lib dems wouldn’t dream of supporting anyone other than their own candidates and nor should they but they can’t have it both ways. If you’re going to call for tactical voting in seats where you are the favourite to beat the ‘undesirable’ candidate then you have to back some other parties candidate somewhere else where another party are best placed to beat the ‘undesirable’, but the party would never do this.

    With one of the main problems the lib dems are having is that they’re seen as opportunistic, dishonest, hypocritical and untrustworthy calling for tactical voting isn’t doing the party any favours. I also thought the party might have learned that it’s better to build a solid base of supporters who support the party because of what it stands for rather than a group of anti-somebody else’s who won’t stick around? Nothing much as been learned it seems.

  • Richard Easter 24th Apr '16 - 4:16pm

    Problem is many Labour voters would rather vote Plaid, Green or UKIP for that matter…

  • Richard Underhill 24th Apr '16 - 6:38pm

    In the 1992 general election the campaign manager said: “Tactical voting, we’re in favour, providing it’s understood that the tactic is to vote for us.”

  • Eddie Sammon 24th Apr '16 - 7:26pm

    I spoke to a UKIP voter last night. I tried to bring him over to the centre-ground but it was very difficult. Some people consume very different media to us and there is not much of a common agreed starting point.

    We still need to appeal to UKIP voters because many simply see no one else standing up for them, but it can be a long process which involves more education.

    We should also be careful not to read simply liberal media. Some young people are reading very different media and basically conspiracy theories.

  • Tsar Nicholas 24th Apr '16 - 8:35pm

    The Monster Raving Looneys are on the regional lists and they put the following at the forefront of their policies. Here’a snippet from walesonline:

    “They want to begin breeding dragons again, return mermaids to the River Taff and make Swansea Airport the hub for the Welsh space programme. They also want to reduce the number of AMs from 60 to 5.”

    It’s going to be difficult to compete with policies like that.

  • Alex Macfie 24th Apr '16 - 9:04pm

    @Rightsaidfredfan: Actually by calling for tactical voting to keep out UKIP the Lib Dems are demonstrating that we are moving back to the party we were before the Clegg/Laws Coalition era.

    In the Clegg/Laws era we did not do politics: the leadership was too scared to have any political strategy in case it upset the Tories. This is why, for instance, we said NOTHING about the Tories’ unsavoury raving-right allies during thge European election campaign; it’s why we made no effort to counter the untruths from the No to AV campaign, and it is why there was precious little attempt to differentiate ourselves from our Tory coalition partners. The discredited Clegg/Laws philosophy was that we must not do anything that might threaten the Coalition and our partnership with the Tories, even if it meant losing votes.

    Now in some quarters we have moved on from Cleggism, and we actually have a political strategy. I don’t see a problem with calling for tactical voting where it might benefit us. In a political system where tactical voting is a “thing”, that is the most sensible political strategy. To not do so on the grounds that we should be “honest” is not realistic politics. It also betrays and fundamental misunderstanding what went wrong for us. We need to move away from the Cleggite non-strategy of turning the other cheek to our opponents. Our previous fightback started at the Eastbourne by-election, another time we chose to put politics above sentiment. We shall need to do much the same many times now.

  • Rightsaidfredfan 24th Apr '16 - 9:46pm

    @Alex Macfie

    “I don’t see a problem calling for tactical voting where it might benefit us”

    I’m sure the party would agree with you. And I’m sure the party will get a well deserved 5th place come May. They will have brought it on themselves.

  • @Rightsaidfredfan If that happens it won’t be because we have rediscovered the point of having vote-gaining strategies in the past year. It will be because voters will not be convinced that we have learnt the lessons of the Clegg era, when a large part of the problem was the leadership not caring about trying to win votes from other parties (especially not the Tories) becasue of their bizarre belief in a dichotomy between winning elections and being in government (the flaw in that idea should be obvious to anyone).

  • The thing about a party calling for tactical voting where it would benefit is that ALL parties do it. It is the sensible thing in a system where benefits can be gained from tactical voting. It’s a normal part of politics, and it is not seen as inherently dishonest. @Rightsaidfredfan, you are implying that Lib Dems calling for tactical voting for our party shows that we haven’t learnt from the Clegg era when we did things that made us seem “dishonest”, when actually it’s the EXACT OPPOSITE: the problem was that we were led by a bunch of ex-public-schoolboys who didn’t have a clue about politics and whatever their talents were as government ministers they were lousy political tacticians who wouldn’t have known the first thing about running a tactical voting campaign. The dishonesty comes from actions that demonstrated cluelessness about how they would come to be seen by the voting public. Things like signing a pledge they didn’t agree with then very publicly going back on it. The pre-Clegg Lib Dems would not have done something so monumentally stupid.

  • Rightsaidfredfan 25th Apr '16 - 8:20am

    Yes Alex I’m imply that the party haven’t learned. Well more flat out saying it really.

    No other mainstream party calls for tactical voting. In fact I remember the Scottish party leaders during a televised debate last year where Ruth Davidson said she would not call for tactical voting and said Willie Rennie was being hypocritical by doing so bacause he would never do it the other way round. Tony Blair also refused to endorse tactical voting when asked about it.

    The vote lib dem to stop X here leaflets build the party on sand. Now you want to rebuild it on sand.

  • Alex Macfie 25th Apr '16 - 8:47am

    @Rightsaidfredfan: If the Lib Dems are being “hypocritical” for calling on voters to vote for them, tactically or otherwise, then ALL POLITICIANS ARE HYPOCRITES because the WHOLE POINT of partisan politics is get people to vote for your party. The truth is that unlike in the Clegg era, we are now actually employing decent campaign tactics, and the likes of Ruth Davidson are running scared because of this, which is why she has come up with the cheap shot about us being “hypocrites”.

    Everyone knows it was a serious political error to campaign as the main party to defeat the Tories and then appear to endorse Tory policies in government. But this happened BECAUSE of the innate political cluelessness of Clegg & Co, who were too overcome by sentiment to brief of campaign against their Tory coalition partners. We are now no longer turning the other cheek and are actually employing campaigning tactics such as tactical voting campaigns precisely because have learnt from that error, realising that sentiment has no place in politics and that we have to campaign to get people to vote for us.

    I know you do not wish the Lib Dems well, and would rather we were still like in the Clegg-Laws era of turnign the other cheek, but we’ve moved on from that. Deal with it. But don’t attack us for doing things that are a normal part of politics, when the precise problem was for 5 years until recently we were not doing any decent politicking.

  • Glenn Andrews 25th Apr '16 - 9:33am

    @Rightsaidfredfan; “No other mainstream party calls for tactical voting.”….. so can you name a general election in which the Conservative and Labour parties haven’t said that only a vote for them can stop a Conservative or Labour government? They both clearly call for tactical voting on a far grander scale than we ever have.

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