Up and down the roads, I see giant, smug-blue bills being posted, supporting the Conservative Party candidate in the General Election. In this constituency, just 175 votes (0.03% of the electorate) separated the Liberal Democrat winner and Conservative runner-up in 2010. It is a top target for the Conservatives to win.

Tactical voting 3

Our house is divided between Labour (signified by red) and Green supporters (and one undeclared!).  It makes sense to us to support the Liberal Democrat candidate (signified by yellow).  As no party poster represents our views, I have made my own.   It would be fun to see more home-made election bills going up, especially (from my point of view) if they shared this rainbow of party colours.

Tactical voting 1a

Home-made poster now on display, much to the embarrassment of my family who think I am a bit mad.

The current predictions are that Labour and Conservative will each win around 270 seats, with 325 required for an overall majority.  The Liberal Democrats and Scottish Nationalists will hold the balance of power and, with a predicted solitary Green MP, could support a Labour minority government or left-leaning progressive coalition.  The more seats the Conservatives take, the more likely they are to lead a government, driven rightwards and towards authoritarianism by their extremist wing and partners.

To those who say we should always vote true to the party we support, I say this.  Let the parties take care of themselves.  As voters, we have to game the system against the odds, to get the government closest to what we want.

Tactical voting 2

This was my first attempt at a home made poster.  I like the idea of voter-driven reciprocity to challenge the system whereby parties take some seats for granted whereas a handful of marginal seats determine our futures. Using this website, I was really pleased to have had a promise of a Labour vote in Hammersmith from a Lib Dem supporter in exchange for my Lib Dem vote locally.  However, the vote swapping site seems to lack sufficient participants to be really viable.



4 responses to “Rainbow

    • Hi
      I both respect and share your views. This was my starting point. “I voted Lib Dem last time and look what we got …”.

      I am not trying to persuade you – I know nothing of your party loyalties and views and they might be contrary to mine in any case! This is just a commentary on how I got to where I am.

      The reality for me is that Labour lost that election in 2010. Whatever happened, the elected government would do lots of stuff I wouldn’t like. On that point I was not disappointed. Did the Lib Dems moderate Conservative extremism? It’s impossible to know what would have happened had they not formed a coalition.

      My tribal loyalties are assuaged by the vote swap. Even without that though, I am coming round to the view that we don’t owe particular politicians our votes, rather they need to do rather more to earn them. I came close to opting for Greens this time, but they are just not that impressive as it turned out. I think that minority governments and coalitions are the way things will be for a while. We are morally entitled to make choices, to vote tactically, that get the closest thing to our preferred government that we can. Of course tactics can backfire, but such is life.

      Meanwhile it is always a pleasure to be able to discuss things with, if I may presume, friends. Whatever you do and whatever the outcome, I hope it feels and turns out right for you.

  1. Interesting political times all over the world. In Oz we are on our second ‘hung’ parliament and candidates in the major parties are looking too similar to tell apart. Because of a complex system of legal, but very dodgy preference swapping deals among candidates for our our upper house, we now have some extremely ‘colourful’ characters now representing some of our electorates.

    I’m interested in the vote swapping system, it’s been proposed here as well. But it does come down to the old ‘prisoner’s dilemma’. But things are getting to the point where people might seriously consider that option.

    • Thanks for the insight.
      I’ve been googling political systems elsewhere including Australia. I think you have ATV – yes? That looks ripe for complex tactical voting but high risk unintended consequences I guess.
      We are going to have tough times though. Without a majority, the government cannot control the timetable and there is high potential for mischief by the smaller parties without a stake in good governance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s