The Labour Party and Tactical Voting: 2017 General Election
There has been much discussion around the effectiveness and use of tactical voting on many Labour sites and Labour supporting sites. In my constituency – Wells in Somerset – there has been a huge push by the Liberal Democrats to try and convince everyone that they should vote for the Liberal Democrat candidate. They have door stepped Labour members and told them that if they vote labour it will be their fault a Conservative gets into to power. Having seen the Liberal Democrats literature from around the country this is obviously a national policy. They have even taken to using red backgrounds on their posters to trick people into thinking the Liberal Democrats candidate is in fact standing for Labour.
So, for anyone who is considering this route I would like you to read this article so that you have a full understanding of the consequences of voting for the Liberal Democrats in this election.
Firstly, although what you do in the voting booth is up to you. Labour Members should be aware that supporting or discussion of tactical voting in terms of we should vote “not a Labour candidate” to keep the Tories out, is against the rules of the party. For members of the Labour Party you are required to support the Labour Party publicly. That means that on Labour Party Facebook groups and social media members of the Labour Party should promote and support only labour party candidates.
The labour party already have a tactical voting arrangement and an electoral alliance. This is with the Co-operative Party. Here is a link to their site: https://party.coop/ they are a fantastic party in themselves and deserve your support. This is one time where you can be a member of two Parties.
As to the effectiveness of voting for someone other than Labour in the hope of promoting the values labour promotes the follow should be considered.
- The last time left-wing voters supported the Liberal Democrats to an electoral success it led to a Tory Government. The Liberal Democrats say they had no choice but that is a lie. They could have agreed to an ad hoc arrangement where they supported a minority Conservatives government only on issues they both agreed on. That would have held the worst aspects of Conservatives decision making to account. They did not do this because they wanted ministerial appointments. They want titles rather than power.
- The Liberal Democrats leader, has said that given the same situation – (a hung parliament) the Liberal Democrats would go into power with the Conservative Party. Given that the Liberal Democrats will not win more than a handful of extra seats the best the Liberal Democrats can hope for is a hung parliament. They would then facilitate another Tory government. That is their official Stance at a national level.
- After the 2010 election, the then leader of the Liberal Democrats – Nick Clegg – said that they never asked for left wing voters to vote for them, they did not want left wing voters to vote for them and they had no responsibility to support the policies of left wing voters. Nick Clegg is still 1/8 of the Lib Dem Parliamentary Party and has never withdrawn those words.
- In my area, a vote for the Liberal Democrats is a wasted vote. In the election of 2010 when the local Liberal Democrat won a seat there were many issues that led to her win. Left wingers voted for her to keep the Tories out, Conservatives voted for her to protest the expenses scandal that the then Tory MP had got into. There was a draining away of conservative support to UKIP. This time none of those elements are in play. At huge number of left-wing voters have promised never to vote for the Liberal Democrats again, ever. The local conservative candidate is liked by conservatives and as yet is untainted by the scandals that will not be reported on until after the election. UKIP. has announced that it will not stand a candidate against the conservatives in our area. The figures do not add up. A vote for the Liberal Democrats in my area would only benefit the Liberal Democrats.
- The Labour Party now has some radical and far reaching policies that would transform Britain into a prosperous, well run and caring nation. It would reject austerity, embrace public service and encourage community, co-operatives, small businesses to achieve the best they can. It would protect workers’ rights, increase the spending power of individuals, kick start the economy with investment in infrastructure and green energy schemes and encourage learning, arts and culture. If you want those polices to see the light of day you must vote for them.
- A large surge in votes for Labour, even if it is unlikely this time to win the local election, is of importance nationally. If these policies get a surge of approval, then other parties will consider stealing them and taking them on. The Liberal Democrats are quite fond of promising labour policy ideas and the Conservatives do it all the time. See the living wage as an example. Promoted by Labour and introduced by the conservatives (albeit in a watered-down form).
- An increase in the Votes for Labour, even in places they can’t on paper win, will give a message nationally that the policies are supported, that labour are heading in the right direction and will count towards things like funding, share of media time and the standing of the leadership.
- The Liberal Democrats want you to believe they are interchangeable with the labour party but they are not.
- A vote for the Liberal Democrats will be seen nationally as a sign of support for their party. It will affect how much money they are given to run their parliamentary party and it will affect their standing in national events and funding.
- If you want to see the policies of Labour, a rejection of austerity, an embracing of the role of the health service, the social services and the education service in our society, a funding of new ways of working, a funding of clean green energy projects, funding going out to the regions rather than focusing on London, A redirecting of the money currently gong to corporations, tax havens and big city banks going to regional enterprises, housing building projects, supporting schools, health and social services and into the pockets of the many instead of the few then you need to vote for those policies.
- Please don’t be fooled by the fake bar charts and tricks and promises of the Liberal Democrats. They are not labour. They will not implement our policies. They will not stop another Tory Government. The policies are what matter and if you want a better country, if you want to send a message that the old divide and rule tactics won’t work, you need to support your local Labour Candidate. No matter how close they are to winning or not. Your vote matters. Don’t waste it.
- Also worth noting is that the Liberal Democratic Party of 2017 is not the same one that fought throughout the 20th Century. For a clear idea of where they differ it is useful to be aware of the Orange Book – a book written by many members of the Top of the Lib Dem MP’s of 2010 which moved them closer to Tory ideologue in terms of free market capitalism. It was no mistake they chummed up with the Conservatives in 2010. It was a clear choice of preference. see – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Orange_Book:_Reclaiming_Liberalism