Tactical Voting Campaign

On June 14th I called for tactical voting across Sussex in order to return eight non-Conservatives Members of Parliament at the next General Election. Today this blog is launching the Tactical Voting Campaign that aims to link voters in different consituencies who will ‘trade’ votes with others in order to elect the strongest non-Conservative candidate.

For example, if you are a Lib Dem supporter living in Brighton Kemptown (where your candidate has no chance of even coming third) you can agree to cast your vote for the Labour candidate in exchange for a Labour supporter in Lewes voting for the Lib Dem candidate (Norman Baker who will be defending his seat).

If enough agreement is reached, we can defeat the Conservatives across Sussex rather than see them achieve a clean sweep.  There are 4 recommendations for Labour votes (Brighton Kemptown, Crawley, Hove and Hastings), 3 for the Lib Dems (Lewes, Eastbourne and Shoreham & Worthing East), and 1 for the Greens (Brighton Pavilion).

Further details will be posted later in the week. In the meantime, comments are welcomed on the Tactical Voting Campaign.

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14 Responses

  1. My tactical vote to keep a Tory vote out in Brighton Pavilion will go to Labour candidate Nancy Platts. Brighton Pavilion is a Labour seat currently and if we’re keeping the Tories out we should be looking for a ‘Lab Hold’.

    Moreover, Nancy is also an excellent candidate with good left and local credentials. I would find it hard to vote for the carpetbagger Lucas who has no passion for this city.

    • I suspected that this will be one of the most difficult situations. Nancy is a strong, hard working and principled candidate. However, in spite of my natural inclinations to support a Labour candidate, in Pavilion there is a groundswell in favour of Caroline Lucas. I am not without criticisms of her, but I think the Green campaign and Caroline’s high profile will see the Green’s triumph.

  2. I’ll be voting tactically to keep Labour out – they don’t deserve the votes of other parties any more. In Kemptown its the Lib Dems not as you suggest the Greens who should benefit.

    The bit I don’t get is who gave you the power to order people how to vote? Its the worse kind of politics and devalues people’s vote. I’ve got an idea, why don’t people actually vote for what they believe in instead of being told by you what to do?

    • I think you are wrong about the Lib Dems in Kemptown. It is the Greens who are on the up. Nobody gave me any power to order anyone to do anything with their votes. I merely advocate tactical voting as a way of keeping out the Tories. You go ahead and vote Lib Dem. Hopefully others will respond more constructively.

  3. Would you say all PPCs who are not from the constituency they are standing in carpetbaggers?

    • Not at all, although I prefer local candidates. I feel it is Caroline Lucas’ weakness, although that is offset by her ability and the momentum the Greens have in Brighton Pavilion. I personally wish this was not the case but I see her as the candidate most likely to challenge the Tories in Pavilion.

  4. Re carpetbaggers: Being local isn’t a prerequisite, but I do prefer candidates who live in the community they want to represent.

    Lucas chose to challenge an excellent, credible and committed local politician to be the Green candidate. The concern there was a) her career and b) the Green party. The people of Brighton are pretty far down her list of priorities.

  5. I find this rather odd brightonpoliticsblogger.

    You are a self-confessed Labour supporter, you acknowledge here and elsewhere on your blog that Nancy is a very capable local Labour candidate with traditional Labour values, and yet you encourage Brighton Pavilion voters to vote Green – merely because there is a (debatable) “groundswell in favour of Caroline Lucas”?

    Yes it is undoubted that she has ability – but an ability to connect with local people? To listen to their concerns?

    To engage with them? http://brightonpoliticsblogger.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/ethical-foreign-policy-i-think-not/#comment-38

    Personally, I’ll be voting for Nancy Platts. Surely it is better to vote to keep the Tories out nationally, with the equal bonus of there being a principled Labour MP standing up for Brighton at Westminster.

    • Hi Richard, you make your point well. Brighton Pavilion will be a tight call, unlike most other Sussex seats. At this stage I think the Greens edge it as Labour is in total meltdown – apart from Nancy. She needs a solid organisation around her, but she doesn’t have it …. yet. By contrast, Caroline has a large, highly motivated, energetic, creative team around her. The win in Goldsmid (I know it is in Hove) has given the Greens a huge boost and self belief that they can win. The best I can do is leave Brighton Pavilion to a later date before I call it for one party or another. My recent blog Greens heading for a comfortable second place conveys the doubts I have about Caroline and her campaign team. However, I think they are far more likely to get their act together than a demoralised Labour Party, and the Greens are not going to have daily crucifiction through the media. Caroline Lucas comes across as clean, intelligent and refreshing. I feel for Nancy. Wrong time, wrong seat.

      • I don’t think that’s the case bpb – I don’t think there’s been a better time.

        As a Labour supporter living in Brighton Pavilion I’m ecstatic that I have a proper left of centre Labour candidate to vote for.

        As for Caroline Lucas, to me she doesn’t come across at all – on Newsnight maybe, but not locally, not where it matters and on the issues that matter to me.

        I don’t know much about the team around her – presumably you mean the team around her in Brussels?

  6. So, in Brighton Pavilion I am being advised not to vote Labour, but for the party BEHIND them in order to return a non-Conservative, because someone thinks there is an (unsubstantiated) groundswell in my constituency for the Greens. That’s a pretty radical way of looking at things. And pretty stupid quite frankly. For all the superficial attractiveness of the Greens, come the time when it counts, their frankly nuts manifesto should/will be put under much greater scrutiny. I will be voting Labour and persuading as many other people to do so as well. That’s the way it works in a close seat isn’t it? And by the way can anyone explain the Green policy of 20mph on dual-carriageways when optimum fuel efficiency is 50mph?

    • Call me stupid if you like. I’ve been called worse! The reality is that the political landscape is shifting and Labour would be stupid not to recognise this. Labour cannot expect their natural supporters to automatically vote for them at the next election. There is a huge sense of disapproval in the political process, and in the main parties as a whole. This will be reflected more in a anti-Labour vote that against either of the other two major parties. Where people may sense a real opportunity to vote for a winning, non-Conservative candidate (particularly a non-Conservative) they will.

      The Greens in Pavilion are attracting the votes of people who cannot find it in themselves to vote Labour and Caroline Lucas is an attractive alternative.

  7. I think Nancy is a great Labour candidate and I know her personally, but I have to say the Greens have the best chance of beating the Tories in Brighton Pavilion. Labour are in an awful state and no matter how good Nancy is, sadly she is fighting an uphill battle under a destroyed Labour brand.

    I would also argue that the best ‘tactical’ votes for Hove and Kemptown are Green. Celia has no realistic chance of holding a 500 majority, better to build the Greens into a progressive challenge to the Tories for 2014. Awful Simon Burgess who couldn’t even hold his council seat in Kemptown also has no chance of holding a 2,500 majority.

    By all means vote Labour in Hastings as the Greens and Lib Dems are nowhere and Michael Foster has a genuine personal folllowing, so a slight chance, though Crawley is probably also a lost cause for progressives.

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