Labour Minister Lord Adonis has effectively called for a tactical Green vote in Brighton Pavilion to keep the Tories out

The Labour Party is calling for tactical voting, something that this blog has been doing for six months. Writing in today’s Independent, Transport Secretary Lord Adonis has called for Liberal Democrat supporters to back Labour in order to keep the Tories out of office.

He said it was vital to grasp the “fundamental Labour-Lib Dem identity of interest” to avoid a Tory government and that this was best served by Lib Dem voters voting Labour in marginal seats. He said that Lib Dems had a national policy that was similar to Labour’s.

He writes: “In Labour-Tory marginals, a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote which helps the Tories against progressive policies”.

If only that was completely true. The Lib Dems, in some respects, are well to the left of Labour.

What Andrew Adonis does not do is to call for Labour supporters to vote tactically in seats where the Lib Dems are best placed to beat the Tories, but this is implied. He cannot directly call for Labour supporters to vote tactically for another party as this is against the rules of the Labour Party and would result in his immediate expulsion from the Party.

By implication, Lord Adonis is saying that Labour and Lib Dem supporters should vote to keep the Tories out. In Brighton Pavilion this means a vote for the Green’s Caroline Lucas who is both the front-runner and the person most likely to beat the Tories. His call for tactical voting must be seen as a boost for Caroline Lucas’ campaign.

Finally, a comment left on this blog yesterday by Derek Wall that there is still a lot of work to be done by the Greens in worth repeating: “I would still urge people to help, elections are won by canvassing and leafleting”. Well said Derek, and well said Andrew Adonis!

12 Responses

  1. How many voters at large read and remember what Adonis has to say?

    The LibDem vote is the wild card in all three constituencies. Although the party has only two Councillors here, it seems to get far more votes than that at a General Election, especially last time owing to Iraq perhaps. This time there is some general liking for Cable. Those voters, and perhaps these are most of them, vote without particular knowledge of each local situation. Even in as vocal places as Brighton and Hove. That said, there is certainly a hope for a hung Parliament.

    The LibDem vote is the one to watch.

    • I suspect the libdems are at risk of losing their deposit in pavilion

      • I would be very surprised if they did lose their deposit. While all the focus has been on Labour and Green the Lib Dems have been quietly working away. If the Lib Dems were going to lose their deposit why would the Greens be petulantly accusing the Lib Dems of running a spoiling campaign. I thought the Greens were committed to democracy – that means everyone getting to vote for what they want. The people will decide – no-one has a given right to this seat and the voters will make that decision on May 6th.

  2. “Labour Minister Lord Adonis has effectively called for a tactical Green vote in Brighton Pavilion to keep the Tories out”

    This is a horrendous piece of spin and misinterpretation! Aside from the lack of reference to Brighton Pavilion, this is the author’s very unique interepretation of some very vague comments.

    The opinions polls in Brighton vary greatly and there is no clear evidence to suggest that the Greens are most likely to beat the Tories. If you consider that the Greens are starting 6000 votes behind Labour then regardless of the drop in support for Labour in Brighton, this is still one hell of a mountain to climb.

    If Green supporters really believe what Caroline Lucas and her promotional team keep thrusting upon us in the form of vague statistics referencing convenient opinion polls, I suggest that they need to realise that Brighton Pavilion is much larger than the ultra-left city centre and give themselves a reality check.

    • Guy, Labour were 6000 votes ahead five years ago, when the greens had six councillors in Brighton. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then. They now have thirteen councillors, beat all parties in the locals in 2007 and all parties in the euros in 2009. They have also topped the only poll competed by a proper polling company who abides by uk polling council rules. I like bpb am a natural labour supporter, but know the greens are ahead.

  3. Hi Guy,

    I would say that the polls are anything but vague. The Euro poll, whilst taken from across the three constituencies, shows the Greens ahead of the other parties in Brighton and Hove. It is likely that the Green vote was concentrated mostly in Pavilion as this is where the Green effort has been emphasised since 2005.

    The ICM poll from December showed what the Euro elections had already suggested, that the Greens are ahead in the constituency. ICM is a reputable pollster and member of the British Polling Council.

    The constituency is much larger than just the city-centre however, if you look at the breakdowns of the December ICM poll you will see the Greens leading in WIthdean and not too far behind the Tories in Patcham. It does show the Greens trailing in Hollingbury and Stamner, a ‘solid’ Labour area that actually had the Tories ahead in the ward.

    There was also the PoliticsHome YouGov poll that suggested the Greens are ahead in the constituency as well and are likely to win.

    So, in the past year, we’ve had three credible polls all pointing to the Greens being ahead in the constituency. The only poll that has suggested otherwise is the Kindle Research poll that was discredited by Anthony Wells and others as soon as it was published.

    Adonis really isn’t calling for a Green vote, it would be nice if he was, but we should remember Adonis was a one time Lib Dem – he feels comfortable in calling for a tactical vote in Lib Dem-Tory marginals.

    But, BPB, as yourself and Derek have pointed out, speaking to voters and engaging with them on the doorstep, is the only way to win an election.

    • Hi again Luke.

      You neglected to mention the poll from The Argus which Nancy Platts is referencing through her promotional material. I can’t dispute your statistics but then you have the luxury of having the figures to hand and a well-rehearsed party line. I’m just disappointed at the spin on this blog.

      I still think 6000 votes is a step too far, even with the supporting data from the polls.

      • Hi Guy,

        Cheers for the come back.

        There were a number of problems with the Kindle poll. Straight away it was obvious that something wasn’t right with it.

        Whilst the field research was done by ICM (but not their political polling hub), it was widely discredited by Anthony Wells (UK Polling Report) and others.

        In fact, the figures Nancy has been putting on her literature don’t even appear in Kindle’s core research. She has taken out the non-voters and the unknowns and has completely skewered the original, flawed research.

        The Greens have not manipulated any of the data from the existing, credible polls. The figures are what they are. when you get genuine, credible polls, there is then no need to completely re-jig the figures. The fact that Nancy has re-jigged the Kindle figures suggests that she herself lacks faith in the original research.

  4. I suspect that the left-leaning vote will split among the Greens, Labour and the Lib Dems, letting the Tory Charlotte Smear in.

  5. Given that the only chance for a renaissance of politics in this country is some form of proportional voting and that this is probably best served by a minority Labour government relying on LibDem support, would it not serve the Greens best in the long run to work towards delivering Labour MPs in both Pavilion and Kemptown.

    Of course there is a possibility that Labour may win an overall majority though this is the least likely outcome.

    My gut feeling is that sufficient Labour voters will return to the Labour vote rather than vote Green on the day and let in Charlotte Vere. This what tends to happen to ‘protest votes’ at the 11th hour.

    In other words – tactical voting in Brighton certainly makes sense..

  6. If you want a Labour rather than Conservative government, vote Labour.

    That’s the fairly obvious choice in Brighton Pavilion. Tactical voting isn’t necessary.

  7. Dan,

    Not everyone wants a Labour or Tory Government.

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