Traditional Labour, Lib Dem and Green supporters must put longstanding lotyalties aside and vote tactically

There was an interesting report published last week by the Electoral Reform Society that suggests that of all the seats in Sussex, ten contests are effectively ‘dead’ and that in just six seats voters might make a difference.  The seats that are ‘still up for grabs’ are Eastbourne, Crawley, Brighton Pavilion, Brighton Kemptown, Hastings & Rye, and Hove.  Such are the Tory majorities in all other seats (with the exception of Lewes) that there is no hope of unseating the Tories.

In Lewes Stormin’ Norman Baker has made the seat the nearest that there is to a safe Lib Dem seat.

There is the possibility that five of the remaining seats could go Tory, meaning that there would be 14 Tory MPs returned from Sussex, one Lib Dem and one Green.  More than ever, there needs to be tactical voting in the other seats as follows: Eastbourne – Lib Dem, Crawley – Labour, Brighton Pavilion Green, Brighton Kemptown – Labour, Hastings & Rye – Labour, and Hove – Labour.

In an earlier post I warned that the growing ‘bad blood’ developing between Labour and the Green supporters could allow the Tory, Charlotte Vere, to slip through between them.  While I think that a Tory victory is increasingly less likely, tactical voting for the Greens would both guarantee a non-Tory and make a positive statement about the emergence of minor parties.  Traditional Labour supporters (like me) must put our longstanding loyalties to one side. So too should non-Tories in the other contests that are still to be decided.  One possibility could be that you find someone to ‘trade’ your vote with.  For example, a Lib Dem supporter in Brighton Pavilion could find a Green in Lewes and both agree to vote for the other’s candidate.

The election has a long way to go, but we could prevent a Tory victory by acting now.

10 Responses

  1. Nationally, it has so far not looked a slam bam Election. As the BPB suggests in this item, it could be much more an Election whose undercurrents only become apparent afterwards.

    The Stealth Vote.

  2. One simple choice for voters would be to decide between being a “Stop Labour” voter or a “Stop Conservative” voter.

    Two votes a decade and that is all you think is on offer?

    I propose a choice that is simultaneously simpler and more sophisticated the choice between “Government by an unelected, unaccountable commission in Brussles” or “Government by a directly elected parliament at Westminster”.

    For the latter (MP-Power) vote UKIP, for tehe former (Commission-Power) vote for any of the other parties.

  3. You shouldn’t neglect the basic fact that Labour had a 5,000 majority in Brighton Pavilion in 2005. And also that most people always vote in terms of the wider national debate.

    Let’s be frank. A lot of people here do not see what one Green MP in Parliament could achieve; most people disagree with their policies too. I think the main misconception about Brighton Pavilion constituents is that we are all somehow members of a bohemian middle-class who can afford to think of politics as an alternative form of entertainment. That’s not the case for me or most people I know here.

    What I think the actual constituents of Brighton Pavilion recognise is that the real threat is the Greens splitting the vote and allowing the Tories in through the backdoor.

  4. Five years is a long time in politics. Labour’s popularity nationally has seen a steady decline, while locally at least the Greens are on a roll. They now have more council seats in the constituency than any other party and were recently able to take a seat from the Tories with a 17.6% swing. You can’t argue with momentum like that.

    Green policies unpopular? Check out the results of the survey at

  5. I doubt that most working people would opt for extortionate rates of taxation or policies that actively encourage welfare dependency and therefore damage the economic growth that your party apparently abhors but what we need to get people into work. We need a hand-up, not a hand-out. We need practical solutions, not pipe dreams.

    This isn’t a game.

  6. Here’s my prediction: the economy will recover from the recession. And then it will be back to business as usual.

    Voting Green is a vote for principals as well as policies, and policies which are more far-sighted, especially when it comes to the environment.

    Luckily in Brighton a vote for Caroline Lucas is the best bet to keep the Tories out so Labour supporters can vote Green a with clean conscience, securing a powerful MP without jeopardising the prospect of a (minority) Labour government in a hung parliament.

  7. We vote for parties, not policies. Even in the unlikely event of the Greens taking this seat, a vote for the Greens would not lead to their policies being implemented.

    Caroline might be “powerful” but I don’t think most working people will see it like this. There’s too much at stake to gamble our vote on a pipe-dream.

  8. Green policies not being implemented?

    Dream on, Craven. You have all three main parties talk about the environment and, far more importantly, climate change, because of the existance of the Greens and the fact that people have voted for them.

    I have to say, you seem so bitter. Something got you scared?

  9. Luke – if you want policies more to your liking implemented then you have to vote Labour. Anything else is just self indulgence. There will not be a Green government on May 7.

    Would you prefer a Tory government – even if Caroline were to win?

  10. Apologies, I didn’t mean to give that impression, Luke. I’m an actual constituent of Brighton Pavilion and so I speak to a lot of people here.

    Most people of a certain age have not forgotten life under the last Tory government. Their main concern is letting them back in and them taking us back to those bad old days.

    But there is a significant percentage of Tory voters in Brighton Pavilion. That makes their winning here quite possible.

    The reality is that only a Labour candidate can keep the Tories out at a national level. So whatever Caroline’s merits, I know people here won’t take that risk.

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