May 252024
 

Voting doesn’t change much of anything, so why bother? Particularly with our present voting system (FPTP) which tends to favour establishment parties. Which is particularly off-putting to those voters who want to see real change. Which probably consists of mostly young voters plus a few weird old farts (like me).

And we need real change :-

  1. We need to reform the voting system away from a system that effectively disenfranchises the majority who don’t vote for the incumbent MP in a constituency. If you look past the “sexy news” in an election where seats change from Tory to Labour or Labour to Tory, a massive number of seats stay passively with the incumbent. That’s not good. Particularly when the majority of voters went for someone other than the winner – if you look at Wycombe, in 2019 the Tory winner had 45% of the vote; the others added together came to 55% of the vote.
  2. Taxation needs to be reformed to be fairer and less evenly distributed (i.e. the rich should pay more – and I’m one of the “rich” relatively speaking as I’m a higher rate tax payer). Close loopholes that allow the rich and companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

Are any of the mainstream parties likely to do these reforms (although I’ve only listed 2, I could go on for so long that both of us would fall asleep)? Of course not. Labour might tinker with tax a bit and they might have a look at voting reform.

But which one is the worse?

Vote against the one that’ll probably be the worse. Is that negative? Sure it is, but with the present system it’s the best we can manage.

And voting only takes 30m. So vote!

Tactical Voting

If you are currently in a constituency represented by a bloated Tory, who do you vote for to get them out?

You could just pick the party that you prefer, but if you vote Labour and all the pissed off Tory voters all vote LibDem, you may well find that the Tories win by default. A tactical vote may be of more use.

Visit https://stopthetories.vote in a week or two to see where your vote would most usefully be dropped to get the Tories out. Be very, very wary of other sites; not all will be using the best analytics to come up with a prediction. Some may even be stealth Tory “tactical voting” sites intended to sabotage tactical voting.

Don’t feel good about tactical voting rather than voting for your preferred party? Well, don’t. Just bear in mind that you could end up with a Tory as a result.

The Evil One
Nov 192023
 

Some of us who are anti-Tory are encouraging the use of tactical voting – voting not necessarily for the party you would most like to represent you, but instead voting for the party most likely to defeat the Tories. The Tory government has been so inept, corrupt, morally bankrupt, and generally icky, that giving them a total hammering is only right.

But there are plenty of people out there who don’t feel that Labour (or one of the others in certain areas) really represent their views. Labour has moved too far to the right – which is something I would agree with.

But politics is about compromise and with first-past-the-post system, we have to compromise more than other systems of voting. There will never be a political party that exactly represents my views, so I have to select the one that closest matches my views. In an ideal world anyway.

In a less than idea world, we have to compromise more and vote for the candidate in our constituency that is most likely to defeat the Tories. There is no point in voting for the Green party in a constituency where they typically get 2-3% of the vote when switching to the Liberal-Democrats are in second place and most likely to defeat the Tories.

The left in Britain is somewhat more fractured than the right (although if we give the Tories a bloody enough nose that might just change) which with the FPTP system gives the Tories an inherent advantage. We need to overcome that advantage and without a change in the voting system, tactical voting is the way to do that.

Give the Tories a bloody nose and vote tactically.

The Wild Chained
May 012017
 

With an election coming up it is time to try and persuade those who do not vote to get out there and vote. One of the main reasons people give for not voting is because none of the candidates are inspiring enough. Well it is all very well waiting for a candidate that inspires you, but you could well be waiting for a very long time.

Probably the second biggest reason for not voting is that with the first past the post system, there are places where voting for anyone other than the leading candidate is seen as a wasted vote. Nothing could be further from the truth! In almost every “safe” seat, if everyone who didn’t vote for the leading candidate all voted for an agreed alternative, then the seat could easily go to that alternative candidate. For example, the Arundel and South Downs constituency was won with 32 thousand votes in a constituency of nearly 100,000 – easily enough to overturn the Tory majority.

As to tactical voting: It can be summed up by selecting the candidate you would most like to lose (such as the Tory candidate), and picking the candidate most likely to defeat them.

Anyone can find out the last few election results (and a whole lot more) at http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/. Just look at the last few elections and vote for the second placed candidate (providing that’s not a Tory or a UKIP candidate of course!). And don’t keep punishing the Liberals for breaking their promises; they don’t break their promises any more than the others.

Of course this may mean you are not voting for the candidate you want, but under the present voting system it makes more sense to vote against the candidate you dislike the most. Yes this is crazy, but so is using a voting system first used in the medieval era!

Apr 262010
 

Under our current voting system, voting for the candidate who represents the party you wan in government is not necessarily a smart way to vote. In some cases, choosing the party you want in government is throwing you vote away on a party that is very unlikely to win in your constituency. For instance in the constituency that I live in – Portsmouth South – anyone who votes Labour is pretty much throwing their vote away. The effective choices are between Liberal, or Conservative candidates.

With a transferable vote system (which of course we do not have), a Labour supporter (which isn’t me!) may well vote Labour as their first choice, and Liberal as their second choice to reduce the possibility that the Conservative candidate would win. Similarly, a Tory supporter in Scotland may choose Liberal as their second choice to reduce the chance of a Labour candidate winning.

Under our current system, it is probably better to choose between the two (or rarely three) leading candidates, picking the one that you least dislike the least. Whilst it may go against the grain to vote for somebody other than your preferred candidate, it does mean that your vote against the candidate you dislike the least is more effective.

Smart tactical voting is more complex than this of course – it involves checking the details of your constituency (you may also want to check the Voting Power details for your constituency, and the relevant Wikipedia article), and working out from the previous election results which two (or three if the third is within about 5% of the second placed candidate) and working out which one you would least dislike.

The Tories are warning that a vote for the Liberal party is voting to keep Gordon Brown in power – which is effectively saying that smart voting can accomplish something, but obviously slanted towards favouring voting Tory wherever you are. Whilst no party will encourage tactical voting, it can be for the benefit of whatever party you would prefer.

Vote tactically – it’s the smart thing to do!