Tactical voting is nothing new in politics; however, it has never really been used on an industrial scale in
In the main most political parties chart their own course because they want to see their candidates elected or increase their vote in an area, this is normal politics. Success in politics is a bit like moveable goal posts, if you don’t win, you try and put a positive spin by saying, our vote increased by so many or if that option isn’t available then you play the percentage game.
That being said, in this
Westminster election, tactical voting hasn’t
exactly been welcomed by party leaders, they at best have given it lip service
with the exception of Willie Rennie of the Lib Dems. He appears to recognise
that with politics being unstable, his party’s poor polling rating and the
electorate in a state of flux, he needs to adapt to what is a changing
Last year, tactical voting was used to get Ukip candidate elected to the European Parliament, David Coburn’s election shut out Tasmina Ahmed-Shiekh who had hoped to get the third seat for the SNP. At the time, I wrote a couple of posts on tactical voting because I knew if the idea was floated it could take off.
This year, tactical voting is back on the agenda, admittedly it is a bit late in getting started, the Labour and Conservative Parties seemed reluctant to grasp the nettle because like in the Better Together campaign, they wanted to do their own thing. In doing so, if it panned out, they could claim that it was their ideas that won the day. In fact Ruth Davidson recently said that voters should vote with their hearts.
Politics isn’t about emotion, it is about logic.
If you take her advice, Ruth Davidson could be sitting with no MPs in
so what is more important for her career prospects as leader, delivery of more
seats or keeping the Conservatives share of the vote?
Answer is delivery of more seats, they way to try and get this is tactical voting. If on May 8th Ruth Davidson wakes up to having no Conservative MPs in Scotland, the ‘men in the grey suits’ once they get over the shock will not be happy. Ruth Davidson could possibly get more seats via tactical voting; it would then be up to the Conservative candidates to make a go of it in
to keep their re-election chances alive by working harder than any MPs at Westminster.
Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates in
seen plenty bad polls of late, but many could get a lifeline if Conservative
voters in this election would switch and vote tactically to keep out the SNP.
Research has flagged up something interesting, one in seven Scots will vote tactically in the election.
It is a start, but the work isn’t being done by political parties in the main, it is being done by groups like Scotland in Union, United Against Separation and Scotland’s Big Voice to name but a few. Grassroots organisations have realised in the new politics, it is sometimes better to ignore the ‘advice’ from the top and get on with pulling the coals out of the fire.
A tactical voting survey was carried out for the
Scotland in the
Union organisation which says that voters would switch to opponents of the SNP
in greater numbers than to the Nationalists.
All you need to win is one more than the other person, if the research is correct and it is a snap shot in time, there are about thousands of extra votes floating about which if secured for selected candidates could help saving many Labour and Liberal Democrat seats.
Alastair Cameron, from
in Union, said:
“These figures are from across
Scotland, so the proportion could
be significantly higher in key constituencies. We’re hearing examples of
intended tactical voting in many constituencies, as people look closely at the
realistic options available to them. People are realising that without tactical
voting, they could accidentally hand victory to divisive candidates who won’t
work positively for Scotland
and the UK.”
Although party leaders don’t appear to grasp the scale of the problem or think everything will be okay on the night, they should have a re-think, Senior Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind is among the senior figures that have backed tactical voting, he gets it; he understands what the overview is.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind says Tory voters in areas where the party has no hope of winning could switch to Labour or the Lib Dems in order to keep the SNP out. And the same goes the other way round, in an area where a Labour Candidate has no hope in a month of Sundays; people should switch and vote Conservative where their candidate is the main contender.
SNP Candidate Angus Robertson said:
“The reality is that tactical voting campaigners are trying to get more Tory MPs elected in
which would make David Cameron’s re-election more likely – underlining the importance
of electing a team of SNP MPs to make Scotland
stronger at Westminster.”
For years, the SNP have relied on
Scotland hates Conservatives, must
be a shock for him to realise that people hate the Scottish National Party even
more, and tactical voting isn’t going away, it will be updated for Holyrood
Lib Dem deputy leader Sir Malcolm Bruce said:
“People who have voted for other parties in the past are backing the Liberal Democrats this time round. We have an excellent team of hardworking candidates and in each of our 11 seats voters have a straight choice between the Liberal Democrats, who will grow the economy and invest in the NHS, or the SNP who want a second referendum and would ramp up our debt.”
Quite so ma’am!
So, one in seven people voting tactically is a good start, however, the numbers should climb, this election is a test bed for future elections, Scotland needs a new type of politics, in fact it also needs a new type of nationalism, something that the SNP cannot deliver as it is a ‘rat ship’. You just have to open the daily paper or turn on the TV to see what kind of dross the SNP plan to ship to
Unpopular Nicola Sturgeon trying to split the Labour vote in
“I wish that he (Miliabnd) would be tougher and not be kicked around so much by the Tories. I think he should be bolder in saying that he will respect the wishes of voters. That means talking to others, it means compromising. I was the deputy leader of a minority government for four years. At a very practical level, unless you are prepared to respect the wishes of the people who vote, and talk to and compromise with other parties, you don’t get your business through.”
Leaving aside the pap in this her diatribe above, the leaders of Labour, Conservative and Lib Dems in
Scotland need to talk and compromise
with each other, to get their candidates through, and accept in an area where
someone hasn’t any realistic chance to tell their core support to switch.
For those still unsure of the scale of the problem and why tactical voting is needed, a poll of 1,003 adults in
asked people who they feel would “try to get the best deal for Scotland at Westminster”.
42 per cent favour Nicola Sturgeon, with Jim Murphy trailing on 8 per cent and Ed Miliband on 3 per cent.
And Sturgeon is selling a pig in a poke of sheer fantasy, awhile ago the London School of Economics published an article on political ignorance of the electorate; this is what I have said in the past. Education is the key, and the first order of business of whoever wins and becomes the Westminster Government is the realisation that the Scotland Office needs an enhanced role in Scotland, also the Westminster Government needs to make their leader in Holyrood, a Westminster Cabinet Minister, this can easily be done via the Lords. Parties need to up their game as just pottering along has really produced the desired effect.
Once these changes are made then, it will be time to go see unpopular Nicola Sturgeon and her rat pack to have a real political fight!
The Campaign for Human Rights a