please note: the breakdown of votes below carries a voter health warning: it cannot be used as a predictive tool but it does give some idea of what is possible
Tactical voting and talk of a progressive alliance across the country grows louder and louder by the day, even as centre-left party leaders repeatedly reject any such proposal. From leafy Surrey – where local Labour have openly challenged their party’s stance – to Brighton and Hove, Lewes and Eastbourne, South Devon, London, Oxford and further north, a new kind of politics is gathering pace.
And let’s not forget Cornwall! At the recent Owen Jones event, A packed Hall For Cornwall (capacity 940) was asked whether they supported a progressive alliance. A sea of hands went up. When asked for a show of hands against, I counted roughly ten hands. The idea of a progressive alliance was raised by a member of the audience who was a Labour voter – and the most vocal rejection of this idea also happened to come from a Labour member in the audience.
People who once rejected out of hand any possibility of an alliance or voting tactically are now re-considering their options – publicly on Twitter, on Facebook – sharing their angst, their fear of the future, their regret at being pushed into a voting corner. And in the other corner are committed party activists who express anger and dismay at the ‘betrayal’ implied by any progressive alliance. Wherever we stand on this, let us at least acknowledge to each other the hurt and pain that all this is causing. At the end of the day every one of us actually wants the best for their party.
Most if not all of us would rather vote out of principle and party allegiance but know this: our present electoral system doesn’t give a damn about your principles!
It is outdated and incapable of reflecting modern day plural politics: vote Labour get Tory, vote Liberal Democrat get Tory, vote Green and you may still get Tory. It all depends where you live and how the centre-left vote is split. It is broken and needs to be replaced by Proportional Representation.
In Cornwall we know all about that: six Tory MP’s based on only 43 percent of the vote -30 percent when you include non voters. In my own constituency of Truro and Falmouth there were nine candidates standing for election; the split vote helped the Tory candidate win comfortably.
Let’s not forget too, the threat of a ‘regressive alliance’. Conservatives and UKIP have no compunction over forming local alliances, no agonising over principle or party allegiance, none of the tribalism that dogs the centre – left. In many ways they are ahead of the game.
If the polls are right we have a mountain to climb. But we have no option: throw everything at this, use every means at your disposal from social media and email to face to face conversations (by far the most powerful). Reach out to others, reason with them, engage them and persuade them to vote tactically for a progressive candidate.
Here is a breakdown of votes at the last election. It is done in pie charts to make it easier to see who the strongest progressive party was in each constituency at the 2015 election. Bear in mind this cannot be used as a predictive tool and the Tories are riding high in the polls. Nevertheless use it to make a judgement as to who is the most likely to beat them this time. You know what to do to stop that!
St Ives Constituency
Camborne and Redruth
Truro and Falmouth
St Austell and Newquay
South East Cornwall
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