I have passed this whole weekend between a mixture of elation and despondency. Elation that Labour made such a dramatic surge to position itself as the main challenger to the Conservatives in Cornwall; despondency that our efforts in the progressive alliance – and particularly my efforts – may have cost Labour sorely needed votes to break through the sea of blue.
It is a hard thing to say but it must be said: we called it wrong. We widely promoted tactical voting based on the Tactical2017 website. When the Cornwall Live poll indicated a shift in voting sentiment, I modified the advice and started to focus less on tactical voting and more on ‘negative campaigning’ by highlighting the voting record of Conservative MP’s for each constituency and the support they gave to the damaging austerity policies that have hurt Cornwall so much.
Then came the Yougov poll that suggested a fundamental shift in voting intentions for each constituency. Late in the day, too late, I did a last ditch post highlighting Labour as the insurgent party in five of the six constituencies.
While I am a Labour Party member, more than anything I just want the Conservatives gone and tactical voting seemed to me the only way to do it.
I thought Corbyn fought a fantastic campaign, as did Jane Kirkham in my constituency of Truro and Falmouth and I take my hat off to them.
But the question I am left with is what now? The alternative to tactical voting is centre-left parties doing a deal. But with Labour surging ahead and the Libdems reeling, I feel that there is even less appetite for round table talks.
So that leaves the question of where does a progressive alliance go from here. Any thoughts?