I’ve frankly been depressed by the failure of the opposition parties to rise to the occasion. We face the threat of a majority Boris Johnson government which will force through a hard Brexit, do a trade deal with Donald Trump which will compromise our NHS, environmental and food standards, continue its chronic underfunding of health and schools, and make mainly token gestures towards the climate emergency.
All this is being massaged by the most deceitful election campaign ever, as the Tories pump out lying propaganda on an industrial scale. Johnson himself can’t open his mouth without lying, and is clearly wholly unfit to be Prime Minister. Victory for this PM would represent a democratic emergency.
Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens all recognise the dangers of Johnson’s new hard-right Conservatives. They are all offering policies which are vastly superior to those of the Tories. They cooperated (together with the independent-minded Tories who were thrown out of their party) to curb Johnson’s worst excesses in the last Parliament.
Yet they are now fighting election campaigns as though we had a perfect Proportional Representation system, when in fact we have First-Past-the-Post which gives the Tories an overwhelming advantage if the opposition is divided between Lab/Lib/Greens.
- Labour refuses to stand down anywhere, despite there being many seats where the LibDems, Independents or Greens can win. They got 6,000 in the East Devon constituency last time, compared to Independent Claire Wright’s 21,000 and the Tories’ 29,000. But will they back a candidate who can win and agrees with them on many issues, or do they want to push a hopeless case?
- The Lib Dems are standing down in Exeter – to support the Greens who cannot win, but not in East Devon (where they got an even more miserable 1500 votes in 2017) for Claire Wright who shares many of their policies.
- The Greens appear to be standing down in East Devon (well done!) but by pushing their challenge in Exeter with the help of the Lib Dems, threaten to help the Tories steal the seat from excellent Labour MP, Ben Bradshaw.
I’ve voted Labour, Liberal Democrats and Green at different elections over the last few years, when there hasn’t been a good Independent candidate. I’m supporting Claire’s campaign although I don’t live in her constituency.
In Tiverton & Honiton (which includes Seaton and Colyton), there are now candidates for Labour (Liz Pole), the Liberal Democrats (John Timperley) and the Green Party (Gillian Westcott). I will vote for one of them, but my enthusiasm is dimmed by their parties’ failure to treat this election as the democratic emergency which it is.