Former Tiv/Hon Lib Dem candidate’s switch to Greens highlights need for a Progressive Alliance

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John Timperley, the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Tiverton and Honiton constituency (which includes Seaton) in the last general election, has announced that he’s joined the Green Party, commenting: ‘Almost identical policies, better vocalised and on steroids! Unforgivable that @LibDems gloss over need for #ElectoralReform at national level. #makeVotesMatter‘.

In reply to a critic on Twitter, he says that moving parties ‘won’t split the vote in a #ProgressiveAlliance. The Greens are more public advocates of #electoralReform‘.

The idea that Green and Lib Dem policies are ‘almost identical’ is striking – but it’s also largely true for Labour. Certainly, the policy differences between all three parties are far smaller than the gulf between them and the Tories.

That’s why many of us will vote for whichever of these – or a strong Independent or East Devon Alliance candidate – can defeat the Tories in a particular ward or constituency. In my case, while mainly voting for Independent/EDA candidates at a local level, I’ve voted Labour, Lib Dem and Green at different national elections over the last decade, depending on the context.

Each of us should support the party or group that we think closest to our ideas, but remember that none of us can change Britain without the others. We need a Progressive Alliance so that our choices have a decent chance of defeating the Tories.

I’ve joined Compass, the national campaign group for a Progressive Alliance, and am on their steering group for the South West, trying to make sure that we get the best possible cooperation to keep EDDC in the control of the current progressive administration (EDA, Lib Dems, Greens and Labour) and to take seats from the Tories in the next General Election.

NB. John may be right that the Greens are more strongly advocating electoral reform, but PR has always been one of the Lib Dems’ key policies, and it’s Labour that really needs to shift on this.

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