Tactical voting is the authentic choice for Labour supporters
Labour candidate, Liz Pole, has told Labour supporters that tactical voting is ‘inauthentic’ and even ‘a Tory strategy’. However I would argue that tactical voting is the authentic choice for Labour supporters in the Tiverton & Honiton by-election.
Under a proportional voting system, that would not be true. But under First Past the Post, which we have, when there is a chance of an opposition candidate ousting the Conservatives, you have to choose the best-placed candidate. And everyone in Labour, from Keir Starmer downwards, knows that – as Exeter’s Labour MP Ben Bradshaw said – the Lib Dems could win this by-election. Labour can’t.
Liz and local Labour really can’t complain. Labour, from Tony Blair to Jeremy Corbyn, has helped to maintain First Past the Post knowing that it makes Labour voting in areas this an ineffective gesture at best.
I have a Labour-inclined friend who’s over 90 years old. He’s lived all his life in this area, wasting his vote. Now he, like the rest of us, has the opportunity to cast an authentic vote for change. Not for Labour it is true, but for a Liberal Democrat candidate who agrees with most of the things that Labour agrees with and is determined to remove Boris Johnson’s far-right-leaning Tory government.
Sure, the Lib Dems are not perfect – the Coalition and all that. Nor are Labour – the Iraq War, Brexit, etc, etc. But we face a binary choice: the Lib Dems’ Richard Foord or the Tory yes-woman.
Tactical voting a Tory strategy? No, they’re scared as hell that we’ll all coalesce around the Lib Dems. They’d like nothing better than for people to vote Labour and help them to squeeze the Lib Dems out.
In my next post, I’ll put a way Labour supporters can help Labour at the same time as voting to get the Tories out here – it’s called Vote Swap.