On Tactical Voting

On the street and on the doorstep, we have met many people who say “I would like to vote Green, because I like their policies and I am concerned about climate change and ecological collapse, but I really want to get rid of the Conservatives, so I am thinking of voting Liberal Democrat“. We understand that, and it may be a good idea in some constituencies, but not in Somerton and Frome. Here’s why:

  • Tactical Voting is a by-product of our unfair first-past-the-post voting system, which causes the views of a majority of the electorate to be ignored. The idea is to vote for a candidate who is not your preferred choice, but who is much closer to your views than a candidate who you strongly do not want to win.
  • Tactical Voting works when there are two candidates who are evenly matched in the polls, and a few votes one way or the other can decide the result. That is not the case here.
  • Firstly, YouGov MRP source data predicts Somerton and Frome as the joint 97th safest Conservative seat. In other words, the likelihood of Mr Warburton not winning is about the same as the Conservatives being reduced to 100 seats, from more than 300.
  • Secondly, despite the statistics from previous elections, the Liberal Democrat is not necessarily the strongest contender to defeat the Conservative here. The two biggest issues discussed in this election so far have been climate change and the NHS. Andrea’s passion for, and deep knowledge of, both the NHS (as a GP) and the environment have really impressed people at hustings and street meetings. The Liberal Democrat candidate is not widely known in the constituency and has not emerged a clear winner at the hustings. This isn’t a naturally Labour area, although their candidate has expressed himself well at hustings. So, it really is a four-horse race here. And the Greens are nosing ahead by some measures. Go to voteforpolicies.org.uk, fill in your responses to see which party best represents your views, and then follow on to see how Somerton and Frome thinks on average. You may be surprised! (If you want to cut to the chase, here is a snapshot).
  • Even if the Conservative candidate wins again, a good Green vote sends a strong message, and builds a base for a win next time. Resources are allocated by both national parties and government funds at the start of campaigning to parties that polled well in previous elections.
  • In summary, a Green vote is the only way to get a Green result. If you vote for someone else and the Conservative still wins, you will have wasted your vote twice.
  • Vote for Dr Andrea Dexter on the 12th.