Think Pieces

A Time for Tactics: Election 2017

Well much to everyone’s surprise, though on consideration it’s not much of a surprise at all, we have a General Election to look forward too in less than two months.

It was a shock at first but let’s be honest; this is a beautifully clever (and rather underhanded) move on the Conservatives’ part. They have a historic lead in the poles at the moment and a General Election now is likely to gain them the largest Tory majority our parliament has seen since the days of Thatcher. Their main opposition is in shambles and falling apart from infighting. All logic suggests this should be a landslide victory for them, and I fear it probably will be.

But for those of us who consider ourselves anti-Tory, our duty now is to fight. Fight as

hard as we can to damage control this. On the face of it, I think we’re pretty fucked. Labour is in a terrible position right now, which is entirely the fault of selfish, stubborn, and idiotic Labour MPs refusing to accept their leader and the mandate for his policies from their voters base. This may look like an easy, huge victory for the Tories. It may look hopeless, but we still have to try. The time has come, regretful as it is, for tactical voting.

This situation is dire, and it calls for cold hard pragmatism. Whatever our usual political allegiances and affiliations, if we want to prevent an overwhelming Tory majority we have to put certain things aside, suck it up, and vote on pure tactics. Which ever opposition party is the main competition in our constituency, we vote for them. Regardless of our usual views and opinions on that party, any and every seat where we can edge out a Conservative gain is vital.

Take the South West. Excepting a view freak spots here and there, Labour NEVER get in; it’s always either Tory or Lib Dem. Last election, where post-coalition distrust of the Lib Dems caused a larger than usual split of the Centre-Left leaning vote, every single seat that was once yellow, turned blue. The Right is far less divided than the Left, and that is what allows the Tories to snatch victory time and time again in seats that, by a large, voted against them. That’s how First Past The Post works. It’s an awful, flawed system, but sometimes the only way to change a flawed system is to play the flaws of that system in our favour. If Labour is the largest or second largest party in a constituency, then it is the duty of Lib Dem, Green, and other Centre to Left party supporters to swallow their pride and vote Labour. The same principle applies in reverse where the Lib Dems are first or second, where Greens are first or second, and so on. A Conservative government will never deliver electoral reform but a Labour or Lib-Lab coalition would try their damnedest.

There is a wonderful spreadsheet here on who which party to vote for in each constituency to get the best chance of keeping the Tories out (all credit to Becky Snowdon). Follow the instructions this provides if you’re unsure of who you need to vote for to best prevent a Conservative win. It may not be pretty, but our politics isn’t pretty at the moment, and as muddled as Labour is right now, a Labour Government (potentially supported by the Lib Dems) is infinitely preferable to unopposed Tory domination. Even if we cannot do enough to make Labour able to form government, every seat we can take way from the Tories will count, and provide a solid percentage of opposition seats to prevent the Tories imposing their will with no resistance.

We all want Brexit to go well for Britain, but we don’t need a huge majority Tory government for that. If we want to preserve our NHS, our Education system, our Police, and all the other public institutions we hold dear then we need to hold back the Tories as much as we can and make this opportunistic attempt to seize on people’s fear and insecurity over the future well and truly backfire in their face.

I voted Green at the last election. I still support the Greens. I will probably vote Green at the local elections. But for the General Election, I am biting the bullet and voting Labour. In my constituency, at the last election, the Tories beat Labour by less than 1000 votes. Every vote counts. I’m putting aside my usual political principles for the greater good (god I hate that I finally gave in and used that phrase). I’ll be damned if I can’t say that I did all within my power as a voter to prevent a sweeping Tory majority from buggering this country until 2022.

No vote is pointless. You can always make sure your vote counts. Use it. Fight back. Do your part to decide out future. AND REMEMBER TO BLOODY REGISTER!!


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