This was first posted on Facebook on 31st October 2019, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
On General Election 2019, 12th December – Register to vote: encourage everyone you know who has a right to vote to get registered.
Tactical voting in my view is a matter of personal conscience. If you decide to vote tactically in order to ensure the worst are kicked out or the least-bad get in, that’s as much a right as the right to vote, in a FPTP system: it can be gamed and it’s your right to try to game it in the direction you want – or to refuse to do so and to cast your vote for the candidate/party you actually want to win. I have no criticism or judgement to make either way – I think both are valid choices and you should do what feels right to you.
That said: If you’re going to simply vote for the candidate/party you want to win, you don’t need advice from anyone else in figuring out who that is.
“Guess what we’re doing on 8th June 2017?” I asked.
“I dunno,” said the love of my life, busy with her coursework.
“Having a general election.”
Theresa May today announced (following a cabinet meeting) that she would hold a “snap general election” on 8th June 2017.
If you want to read her claimed reasons for doing so, her full statement is available.
I believed in tactical voting for 18 years: long enough to make a voter.
In the early morning of 10th April 1992, I stayed awake until it was clear that Labour would not win – that we were in for five more years of Tory government with a 21-seat majority. No one predicted that.
“Tactical voting is disgraceful. You should vote for your party of choice, in the sure and certain knowledge that doing so is a complete waste of time, and your voice will never be heard.”
In the realms of what-if: If Labour had won, and Neil Kinnock had become Prime Minister, would Tony Blair – then Shadow Secretary of State for Employment, soon to become Shadow Home Secretary – have succeeded in becoming Prime Minister? (Certainly not in 1992.) If Kinnock had still been Prime Minister in 2003, would he have lied to the House of Commons to get Labour to vote for a war in Iraq? That’s one of the great what-ifs of history – would any other Labour PM but Blair have committed this crime in order to have the UK follow the US into war with Iraq against the clear will of the British people? Would Black Wednesday have been such a disaster if Gordon Brown, not Norman Lamont, had been Chancellor? (Quite probably.) Would the NHS be lumbered with so many hugely expensive PFI hospitals if Kinnock had won in 1992? (Probably not.) Was the delay in the Northern Ireland peace process caused by John Major’s dependence on the DUP vote for confidence and supply?