Sunday, April 17, 2005

Tactical voting

Superb stuff - complete with handy, easy to understand graphs and stuff - showing just how anti-Labour tactical voting in favour of the Lib Dems won't let the Tories into power, from Cabalamat Journal. A must-read.

"The Tories, on a constant 34% share of the vote, gain the maximum number of seats on a 13% swing from Lab to LD, i.e. where the Labour vote is 24.8% and the Liberal Democrat vote is 32.5%. The maximum seats the Tories get is 301. There will be 646 seats in the next parliament, so to get an overall majority they would need 324; thus, the best the Tories would do is 23 seats short."
A 13% swing is pretty much unprecedented. It's not going to happen. As for the Tories?
"A Conservative overall majority is wildly implausible. For it to happen, they would have to poll about 12 points higher than Labour, without the Lib Dem share of the vote rising to steal otherwise-Tory seats... There's no point in being concerned about a Tory government unless they start consistently polling at least 5 points above Labour, and even then a Tory government is a remote possibility."
Lest we forget, the best the Tories managed in today's polls was 1 point behind Labour. But the way the first past the post system and the current make-up of the constituencies work, even if they get an equal share of the popular vote, Labour will still be returned with a majority. The best the Tories have managed to do in the polls so far was a one-off aberration which saw them 5 points ahead about two weeks ago. That's 7 points less than they need to safely form a government.

So can we now please shut up with the scare tactics?

At the moment I'm still undecided. But as someone who's pro-EU, the only choice is Labour or Lib Dem. And the more I hear Labour telling me how a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote for the Tories when that's so blatantly yet another lie, the more I feel tempted to abandon my current anti-war, anti-ID card, anti-detention without trial Labour MP and chuck a vote at Charlie and co.

Update: This site may be handy - lots of pretty graphs and stuff showing opinion poll-based projected results.

5 Comments:

Blogger Voice 1 said...

Of course, those scare tactics are just that, scare tactics.

If Labour were serious about the threat from Howard, then why not ask all their supporters in Folkestone & Hythe to back the Lib Dems, rather than allow Michael Howard the chance to take his seat again?

I've posted something at A Logical Voice on a few of the marginals which could be worthwhile watching on election night, thought you might like to take a look:

http://logicvoice.blogspot.com/2005/04/some-marginals-to-watch-out-for-on.html

4/17/2005 07:50:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also voting for the SNP in
Angus
Dundee East
Moray
Perth & North Perthshire
Ochil & South Perthshire
Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey (Long name)
Aberdeen North
Na h-Eileanan An Iar
Dumfries & Galloway won't let in the Tories either

4/17/2005 08:22:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Interesting stuff. I've been flicking through the Politico's Guide to the General Election 2005 over the last few days. What with having been published back in February it's naturally not quite up to speed, but it's a good resource for marginals.

It's always well nigh impossible to predict how things will run without local knowledge. I mean, take Eastbourne - my parents' constituency. It's got a Conservative majority of 2,100, but a Lib Dem council, and the sitting MP, Nigel Waterson, is locally hugely unpopular because he's a self-serving and arrogant dick who rarely if ever gets involved with the constitutency. The trouble is - and this is where the local knowledge comes in, the Lib Dem council has been utterly incompetent and corrupt, and the last Lib Dem MP they had, David Belotti, was even more of a twat than Waterstone. After Belotti lost the seat, the next Lib Dem candidate was the son of an incredibly dodgy local landlord. So no one in Eastbourne trusts the Lib Dems enough to vote for them even though they'd like to be rid of Waterstone. Whereas that should be a Lib Dem gain, it's actually very unlikely to be.

This makes me wonder how much we can trust all the national press predictions. It also throws a lot of the polls to the wind - a few thousand people all over the country aren't going to be able to give you a representative view of what's happening on a local level. I've yet to see a single election poster in my constituency - a Labour majority of c.8,000 as I said. Does that mean no one's bothering here, or what?

4/17/2005 08:34:00 pm  
Blogger AlanK said...

Nosemonkey

here also is a safe labour seat, so basically nobody is bothering to campaign here, it does make the arguement for PR quite good, although that also has its problems

as for election, what about a hung parliament with lib dems refusing to form coalition with any of the parties

4/17/2005 09:14:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Alan - as unlikely as that may be, an unworkable hung parliament and a repeat of the twin elections of 1974 may be just what is needed to finally convince MPs (whoever manages to form a government after a re-run) that some kind of proportional representation is what is now needed.

First past the post has always been bad for democratic representation but good for party politics. When the parties all finally realise that it's become bad for them as well, we may finally get a change to the system. A hung parliament is pretty much the ideal outcome as far as I can tell - as unlikely as that may be...

4/17/2005 09:19:00 pm  

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