How to vote in the forthcoming election

I was at a friend’s house last night, as she said she was surprised I’d not written anything about the forthcoming General Election. When she pointed it out, I was surprised, too — but, really, the whole thing is so utterly wretched that it’s difficult to summon up any enthusiasm for.

But of course it does matter, and more than any election in my lifetime. That’s because, while normally no parliament can bind its successor, Johnson’s Tories will make a permanent break with our biggest and closest trading partner — a break that will be impossible for a subsequent parliament to mend, because it’s dependent on a third party.

So for me — despite the well-documented problems with Labour’s vagueness and despite the Lib Dems’ inexplicable hostility towards all their potential allies — this election is all about one thing: preventing the Tories from getting a majority so they can’t “Get Brexit Done”. Instead, we need a hung parliament that can successfully demand a People’s Vote.

How should you vote if you agree with me? Simple: vote for whichever non-Tory party has the best chance of beating the Tories in your constitutency (other than the Brexit Party, of course!). For some Greens and Lib Dems, that will mean voting Labour; for some Greens and Labour supporters, that will mean voting Lib Dem; for a few Lib Dems and Labour supporters, it will mean voting Green. Doesn’t matter. Just hold your nose and do it.

How can you know which non-Tory party has the best chance in your constituency? There are a confusing plethora of tactical voting sites, but the most useful tool I’ve seen is The big tactical voting comparison, which shows the results for five tactical-voting sites side by side and lets you see what the consensus is.

In my own constituency, the Forest of Dean, Labour is unanimously considered the party with the best hope of unseating the bulletproof Mark Harper. It’s a forlorn hope, but still the smart play.

It’s possible that predictions and polling will shift between now and 12 December; but it’s also possible that the site will get overwhemed with traffic nearer the time. So my recommendation is to check it now; then if possible check it again the day before the election to confirm that its recommendation has stayed the same.

Appendix A: but what about Labour’s antisemitism?

Right here, right now, that’s not the issue. Vote to unseat the Tories.

Appendix B: but what about the Lib Dems’ record in coalition?

Right here, right now, that’s not the issue. Vote to unseat the Tories.

Appendix C: don’t you care about these other things?

Yes I do. They are important and need to be addressed by the parties in question. But you can’t advance the rights of minorities by installing the much more racist Conservative Party, and that’s what will happen if people withdraw their Labour votes over antisemitism fears. And you can’t undo the damage done by the coalition’s austerity policies by installing the much more eat-the-poor Conservative Party, and that’s what will happen if people withdraw their Lib Dem votes over that party’s inability in coalition to prevent the actual Tories from enacting their favoured policies.

Hold your nose. Vote to get Tories out. That’s all.

6 responses to “How to vote in the forthcoming election

  1. This is great and I’ll be sharing it :)
    Typo in the last line: “hold your note” should presumably be “nose”.

  2. Thanks, Andrew! You’re right about the typo, which I have now fixed.

  3. Votes are not about who is good or bad, but who is better or worse.
    However bad a particular party might be, if their opponents are worse, you still should vote for them.
    There are plenty of other political mechanisms that are for improving the choices on the ballot paper, but voting is not one of them.

  4. I’m in the US and I’ll be telling my conservative-leaning friends and family something similar for the election next year. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like this, that, or the other about the Democrats. The important thing is voting the Republicans, and Trump in particular, out.

  5. Well I don’t know about you but I’m going to use the pencil provided.

  6. as a card carrying Corbynite, i endorse the above message.’

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