I’ve spent a long time thinking about this. I’ve been the Green Party Candidate in Central Devon for the last two General Elections, and after some deep soul searching, am standing again this time.
Under our utterly unfair, archaic and obsolete electoral system, tactical voting is ONLY worth attempting in marginal seats with a sufficiently small majority AND where there’s a SINGLE clear challenger to the Conservative (whose vote was close enough last time to be worth backing this time). There are 100s of ‘what ifs’ that you can ask yourself, but I don’t believe that in Central Devon, attempting to vote tactically will be of any use.
In 2015 Labour, Lib Dem (and UKIP) all got around 7000 votes, and Tory 28,436. I got 4,866.
In 2017, the Corbyn surge, and the Lib Dem crash gave Labour 15,598 and Lib Dem 6770. Mel Stride 31,278 (54% of the vote). I got 1,531.
Last time I know there were loads of people who ‘tactically voted’ for Labour, and another load who did the same for Lib Dem. I suspect we’ll see the same thing all over again. I’ve seen apparently reputable tactical voting sites recommend the Lib Dems this time. I gather some suggest Labour. I’ve also seen one that says don’t bother, it’s a safe seat.
While I’ll be campaigning as hard as I can for what I believe in, and against the utter incompetence and fraud that the Conservative govt has and continues to perpetrate – I’m not telling anyone who to vote for, other than for what they most believe in.
It’s true that in the UK, we vote for a single candidate – not for a party of government, and still less for one of the leaders to become Prime Minister. Right now I’m more concerned about the bigger global picture – the UK’s reputation in the world, which is being trashed by Brexit, and our ability to influence global policy towards the catastrophic climate catastrophe that looks increasingly unavoidable.
If I thought that my own vote for either Labour or Lib Dem had a chance of helping one of them to win here, and therefore help cause a #peoplesvote on #brexit deal or remaining in the EU, then I would vote that way, and would not have stood as the Green Party candidate. Green votes really do matter across the country, to show how strongly people believe in our policies, and in turn for the very practical reason of providing ‘Short Money’ to our MPs in the next parliament (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Money). Right now, every vote is worth 13.5p per year to the Green Party. In 2015, our 1.2 million votes across the UK were worth over £200k to pay for researchers in Parliament to support Caroline Lucas. After the 2017 General Election when lots of people voted for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party and the Green vote went down, two of Caroline’s researchers had to be laid off. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that your vote is worthless or wasted! 🙂