Why tactical voting is a wasted vote
8 April 2015
Many thanks for getting in touch and for deciding to vote Green. As you can imagine this issue of tactical voting is one I have heard many times from Green sympathisers over the years - including when I previously stood for election in 2001 and 2005.
In answer to your friends:
1. Tactical voting persuaded people in Shrewsbury to vote Labour in 2005 and Lib Dem in 2010 to "keep the Tories out" and it didn't work on either occasion. Labour came 3rd by a long way in 2010 and got only 20% of the vote compared to 44% Tory - that is a lot of ground to make up. I don't think anyone can be sure that a vote for Labour will succeed in defeating the Tories in this constituency.
2. To me that scenario is the ultimate "wasted vote" - you don't vote for what you believe in and you don't get what you voted for!
3. I guess also it depends what issues are most important to your friends. Labour would not get rid of Trident; have not said they would ban fracking; have not supported the NHS Reinstatement Bill introduced in parliament by Green MP Caroline Lucas; and would not bring the railways back into private hands or abolish tuition fees.
National polls put the Tories and Labour close on vote share at the moment; I don't know about any local poll.
4. Yes we do need PR and Labour at the moment are not committed to it. They seem to prefer to rely on the "vote SNP get Tory" or "vote Green get Tory" message - is that really the best they can offer to persuade people to support them?
So my personal view is that a tactical vote is a wasted vote. Vote tactically and you are still "holding your nose" and voting for many things you don't like - compromising your beliefs for something that may not work anyway but will still allow Labour to claim after the election that many people supported their very un-Green policies
As Natalie Bennett said in the TV debate - vote for what you believe in
Please let me know how you get on with trying to persuade your friends!