Please vote. Please vote tactically

A few people have asked my advice on how to vote tomorrow. Here’s my EUR 0.02:

This is the most important election you will ever vote in. Please vote.

A Conservative government with an enlarged majority will be a disaster for the UK. There is a very good chance that May is planning to walk out of Brexit negotiations, leaving the UK in a catastrophic no-deal situation. I cannot emphasise enough how bad this would be for every person in the UK. Plans were leaked yesterday of massively increased cuts to the NHS, including reducing staff and abandoning many waiting-list targets. Human rights legislation which protects all of us from harm by the government will be abandoned under the guise of anti-terror measures. This from a Home secretary who cut police numbers and accused the police of ‘crying wolf’ over the terror threat.

The best outcome by far is a hung parliament, with Labour being propped up by the SNP/LibDems/Greens in exchange for a referendum on the Brexit deal including an option to remain.

So, how to vote:

1. Ignore any party affiliation you might have. It hurts, but this is too important.

2. Vote for the pro-EU candidate in your constituency that the best chance of winning. In Scotland this will almost certainly be the SNP candidate. Elsewhere it is likely to be LibDems or Plaid Cymru, and in a few places, Green.

3. Check the Wikipedia page for your constituency. If the pro-EU candidate’s party came a very distant third (e.g., 7-8,000 votes behind second place) or worse in the last two elections, they are likely to have little chance. In this case, vote for the candidate that has the best chance of beating the Conservative candidate. In practice, this probably means voting Labour in a marginal Labour/Cons seat.

4. Do not waste your vote by voting for your preferred party where it has no chance at all of winning. We can go back to normal politics later, but the focus must be on tactical voting this time.

5. Watch out for UKIP voters. Many will be moving their support to the Tories, so seats with a couple of thousand majority over the conservatives but where UKIP got a few thousand last time may be under serious threat.

So, in summary, vote for the Pro-EU candidate with the best chance of winning, and, if they have no chance of winning, vote for the candidate with the best chance of beating the Conservatives.


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