“Vote Red or get Blue” doesn’t work everywhere

“Want the Tories out next year? Only one way to do it” from Ron’s Rants

Ron Graves explains in the post above that if you want to get rid of the Tories in 2015, the only way to do it is to vote Labour, and not to “protest” by not voting, spoiling the paper or voting for a candidate that doesn’t have a chance of winning. While I agree that the best we can hope for in 2015 is a Labour government, unless you live in Scotland where the independence referendum gives other options, voting Labour will not get rid of the Tories in many constituencies - in fact, it may make a Tory win more likely.

I live in New Malden, which is in Edward Davey’s constituency of Kingston and Surbiton. Here, Labour hasn’t ever won, to my knowledge, and certainly not as long as I’ve lived here. The progressive vote has always gone to the Liberal Democrats, and their vote has been swelled by former Labour voters (like us) from less affluent places who didn’t let their (modestly” increased wealth push then into the Tory camp. Labour have always come third place here behind Lib Dems and Tories, and except in 1997 which was its first, its share has always been below 10%.

It’s possible that former Tory voters might switch to Labour, but most of the people who might switch are those who have voted Lib Dem because it’s the only apparently progressive party that has a chance of winning the seat. Voting Labour will just split that vote, resulting in this seat turning Tory. Admittedly, that might be counterbalanced by swings to Labour in Labour/Tory swing seats, but it still gives the Tory a chance to bed himself in with favours to various groups within the constituency.

That leaves many of us in places like Kingston with no real means of making sure we do not get a Tory government in 2015 - either we vote for a Lib Dem who will sell our vote to whoever the biggest single party is, or for a minor candidate (including Labour) and just let the Tory in. Either way, it’s likely to be a wasted vote.

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