Sunday, 1 May 2011

A vote for Labour = a vote for the Tories?

A very good friend of mine was a strong supporter of the Liberal Democrats until the formation of the coalition.  Now he plans on voting for Labour and Green candidates in his two seat ward.  I have asked what reasons he has for changing his local allience and the only reasons I've been given are national reasons.  I had genuinly been asking out of curiousity as I hadn't had a single leaflet through from either of his new adopted parties to know what their plans for the town are - probably put off by the Liberal Democrat signs in my window!

Anyway, I actually received a leaflet a day or two ago.  The majority of it was made up of covering the coalition and attacking the Liberal Democrats nationally but it did have a section regarding their opinions on local issues.  These were almost identical to the Liberal Democrat position - so much so that they could have been lifted out of any one of the leaflets I'd passed out.  Obviously a tactic which will win them votes, attack the Liberal Democrats saying how bad we are to then go and offer the same reasoned positions on things that matter to local residents (at least in my ward).  I'm sure this is a vote winning strategy for their party, so that's fair enough - but is it best for the voters?  In the last elections the results were:

Conservatives: 31
Liberal Democrats: 26
Labour: 5
Other: 3

Labour voted to allow the Tories to have overall control of the council - rather than a coalition of the rest against them, which I admit would be unstable.  My worry is that this tactic - although good for their party, will ultimately just lead to a greater split in the left leaning vote.  Whilst they will probably be successful in taking votes away from the Liberal Democrats (last time out there wasn't even a Labour candidate in my two seat ward - there is one this time) I can't see much on there to try and win any Tory votes.  Would those voters not be better served voting for the party that have been  championing these positions for at least as long as I have been in the area?

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