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compassonline

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 #1 
Will tactical voting make a progressive outcome more likely or not?

Will voting with your heart just pave the way for your least preferred outcome or is now that time to vote out of principle?
Unregistered
 #2 
I'm afraid I cannot support the idea of tactical voting in May because I cannot trust the Labour Party nationally to actually carry out the policies they claim to support.  A Party which believes that it cannot declare its own ideology because it will cost it votes does not deserve my support, nor that of anyone hoping for honest politics!

It should be abundantly clear that Labour needs to respect its base and put forward a Socialist Manifesto. Only when it acknowledges that Socialism underpins its values and norms can anyone trust them!  I am an active member of the Co-operative Party, and currently am a member of the Labour Party, but that will lapse when they try to take my direct debit at the end of next month.  I like and respect our candidate in Cannock but cannot trust the central 'munchkins' who run the party.  I am left, therefore, with a choice - either voting for a Party that offers me hope not Purple Ronnie imitation Tory austerity, or I spoil my ballot paper.  I am currently drawn to the later action.....
Unregistered
 #3 
After many years of voting for the 'least worst' option I think that it is now the time to vote for the party that shares our views.  It is worth going onto the 'vote for policies' and finding out.  I will be voting for the local Green Party candidate who is a true socialist.
Unregistered
 #4 
Left voters who spurn Labour should remember what happened last time when they voted L Dem and got Tory - same will happen again if enough vote Green or spoil. Surely the priority must be to avoid another Tory government?
Rick, Presteigne
Unregistered
 #5 
I cannot believe that anyone who is a member of the CoOperative movement and alleges they are a Labour Party member also would seriously consider a vote or wasted vote that would return another Tory government. I do not believe you are telling the truth. On tactical voting , I would do it in Scotland to stop the Nats from assisting the return of a Tory government also. They will be doing with the 45% who voted for separation.
NomThePom

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 #6 
Depends on the numbers in your constituency.

I'm a Labour voter by inclination, (though not massively impressed by the current parliamentary party). I'm living in a very marginal Tory/LibDem constituency (currently held by the LibDems , by a margin of about 1,200 votes). So my vote, whether I cast it for Labour or some more authentic leftish alternative, will be useless.

Which leaves me with two options: either try and keep the Tory out by voting for the LibDem, or vote from principle and do my bit to usher the Tory in.

I'll be voting tactically for the LibDem, I'm afraid. At the end of the day, there is nothing symbolic about our politics - it's a prosaic and brutal business: whoever gets the numbers gets the power. I don't want the Tories getting the numbers.

As for the prospect of long term change, my personal view is that we're more likely to achieve this by overhauling the existing institutions than by trying to build new ones from scratch. Is the Labour party beyond saving? I wonder if all the people who  joined the Greens in the last few months had decided to join Labour instead, whether it would be possible to steer it back towards some of its founding principles of equality and social justice...
Unregistered
 #7 
I absolutely appreciate that people may be disillusioned with Labour because it hasn't been brave enough to put forward a manifesto that I'd like to see.

But two things occur to me:
1. look at how much vitriol Labour gets from the press the minute it proposes something vaguely
    "voter friendly" - for example, freezing fuel bills for 20 months while it looks at how to better 
     regulate the industry. You would think the Marxists will take over if Labour carries this out!
    Look at the backlash against Ed Miliband when he talks about business being responsible etc etc.
    Labour has to be careful about how it presents its manifesto, in a way that smaller parties don't,
    because those smaller parties are not seen as a possible government, so not a threat

2. if someone doesn't vote, or if they vote Green, for example, in a way that splits the "left" vote
    then effectively that's a vote for the Tories or UKIP. I say this because
    people of "the left" are more likely to be disillusioned with Labour, so there would be a smaller
    push against those right wing parties.
    If I lived in Brighton I'd vote Green with Caroline Lucas as MP. In other constituencies, where
    Labour is the main contender, I'd vote Labour
    I think there's no point in me voting the "right" way (which for me would probably be Green) and    ending up with the nightmare of a Tory/UKIP coalition.

I think it matters hugely to those who have been penalised by the Tory/LibDem coalition who forms the next government. At least Labour will get rid of the Bedroom Tax, for example. If the Tories are in government we now what further cuts to benefits will happen; no support for a Living Wage etc etc

Jan Hill
Unregistered
 #8 
My thoughts similar to Nom's...
My constituency  is Brecon & Radnor which is on the list of Green-vulnerable seats, whereby a Green vote could install a Tory MP. The latest Ashcroft poll is rather unclear as after a certain amount of fiddling it appears to give the L Dems a lead - however the raw data shows them behind Labour and Cons romping home. My vote would be between Labour and L Dems depending on whether I thought the Tories could be beaten (I vote L Dem) or would win anyway (I vote Labour). My rationale is 1. as few Tory seats as possible; 2.as high a Lab popular vote as possible, as the result nationally could be so tight this is part of the possible resolution process.
Keen to hear other thoughts on this.
Re abandoning the 'least worst' point of view - I still believe this is the only sensible tactic but accept that it won't be forever that the only alternatives are Labour or Tory Governments (either solo or leading Coalitions) - but right now I don't want another Tory 5 years with the poor being hammered. This is more important than squeamish 'let's punish Labour' feelgood gesturing.
Rick, Presteigne
Unregistered
 #9 
My last post unclear - so just to be straight I still think backing the 'least worst' feasible government is the only sensible tactic...and am against deserting for Greens or spoiling as a gesture.
Rick, Presteigne
Unregistered
 #10 

It depends on your constituency


I'm in a tory marginal and with labour having no significant lead I will feel compelled to vote labour despite my misgivings. I doubt labour will significantly improve my lot but I know the current coalition have made it worse and have no doubt they will continue to do so.

I will never get all that I want from a government - how can I? - I'm one in 45 million, but I'm also doing my best to help build a true progressive alternative to labour in the Greens.

 

Unregistered
 #11 
It all depends on the constituency. In South Islington Labour (42%) was followed in 2010 by Liberals (34%) but I am guessing the LD won't do so well this time. I will vote Green anyway, but would vote Labour if there were a chance that the Tories would beat them here. (In the event, I am hoping a significant increase in votes for the Greens will translate to seats in 2020 or a Labour Party that changes its "extreme centre" outlook.)

This underlines why we need a change in the voting system. My vote is not worth as much as other people's (and, admittedly, more than some others').
Unregistered
 #12 
None of the above.............X
PaulEast

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 #13 
Everyone votes tactically. There are only two questions you need to address "What result do I want?" and "What is the best way to achieve it?".
Only today, Radio 4's "The Long View" discussed the 1929 general election and brought up the matter of the total votes cast for each party as well as the seats gained. If you want "your" party to have legitimacy and credibility, it needs to gather votes consistently over time, so there is a price paid each time you vote for an alternative. This means it only makes sense to vote "tactically", i.e. for a party you don't want to govern, if there is a clear benefit, e.g. denying a seat to the party you least want to govern. You can only do this by studying your individual constituency.
If you are currently a supporter of a minority party, you should decide either that you are in the long-term business of converting others to your opinion or switch to a "least worst" alternative.
And for gods' sake stop whingeing about it being "unfair" that votes are "wasted"; we are talking about governing a country in times of crisis and possibly even war, not playing student politics with nothing at stake beyond who buys the next drink.
Breakthrough

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 #14 
The choice between an excellent sitting MP (not from one of the three main parties) and my preferred party is agonising.
Unregistered
 #15 
 I have been and still am a fully paid up member the Labour Party, and living  
 in the true blue white highlands of Sussex with a huge Tory majority. Consequently at each General Election I go over to Brighton Kemptown to help the Labour candidate as this is one of the marginals that Labour must win  to form the party of government.

This year, however,  I face a dilemma. The sitting MP for Kemptown  is Caroline Lucas the one Green MP in the House. She is someone we respect and admire (we were on the original Balcombe anti fracking demo )and her fearless intelligent voice  is one that needs to be heard - the only problem being she is not in the labour Party.

I have decided therefore not to go over to Brighton but to lend lend my support elsewhere - Hastings.

But how to vote in our own constituency? Last time voting tactically only shored up Mr Cameron which was the outcome of unintended consequencies and disastrous!
Answers on a postcard please.
Noel Hardy 
Unregistered
 #16 
Compass Taunton has discussed tactical voting. At the time of our meeting (9 people present) there was no majority for tactical voting in general or tactical voting in Taunton. This was partly because the Liberal Democrat candidate was Jeremy Browne who is now standing down.

We certainly supported tactical voting in a number of key seats where the candidate has values broadly in line with Compass.
Unregistered
 #17 
I'm afraid that in our electoral system almost any vote (or non-vote) that isn't used tactically to keep the Tories out ends up being tacit support for the Tories.
MartinPrior

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 #18 

I am prepared to consider voting Greeen to keep the Tories out when Labour has no hope... I am not prepared to vote LibDem to achieve this.

criticalfaculty1@hotmail

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 #19 
depressing though it may be, there is ALWAYS a certain logic to voting tactically to get the least worst; on the other hand, small parties may never get the scale of votes they need to be credible if this persists. I have been a Labour activists but am now a member of the Green Party and will be supporting the Greens with everything I have up until the election itself.

I am depressed to see the likes of Polly Toynbee campaigning at this time for Greens not to vote Green in seats where they 'will let in the Tories' - but can see why. Eventually I shall vote Green anyway myself as ultimately I believe unless this happens the two party system will never change.

I want Labour to present a credible alternative to the Tory Lib Dem coalition but as long as they think they can creep into office by suppressing other alternatives - even progressive ones, they will be tempted to do so because as someone said above me there is always a worry in the Establishment as soon as Labour looks at all 'red'. But now IS the time to break the mould I believe and vote for progressive parties wherever they are standing - and incite Labour to move in the same direction and form alliances locally so that people do not have to choose between Labour and Greens in say Brighton, but Labour agrees not to stand a candidate in Brighton and Greens focus more carefully to raise their profile in the districts where they do stand.

The sort of red-green alliance I have been arguing for years might then come about

david seddon


Unregistered
 #20 
I will vote with the ethos and values of the parties in my sights. Tactical voting gets confusing results. I will vote Labour im sick of the we hate ed hes a geek media rubbish and im watching them build week on week a real dialogue. Some  say his brother should be leader I say no he was too much a Blairite. Im still waiting for an anti austerity message but right now they have my vote waiting and ill not dilute it by trying to play crafty
clericus

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 #21 
fairly clear that in my constituency, the effective choice is between LibDem and Conservative, who are fiercely opposed to one another- as they are on local council. So: Do I vote LD to keep Tory out- I did last time (but look at the result!) or do I vote Labour to add one more vote to Labour's overall vote in the country?
Unregistered
 #22 
16 million electors chose not to vote at all in the 2010 general election. This is a broken system. Anyone defending the current system of First past the post is defending a major hindrance to our democracy. We need some kind of PR now and if people can't be bothered to vote, they should pay a 'non-participation'  tax.  Posted by Jim Kirsopp, voting Green at the next election in an attempt to remove Dennis Skinner MP, aged 83, who promised to retire when he was 65 but now wants the job until he is 88.
Unregistered
 #23 
I am a member of the Labour party - and a pluralist.  Caroline Lucas is the MP in Brighton pavilion where I live and I think she has done great job as the first Green MP.  Whilst I do not agree with everything she and her party say and do, I can see that they are a force for good in progressive politics.  I hope she wins.  The neighbouring constituencies in Brighton both went Tory at the last general election - partly because of the split in the progressive vote.  I would happily vote green to help save Caroline Lucas if I could swap my vote with a green in one of the neighbouring constituencies (e.g. they would vote Labour).  Is that cheating?  I don't think so.  We need to break out of the current political sclerosis
  


mary forgie
 #24 
Scots have been voting tactically for years now. We also have proportional representation. I firmly believe that both of these factors benefit us as a nation, not necessarily immediately but certainly for future generations. Our attempt to gain independence was thwarted because of the Westminster cabal. And they blatantly lied. The more independent representatives we have, the more influence we can exert.
Unregistered
 #25 
Very persuaded by the George Monbiot argument that the time has come to vote for what you really believe in. For me the Greens have by far the most progressive policies, while Labour - however feeble - has to be  better than the Tories and the disgraced Lib Dems.
So my conclusion is that in Tory/Labour marginal constituencies where the Greens have no chance, I would vote Labour. Anywhere else ( eg where I live) I would vote Green, which would at least boost their vote for future campaigns.

And in the longer term we desperately need radical reform of our democratic system (my proposals posted to Compass !).

Trevor Cherrett, Wiltshire. 
Tom Serpell
 #26 
Tactical voting in an area with no significant second party is worthless. PR is the better option insofar as it gives at least some value to voting. Around here there id growing use of single issue groups to make use of activists' energies.
Unregistered
 #27 
Since we have such an imperfect electoral process then there is no choice but to vote tactically. The objective of a voter at an election is to cast their vote to get the government they would prefer, not just to exercise their ideology. To paraphrase Tony Blair - Power without Principle is barren but principle without power is futile. It is surely the objective of all progressives to avoid a conservative government therefore its seems to me that each individual should do what is tactically best in their constituency to prevent the Tory candidate being elected.  
That doesn't get away from the fact that we shouldn't be in this situation in the first place. We should have a far more rational political system. As it stands we have healthy multi-party politics but we have an archaic electoral system which is only suited to a 2 party political system. We have tried only very recently to change the electoral system and it was fairly easily defeated.  Therefore the choice facing the progressive left seems to me to be fairly obvious, albeit radical. If the electoral process can't be changed to suit multi party politics then politics should change to suit a 2 party electoral process. Labour, most Lib Dems, Greens (and probably SNP and Plaid Cymru) should merge into one centre left progressive democratic party. May sound far fetched, but all political parties are coalitions anyway (how else are Kenneth Clarke and Chris Grayling in the same party). With a bit of effort they could all agree a policy platform they can all sign up to. The first past the post system has survived for so long because it suited the establishment (Tories) because the left would fragment itself and put the Tories in government. It's about time progressives got real and played them at their own game. No time like the present given that the right would currently fragment between Tories and UKIP.
Fraser Devlin
David Parker

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 #28 
The Labour Party should be giving a clear lead and signalling to potential allies that its prime consideration is to prevent the return of a Tory government. It should not be standing against Caroline Lucas and should consider desisting in a couple of other constituencies where the Greens have a chance in return for reciprocal gestures in constituencies where the Greens might deprive Labour of success. It should be talking to the SNP in order to elaborate  common ground.  Pie in the Sky ? Given the lack of boldness and strategic thinking  bythe Labour leadership, probably. But given the current fragmentation of political support what else can work ?
Unregistered
 #29 
I do agree that tactical voting is a mistake.
My wife and I have always, up until now, been labour supporters, we have never had a Labour MP in our constituency but we thought that if we Voted Lib Dem, as we did in the last election, we may get an MP that would be more useful to our needs, mistake, we voted Lib Dem and got a Tory Government.
We have made the decision that we are not going to vote in the next parliamentary election, it seems all the main parties are the same.
We, for sure, won't vote for our local labour candidate, he is an out and out, scrounger, we have had help from, our, current, tory councillor and he was most helpful.
The whole voting system is useless and doesn't represent the population, as a whole.
We need to be afraid of UKIP, they are Tories on speed!

Michael
Curlew

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 #30 
Surely tactics must be decided separately for each constituency?
Most of us are in 'safe seats' where we can definitely vote with our principles. But in marginals my view is that it is foolish to vote in a way that benefits my least preferred option.
Unregistered
 #31 
If we always vote tactically for the "least worst" option, then we will always end up with bad options.  However, clearly another five years of Tory government (or Tories plus allies) is to be avoided at almost any cost. 

So, in a Tory/anyone marginal I think it remains the case that we have to vote tactically for the anti-Tory candidate (even, and it pains me to say it, if they are a Libdem). 
However, two other mainland parties (UKIP and Libdems) are likely to prop up a Tory-led coalition, so voting tactically against these may well also be justified (even if opportunities to vote tactically against UKIP are limited).
In other seats I think we can and should vote with our conscience - I find myself in a probably Labour/SNP marginal seat, and don't have a strong preference between them, so feel happy to vote Green; other friends take different views on this, which seems reasonable, and I think it is a waste Compass losing sleep over seats like this.  I have friends in safe seats of various colours, and they too can probably vote for who they wish with a clean conscience.

So far so good, and not unlike previous tactical voting experience.  The challenge is I think working out the correct tactical vote in some constituencies in what will be a very unpredictable election - I think we will see several odd vote splits, and several 3 (or even 4) way marginals.  A discussion about this at constituency level - potentially taking into account the personal record of candidates - would be the most useful contribution compass could make in my view. 
Unregistered
 #32 
If I were in a marginal where Labour stood a good chance I would probably vote for them, not that there is enough difference between them and the tories, but there is some difference, and the tories must be kept out at all costs. They are systematically demolishing society, and their vandalism has to be stopped.

However, as I live in a fairly safe tory seat I shall vote Green, hoping the Green surge materialises. I am, after all, a member of the Green party, which is the only left of centre party we have in England.
Unregistered
 #33 
I have voted tactically in the past to try to keep the Tories out but with limited success.  Disregarding tactics my vote would go to the Green Party as it did in the European elections.  We do not have a Green candidate here but do have a fairly green and excellent Lib Dem MP.  Labour is not in the running so a Lib Dem vote it will be to keep the Tory out with a high chance of success.  Politics have not been so fluid for a very long time so it is difficult to decide what to do and this will vary from constituency to constituency.  We must avoid another Tory led government but who knows what sort of coalition may get cooked up after the election!
Unregistered
 #34 
It's so easy to criticise the Lib Dems but I suggest history will be kinder. Yes there have been some awful decisions but they're the minor party in a coalition. I wonder what would have happened if they hadn't done a deal (and labour would never have done one with them). The outcome would have been a minority Tory govt and a second election within 12 months which the Tories would win and give themselves 5 years to go at it including gerrymandering the parliamentary constituencies.
All parties are coalitions anyway. It's history, tradition and inertia that has stooped the big 2 1/2 fragmenting so far.
So yes vote to minimise the Tory numbers. Don't be afraid to say there are some lib dem and green policies you wish the Labour Party would adopt and finish the job of splitting the Tories .
Unregistered
 #35 
I am in a safe tory seat - a recent poll showed the Green vote increasing.  I have always voted Labour but would vote Green if they stood a chance of ousting the Tory.  At the same time, I will help in my nearest marginal seat to achieve a Labour win.
Unregistered
 #36 
I always vote out of principles and have never liked the idea of tactical voting. If you don't vote for what you believe in, how do ever expect to get what you want? Voting simply to stop another party from getting into power is too negative. I'm not naive or idealistic, but principled voting has to be the most important thing in an election, even if principles can differ greatly.

Luke.
Unregistered
 #37 
Because of where I live, the current voting system means my vote will never count for anything at a general election. As someone who made the mistake of voting Lib Dem as they seemed the most left wing of the major parties before the last election, I am very wary of voting tactically again. As with many contributors I would dearly love to vote Labour but as only the Green Party promote the socialist beliefs I have & they will never go into coalition with the Tories, it does appear I will be voting if not tactically then for my second choice option.
Unregistered
 #38 
My biggest fear is having another Tory government or making UKIP a more viable party in future politics. I would dearly love to vote Green but think I may vote for Labour as a tactical move.
geoffnaylor

Junior Member
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 #39 
I've decided that no matter what, this year I will vote according to my principles.

One thing I should add though, is that I believe it is not in the public interest for any policy to be enacted by a coalition government that was NOT in one of the coalition partner's election manifestos.

Geoff
geoffnaylor

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 #40 
We may vote according to our principles but will the elected government be true to the principle of: If it is not in a manifesto, it doesn't get enacted.

Geoff
steveinaber

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 #41 
Splitters!
Anyone remember Monty Python's 'People's Republic of Judea'?
Some of the conversation sounds a little reminiscent of that.
Voting for Greens in a Lab/Con race is akin to the few people that still vote Communist, all very principled, but a bit pointless.
After every Election they go back to their local meetings, complain about the right-wing Government (or the Romans) content that they are right and doing the right thing.
Does that sound like Compass? 
If you want change make change, vote, take action, don't just complain. 
This Election presents a very clear divide for a future with some hope for the disadvantaged, the young and those that rely on public services - don't be comfortable with your middle-class principles, help those that desperately need things to change - vote for anyone that will keep the Tories (and even UKIP) away from power.
London Strategic Voter

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 #42 
I am a Green party member in a Lab/Tory marginal seat currently with a very slim Labour majority.  I want to vote Green and am unenthused by Labour, but I really do not want let the Tory in.  I would love to pair with a Labour party member in a Green target seat (or ideally a Labour party member living in Brighton Pavilion) so that we both get value from our votes in spite of our crap electoral system. 

I agree with the idea floated on the other thread suggesting that Compass sponsor a pairing website to help organise this kind of thing.  It would be an interesting exercise to see if Labour people are prepared to offer something to their natural allies.
Unregistered
 #43 
I live in David Cameron's constituency, and though I'm bitterly disillusioned with the Labour Party, our local candidate is excellent: principled, painstaking, and persuasive. I can vote for him with a good conscience, even though I know it won't make a difference to the result. Voting tactically or spoiling my ballot paper would leave me feeling I'd somehow betrayed my beliefs, which is why I'm ambivalent about a change to proportional representation, as it can often lead to "lowest common denominator" decision-making. What I think we need is to devolve power and involve everyone in decision-making via a "people's jury" system in which juries are chosen by computer to be a representative sample of the community, and are given the right, and the information, to decide on strategic policy. The jury panels could include a minority of elected politicians chosen by their parties but the whole jury's approval would be required before action could be taken.
Peter Buckman
birdman

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 #44 
I live in a rock-solid Tory constituency - my MP is David Cameron. So it will make no difference how I vote. Last time I voted Lib Dem, as I had for years, but never again. So I am thinking of voting Green rather than Labour to increase their support and support in general for more left wing policies. it won't make a difference but it might in a tiny way help to send a message.
Unregistered
 #45 
All this talk about 'tactical voting' is ONLY necessary 'cos we have an utterly discredited voting system, First Past the Post, with most MPs in 'safe seats' eg Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkin, just one of numerous problems.

Labour is just as guilty as the Tories of ensuring that FPTP has continued for years, No, for decades after it became clear that it was a Busted Flush. Even during the referendum on the poor old Alternative Vote in 2011, an improvement on FPTP but not radical, Labour sat on its hands, while Cameron and the Tories reverted to type and knifed Nick Clegg in the back. So much for Labour's Dead as a Doornail claim to be a Socialist, or even a 'progressive' party. Ha. Ha.

Compass supporters must now DEMAND that we get a more proportional system.

Chris/cabby
Unregistered
 #46 
Both Labour and the Lib Dems behaved irresponsibly in 2010. The latter should have said something like "in a coalition we won't support any policies that are contrary to our principles unless we feel that they have majority support within the country". Labour should have said something like "we recognise that the Tories have much more bargaining power in terms of forming a coalition with you, so we're prepared to sign up to your manifesto in toto as a starting point for coalition negotiations as a means of keeping them out".

However, that's in the past and we must now think of the future. If the Lib Dems have the balance of power after the next election, they will surely be under immense pressure to give Labour a chance -- otherwise they will be seen as "Tories lite" and lose for evermore their left leaning supporters.

So I would urge people living in relevant constituencies to have no hesitation about voting Lib Dem if this is the best way of keeping the Tories out.

Meanwhile, with our political coverage dominated by personalities, and given that Labour has failed to find a leader which can inspire the country, I would nevertheless urge Green/Socialist supporters living in relevant constituencies to vote Labour or Lib Dem as the best attainable option. When we have a Labour or Lab/Lib Dem government then's the time to make it clear to them that we actually aspire to something better.

As far as I'm concerned, tactical voting is common sense.

 Simon Norton
Unregistered
 #47 
I live in Brighton Pavilion where Caroline Lucas is our brilliant MP. 5 years ago Labour here argued strongly we should not vote Green cos we risked splitting the progressive vote and letting the Tories in. Many people here decided to ignore this and to go with their principles, and to work really hard to get Caroline elected. We did it with a small majority. Now it's happening again. Labour are fighting to take back the seat from Caroline, even although she votes with Labour on so many progressive issues. I am sickened by the negative campaigning against her.

There is a Green Surge happening and we have a real chance of having more truly left voices in parliament if more Greens get elected. I urge you to follow your principles and not just vote but go out and campaign for a party that is committed to what Compass believes in.
Bluesky

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 #48 
It is a huge mistake to think that voting Green is the only way to go with your principles. At the risk of focusing too much on Brighton, I am another Brighton Pavilion resident and I also voted for Caroline Lucas last time because I had become disillusioned with Labour, having been a Labour supporter all my life until then. I (and many others I know) have really struggled to think through the right thing to do at this election.

In the meantime, we have had a Green-led council in Brighton. Their appalling record locally demonstrates just what the Greens are like in power and that voting Green is very far from getting any truly left voices in any sort of government. Very very few Brighton residents will be voting for them again for the council.

And the Labour Party has changed significantly in the meantime. Ed Miliband is genuinely left wing and has taken on some extremely powerful vested interests over the past year - Murdock, energy companies, etc. He has paid for taking these positions by having his every move vilified by the media. I have seen no negative campaigning against Caroline Lucas (indeed the media has been nothing but fawning) but I have seen enormous negative campaigning against Ed Miliband and the Labour Party.

My principles are that the Labour Party is the closest thing to a socialist party in this country; it should be in government and I will do whatever I can to support that. Caroline Lucas may have voted with Labour sometimes in the past but there is absolutely no guarantee that she will do so again. The Greens are a separate political party opposing Labour and fighting the Labour candidate here in Brighton. How is that helping to get rid of the truly dreadful Tory-led government we now have?

Caroline Lucas has said that she doesn't want to see this Coalition Government continue but that would be a reasonable price to pay if that encouraged a change in the voting system to PR (i.e. to allow the Greens more power).  That would condemn the people of this country to five more years of the most right wing Government for a very very long time. The poorest and most vulnerable would suffer most. The NHS, the welfare system and so many other public and cultural institutions would be destroyed. My principles say that is actually not a reasonable price to pay.

I would love to have seen an arrangement in Brighton Pavilion where a single candidate was agreed between Caroline Lucas and Labour for this constituency. Indeed I suggested it. But that was never going to happen. The Greens want power in exactly the same way as any other political party. They are no more idealistic, principle or value-led than any other political party. So I plan to vote for the party who I see as closest to my own (and I think the Compass) principles, which means voting Labour. That is a tactical vote to get the government I would like to see.
Unregistered
 #49 
What we need is some form of PR.  At the moment, in my constituency my vote cannot make a ha'porth of difference.  I am effectively disenfranchised.
Alan Mitchell
 #50 
In a first past the post system we have to use tactical voting in order to get a progressive outcome. Be that in Brighton, Ipswich, South Thanet or anywhere else. In 2015 we absolutely must, even if it means voting Lib Dem to defeat a Tory...
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