If we vote smart, we can kick this government out.
We’ve had almost a decade of Tory rule, and it’s clear this isn’t working. After years of austerity, where cuts to benefits and public services have lead to families living in poverty, the Tory party thinks it can erase our memories by shouting “Get Brexit Done”.
And of course, Brexit will only compound the effects of austerity on the most vulnerable in our society, and the policies proposed by the Tories will do almost nothing to mitigate them. But in seats across the country, difficult voting choices will have to be made.
Throughout this campaign, Johnson has proposed different ways of taking the UK forward. But in doing so, he criticises what the Conservative party has done while in power for the last 9 years. In many cases, his proposals won’t even fully repair the damage that they themselves have caused.
20,000 more police on the street? Give me a break. Conservative cuts to public services such as law enforcement have reduced the number of police officers by 21,000. This is basic maths – though perhaps they’re hoping the cuts they’ve made to education will mean fewer people can do it.
But unfortunately for the Tories, we can do the maths – especially when it comes to working out how we can kick them out of power.
My hometown, Cheltenham, is a key marginal seat between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, who have 46.7% and 42.2% of the vote, respectively. Labour has never won it. For the last decade the party has fallen behind at third place with less than 10%. It hardly needs saying, but just to be clear: a vote for Labour in Cheltenham is a vote for the Conservatives. It’s not an easy thing to hear, but we have to be honest with ourselves and with each other.
If my generation isn’t going to repeat the mistakes of the past, then we need to be smarter. That’s why For our Future’s Sake (FFS), the progressive youth campaign that I’m an activist for, is encouraging young people to vote tactically in key marginal constituencies where the votes of young people could make all the difference in the world. If you want to get involved, have a look at their website and follow them on Twitter.
There are two groups who want to kick the Tories out of power: those who want a Final Say Referendum, and Labour supporters. If you belong to either (or both!) of those groups, then you have a responsibility to vote tactically. Some parties, such as the Liberal Democrats, Green Party and Plaid Cymru, are making pacts with each other, where one may choose not to stand in areas where another party with similar views has a stronger chance of winning or retaining a seat.
This is the only way that we prevent another five years of Tory rule. Boris Johnson is too much of a coward to face up to scrutiny, so he would like us to elect a parliament which will not subject him to it. Voting tactically gives us the best chance of holding him to account. Admittedly, for Labour supporters, voting for the Liberal Democrats is unpleasant. Everyone wants to vote for a party they believe in – but the reality is that compromise is needed in order to make progress.
Those of a pro-European persuasion may find it difficult to vote for Labour, given how long the party had prevaricated on Brexit. But Labour’s Brexit position is (finally) perfectly clear, and anyone who claims otherwise is being deliberately obtuse. They will negotiate a deal with the EU and then put it to the people in the form of a confirmatory referendum.
Now that Labour finally support a Final Say, Corbyn’s personal stance on Brexit doesn’t matter. Whether we leave or remain in the European Union is for the people to decide.
With both beliefs that people deserve a final say on Brexit, and that another five years of Tory rule would be catastrophic, Lib Dem supporters who live in a Tory/Labour marginal seat should lend their vote to Labour if they want to stop the Tories.
The same goes for Labour supporters in Tory/Lib Dem marginals such as Cheltenham – in these circumstances, a vote for the Lib Dems is the only way of preventing a Tory candidate from taking the seat.
Just think about the amount of pain and suffering that has been inflicted on this country over the past nine years. Think of what another five years would do to us. And imagine how you will feel on December 13th if you wake up to a Tory majority.
The Conservatives have been using the slogan ‘Britain Deserves Better’ throughout this campaign – and you know what? For once I agree with them. To prevent them from taking the stage yet again, vote tactically on December 12th.
Nina White is a student at Cardiff uni and activist for For our Future’s Sake (FFS).
Here are FFS’ target seats for tactical voting:
|Richmond Park||Sarah Olney|
|St Albans||Daisy Cooper|
|Portsmouth South||Stephen Morgan|
|Southampton Itchen||Simon Letts|
|Birmingham Edgbaston||Preet Gill|
|Newport West||Ruth Jones|
|Chipping Barnet||Emma Whysall|
|Truro and Falmouth||Jennifer Forbes|
|Belfast South||Claire Hanna|
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