Following the call by Ed Balls, children’s minister, and Peter Hain, the Welsh secretary, for tactical voting the Guardian’s election blog reports that Gordon Brown appears to be lending his support to the idea.
He is now, says The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland, talking about the “anti-Conservative majority in this country”.
The blog also points out that there might be a problem with Brown’s analysis. If there’s an anti-Conservative majority in Britain, there’s also an anti-Labour one”.
True enough, but Liberal Democrats are a split party. Some would rather deal with the Tories (as they have done in Birmingham to run the city council) than Labour and would probably vote that way. I know how they feel. I’m pretty tribal when it comes to Labour and would usually be loathed to support the Lib Dems, but times change.
I don’t understand how Lib Dems can be “liberals” or “democrats” and support a Tory over a Labour candidate. The Labour Party is a progressive party. This is what the Lib Dems claim to be as well. The Tories are not a progressive party in any way shape or form.
“For Balls, defeating the Tories is the top priority. Given this, what is his advice to Lib Dem supporters in the 100 or so Tory-Labour marginals? ‘I urge Lib Dem voters to bite their lip and back us’. But what about Labour supporters in Tory-Lib Dem marginals? ‘I always want the Labour candidate to win, but I recognise there’s an issue in places like North Norfolk, where my family live, where Norman Lamb [the Lib Dem candidate and sitting MP] is fighting the Tories, who are in second place. And I want to keep the Tories out’.”
I hope others vote tactically this time around — it has to be better than a majority (or minority) Tory government. If you need any help the Daily Mirror has produced a tactical voting guide for Labour and Lib Dem supporter a like.