Why tactical voting for Labour in Brentford and Isleworth will elect a Conservative MP

May 29, 2017 8:06 PM

And why we need to change to a system of Proportional Representation.

Brentford and Isleworth is cited as a key marginal seat based on the results of the 2015 election, in which Labour scraped in with a majority of 465 votes on the back of a meltdown in the Liberal Democrat vote in the last election.

In truth the prior election results in 2010 are a more realistic representation of the current mix of voter sentiment in the constituency. In that election, the Conservative MP was elected with 37% of the vote and the combined Labour and Liberal Democrats vote was 57% (33% and 24% of the vote respectively).

The combined vote share leads some towards the arguments for a progressive alliance based around the strong focus of Labour and Liberal Democrats on restoring the quality and effectiveness of core public services and tackling gross inequality.

The arguments for a progressive alliance/tactical voting are based on the assumption that the bulk of the Liberal Democrat vote would transfer to Labour. This assumption however discounts what actually happened in 2015, when the usual Liberal Democrat vote dispersed around 60:40 to Labour and the Conservatives, while at the same time the UKIP vote drew off a very significant percentage of the Conservative vote.

Much has changed in the past two years as we have seen what a hard-core Conservative government looks like without the moderating influence of Liberal Democrat ministers; and recoiled in horror as the Labour party has been infiltrated by entryists. The Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn is a very different beast from that of Ed Miliband, never mind that of Tony Blair/Gordon Brown.

Similarly, traditional Conservative voters in Chiswick, Osterley and other areas of the constituency have looked on in dismay as the Conservatives rush headlong for a disastrous Brexit that would cut us off from our major markets in Europe and push living standards back to a long gone age.

Our canvassing and doorstep feedback indicates that Liberal Democrats will attract both former Conservative and Labour voters in equal numbers. The hurdle we have to overcome is so called "tactical voting", where voters wishing to vote for the pragmatic, fully-costed and deliverable Liberal Democrat manifesto hold back for fear that voting Lib Dem may allow one of the other main parties to slip in.

With Theresa May's Conservatives having wrapped themselves in the UKIP flag, expectations are that many former UKIP voters will transfer their allegiance back to the Conservatives. These expectations are reflected in the betting odds for the constituency - http://www.chiswickw4.com/default.asp?section=info&link=http://neighbournet.com/server/common/polbandi2017bets.htm

There is no real prospect of a Labour win in the constituency and tactical voting for Labour or Conservative by some Liberal Democrat supporters will not change the outcome. The only alternative to a Conservative win is a candidate that can draw support equally from former Conservative and Labour voters.

That candidate is Joe Bourke, the Liberal Democrat. If you would rather not see a Conservative landslide that drives us headlong towards a Brexit disaster, Vote Joe Bourke, Liberal Democrat on June 8th.