Why People’s Vote (and other tactical voting orgs/sites) got so much wrong

Tactical voting, so much talked up amongst progressives before and during the 2019 GE campaign, was in the main a failure as it did not deliver what those running the the sites expected/wanted and all but promised.

I think the first failure was a lack of understanding of the mind set of voters. Yes at face value if say Labour were the best/2nd placed in a particular constituency then the third place Lib Dem voters could be asked to support the Labour candidate. But being asked is one thing, what the voters actually do is another. Some would follow the advice, others would not and they’d either stay with the Lib Dems, not vote or even vote for the Tory if Labour being elected was their worst nightmare. Also, particularly in the case in the 2019 GE, where the Labour candidate was not an obvious and well known EU Remain campaigner there would be a big issue for Greens and Lib Dems. Of course the other issue not being picked up, although I fail to see why, was that Labour was itself leaking votes to the Tories mainly because of electors dislike of Jeremy Corbyn.

There were clearly some seats, particularly where the Lib Dems had either come close or won them in the past where the 3rd place Libs were probably the best punt to topple the sitting Tory. I say this as some ‘soft’ Tories may well be persuaded to vote Lib Dem whereas they could not pushed to vote Labour.

Secondly, what was going on where the tactical voting recommendation was to support a known Labour, sometimes very well known, Brexiteer candidate. Progressives be they Green or Lib Dem were never going to back them. Those constituencies where at face value Labour were the best placed to take the seat from the Tories but the Labour candidate was a Brexiteer needed far more careful thought.

Thirdly, Labour’s intransigent and stubborn refusal to engage with the Remain Alliance parties, Lib Dem, Green and PC should have triggered alarm bells. Yes, Labour were shouting from the roof tops that other candidates should stand down to give them the best run at various seats but their response to Labour being asked to do the same thing to assist Lib Dem, Green or PC candidates was ‘NO’ every time.

My feeling some time before the election was announced was that People’s Vote were too concerned with pandering to a Labour Party who would not cooperate with anyone else instead of challenging their ‘our way or no way’ dogma.

My final thought is this, it’s all well and good crunching all kinds of polling data but without sensible feet on the ground the individual factors that affect how real people will actually vote in a constituency can’t be understood and indeed it was not understood. This to me was so obvious from those seats where those recommending tactical voting changed their minds about who to back part way through the GE campaign. When I first heard they may do this more alarm bells rang with me as to my mind if they did it those seats would all but be handed to the Tories on a plate because of the confusion it would cause. Of course they did it and my present understanding is that the effect was just as I had thought it would be i.e. the seats were all but handed straight to the Tories!

PS. In some seats where the Lib Dems were within touching distance of beating the Tories Labour canvassers were quite obviously and deliberately being sent out to tell voters that Labour was in fact the real challenger in that seat. The ploy was to get them to vote Labour so the seat could not be taken off the Tories by the Lib Dems!!!

Brexit and Sefton Central Labour Party

I hear that Formby Labour members voted for a 2nd Referendum recently. Not sure how comfortable or indeed uncomfortable that will make Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson.

I also understand that at a meeting in Aintree on 15th February that the Constituency Labour Party will be debating a similar motion.

I’ve been trying to find out what the MP’s views on Brexit are but 5 e-mails to his office have so far not brought back any answers.

I’m guessing that as the MP is a Shadow Minister in Corbyn’s team that he will be compelled to take his lead from his leader and we all know that Corbyn is a committed Brexiteer.

It will therefore be interesting to see what the CLP does. Does it follow the lead of its Formby members and call for a Peoples Vote thereby potentially putting its own MP in an embarrassing position or does it play it safe and back a Corbyn Brexit?

I imagine that such issues are live across the CLP’s throughout the UK with Labour being so split over Brexit. Having a Brexit leadership in the House of Commons but a membership which is vastly Remain by conviction must be a tough if not impossible square to circle.

When the Lib Dems started calling for a 2nd Referendum on the final deal, with an option to Remain, now quite some time ago, it then looked like the campaign would be just a Liberal one. How things change with many prominent Labour, Green and SNP members and MP’s joining what is now a genuine cross-party movement. Why even some prominent Tories are backing a Peoples Vote.

However, when the matter was recently debated on Sefton Council Labour & Tory councillors were firmly against backing a Peoples Vote/2nd Referendum. My posting from November 2018 refers:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/11/16/old-political-chums-band-together-on-sefton-council-to-block-peoples-vote-on-brexit/

Brexit is the biggest political issue of our times and it is tearing our two big political parties apart, so when push comes to shove which side of the fence will the Sefton Central Labour MP be on?

Brexit – What do Brexiteers really want? They really want different things

Yes, I know that they all want to leave the EU but frankly, that raises more questions than it answers. Look at this way:-

* Do they want to leave under any circumstances no matter what the consequences to the UK economy, their personal finances and even their own jobs? Well yes, some do and are well prepared for it to cost them money and even the jobs of themselves and their close family; it means that much to them. But how many who voted for Brexit support this ultra position?

* Or do they want Brexit and are prepared to take a bit of a hit to the UK economy and indeed their own circumstances (financial and job wise) to get it? Seems we are well past the stage where the damage to us all was just ‘a bit of a hit’ with the government putting Billions of Pounds into all kinds of Brexit issues that would otherwise be building hospitals etc. Has this group changed their minds now?

* Or do they want Brexit so long as it does not make them poorer or put them and their families and friends at risk job wise? This view will, I think, account for many who voted to leave the EU thinking that they would even become better off as would the economy, the NHS (remember the bus!) and public services in general. Of course, all those alleged advantages have been found to be without foundation. Has this group changed their mind?

If you are a well off Brexiteer you may well be in the first group, able and willing to weather the storm. If you have a little put by then maybe you are in the second group. If you are struggling or have no savings then you are likely to be in the last group. Yes I know these are generalisations but you get my drift.

And yes I accept that there will be a very small minority who voted Remain who may well now want to vote to Leave

I’ve come to these conclusions based on listening to what people who voted to leave the EU have said and its why I think we need a Peoples Vote. Too many folk are saying that what’s on offer is nothing like what was promised and they are as a consequence changing their position. Those wanting a hard line Brexit of any kind will seemingly accept any deal no matter what it consists of.

Are our MP’s listening? Many of them seem to be hidden behind their Brexit sofa not willing to express a view or indeed fearing to express a view. Both Tory and Labour MP’s will want to keep quiet because deselection will face them if they step out of line with their leadership.

The next few days will be telling because if those who were promoting Brexit had told the truth in the last referendum the reality is that there would not have been a majority to leave the EU.

May and Corbyn in a similar Brexit pickle

The recent bizarre twists and turns of UK politics, as far as the two largest parties are concerned, seem to have brought us to a situation where on the biggest issue of a generation (Brexit) each party leadership is at odds with its own members and supporters.

Firstly Reuters reports on a poll of Tory Party members who, by a significant majority, oppose Teresa May’s Brexit Deal:-

uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-conservatives/most-of-mays-conservative-party-members-oppose-her-brexit-deal-survey-idUKKCN1OY004

Secondly, Political Betting shows that by another significant margin Jeremy Corbyn is well out of step with his members and supporters:-

www2.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2019/01/02/new-polling-finds-just-28-of-ge2017-lab-voters-support-the-partys-stance-on-brexit/

Both leaderships plough on regardless hoping and praying that the loyalty of their members and supporters will pull them through. Both, of course, have their core vote which will back the party no matter what it stands for; such is party political tribalism. Labour also has the advantage, which The Tories don’t, of the cultish supporters of Corbyn who will back and defend him whatever. The Tories are far more ruthless and will stab their leader in the back without a care when they have outlived their usefulness.

So what’s going to give? The Tory leadership is now openly blackmailing Tory MP’s to support May’s Brexit Deal (which many of them hate with a passion) or face a no deal Brexit which they will carry the can for. Corbyn, on the other hand, can try to sit tight and hope that he can help push a Brexit deal through whilst blaming the Tories for it being a bad deal. Trouble is by a big margin his MP’s are Remainers, but Corbyn has them over the barrel of deselection if they defy him as many Labour constituency parties are in the hands of his Momentum entryists. That’s why of course we are seeing the vast majority of social democrat Labour MP’s keeping their heads down.

Where’s smart money being placed on the outcome? One plausible scenario looks like this – May’s deal will get through after a big fight and much manoeuvring of the deckchairs on HMS UK Titanic, possibly by enough Labour MP’s abstaining for it to scrape through. Jobs will be lost, investment in the UK will fall, the NHS will struggle to gain the desperately needed investment and the Tories will win the next election. We will be on our way to being a tax haven with very poor (yes even worse than today) public services and the manipulative rich and powerful will have won the day.

Of course, another scenario ends up with a Peoples Vote and we put a stop to all this isolationist nonsense which has gripped the UK for the past few years. We could even put the racists back in their box and return to being a caring country that is welcome across the world rather than being seen as a laughing stock.

Take your pick but I know where I want things to end up:-

Merseyside – The job losses of Brexit

Just what the Brexiteers ordered, or is it? – Job losses!

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/how-brexit-could-kill-thousands-15532708

So Teresa and her Brexit buddy Jez, the Brexit enabler, continue to drive the UK over the edge to fulfil their joint desire to force a Brexit upon us that the electorate no longer supports. No big benefits of leaving the EU (there never were any), plenty of job losses (are you listening no job loss Corbyn?) and all this misery just to help the Tory Party deal with its internal difficulties.

No wonder that folks on Merseyside are backing a Peoples Vote to put an end to this gross stupidity. And it’s time for more of our local MP’s to come out from behind their Brexit Sofas and make it clear that they will back a Peoples Vote.