Voting Tactically in the General Election

Seren Livie

It seems that recently we have been inundated with elections, this being the third year in a row the British public will take part in a major vote. Many people will be weary of them by now, and many more will be wondering what is even the point of voting, with the Conservatives seemingly having a chokehold on current British politics. If this is something you are happy about, then great – it is a winning time to be a Tory at the moment. But if you are sick of the hard-Brexit approach the government is taking, as well as their crippling of public services like the NHS, seemingly without opposition, then it is time to consider tactical voting.

Chess piece, by KAJA AANONSEN <>

Tactical voting could also be known as “Anything But The Tories” because it is essentially an attempt to take as much power away from the Conservatives as possible. If you reside in a Conservative constituency then tactical voting will involve seeing which party came second in the previous election (unless it was UKIP, obviously) and rallying behind them. Unless you live in Scotland or Brighton, this is generally going to be either Labour or the Lib Dems.

If you are going to be here in Cornwall when the election is being held, it is worth noting that the Liberal Democrats have come second in the vote in the last two general elections, and was previously a Lib Dem seat until boundary changes in 2010. This makes them the most likely party to vote for in terms of tactical voting and take the seat from the Conservatives.

I know a lot of you will be despairing at the current leadership of these left-wing parties, but you cannot let that sway your vote. Come June, it is very likely the Tories will remain in power, and Theresa May will remain leader of this country. The idea of tactical voting is not to make Jeremy Corbyn or Tim Farron prime minister – it is about keeping the Tories on as low a majority as possible; or better yet put them in a hung Parliament position, so that they cannot simply make their policies without opposition and are forced to negotiate with other parties.

This will mean that the Conservatives will be able to dominate the Brexit proceedings without any scrutiny or compromise. By uniting and tactically voting to try and keep the Tories out of as many seats as possible, we stand a greater chance of more liberal dealings in the Brexit talks, which, let’s face it, is the main issue being fought over in this election.

If you want a hard Brexit, great, vote Conservative. But if you voted Remain, or even if you voted Leave and still want the possibility of access to the single market and freedom of movement, there is a much greater chance of doing this by tactically voting to try and keep the Tories out.