“Tactical” Voting on the Isle of Wight: Napalming Your Own Front Line

If anything has depressed me more than the sight of the Prime Minister -THE U.K.’S PRIME MINISTER-, unravelling in plain view, over this election, it has been the continuing triumph of stupidity over consideration that I have encountered when talking to people.

On the Island, apart from the gross lies about Jeremy Corbyn’s peacemaking efforts in the Northern Ireland conflict, the greatest expression of that stupidity and lack of effort that people put into this most important of decisions is the belief that they can be clever by voting ‘tactically’.

Let’s put aside the fact that tactical voting is a lie. If you really wanted to vote tactically to dislodge the Tories on the Isle of Wight, you would vote UKIP, but then you would probably go to hell, which is not a good deal. However, for reasons I will outline here, the Green Party has decided to put around the mathematically moronic argument that a vote for them would increase the likelihood of beating the Tories here, and a lot of people have just gone, “Oh, cool”, and not examined that spurious claim for the few milliseconds it would take to expose its absurdity.

The Green Party, thanks to a particular set of historic peculiarities, beat Labour by just over 400 votes in 2015, but, as Julian Critchley has said, they have made those 400 votes do a lot of heavy lifting over the last two years.

Anyway, the Greens think they can get a second place on the Island this time, and they are attempting to make inroads into the Labour vote, although I have seen little evidence of them being successful: I’ve met one confirmed Green voter and he was, I think, stoned. Do not be deceived by Green propaganda: they are attacking Labour: in Norwich, in Cambridge, in Bristol and a number of other Labour target seats, they are attempting to build their profile by riding the coattails of Labour candidates. For them, the Island, a Tory seat, is a fig leaf: their opportunistic attempt to say that they are taking on the Conservatives. Success for them does not mean winning the seat, but looking as though they are a real alternative, which they’re not. In the unlikely event that they maintain their fluke 2015 vote, they will simply embed even deeper the Tory domination of the Island.

The only chance we have of unseating the Tories on the Island, and in the wider U.K., is by concentrating the left-of-Tory vote. Tory voters are tribal. For them, the electoral map is a two party system. I’m not saying that is a good thing, but under our present system, it is the truth. One of the most striking peculiarities of this unusual election campaign is the extent to which the Tories’ vote is slipping: on social care, on animal rights, on young people’s issues, the Tories have scored massive own-goals and their voters are actually leaving them; something that hasn’t happened since 1997. It is extremely unlikely that Conservative voters will go to minority parties, particularly if that party is as extremist as the Green Party. With the collapse of the Lib-Dems, it is Labour that provides a safe and meaningful vote for issues-led, conscientious former Tory voters and for orphaned former Lib-Dems.

If you genuinely like what the Greens say and are voting Green as a matter of honest conscience, I’ve got no argument with you. However, to vote Green, thinking that you are somehow concentrating your electoral fire on the Tories, is just ignorant. It is the tactical equivalent of napalming your own front line. It is a vote for Theresa May.

If you want to get rid of the Tories, VOTE LABOUR.

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