Over the past 18 months or so I have had many emails from People’s Vote. Yesterday’s was different. It invited me to ‘vote tactically’ by which, apparently, they meant Vote Lib Dem. I was shocked and angry in equal measure. Firstly, why exactly were People’s Vote advocating voting for a party which is not actually offering a People’s Vote? And secondly, why were People’s Vote buying into the Lib Dem myth that Guildford is some sort of Tory – LibDem marginal? It isn’t. Don’t be deceived by the ludicrous, untrue LibDem charts: at the last election the Conservatives were way out in front with Labour and the LibDems very close together. (See actual, honest chart of 2017 election results) Quite what People’s Vote are playing at becomes even more puzzling when you look at Woking. Woking is similar to Guildford, but Labour is in second place and the LibDems third. So what does People’s Vote recommend? Yes, vote Lib Dem. I wonder how often People’s Vote have recommended voting Labour? On this evidence People’s Vote come over as just Lib Dems in disguise. This is upsetting as should we get a Labour government and a second referendum, how will I be able to trust them again?
Tactical voting seems to be the early obsession in this election campaign, which is not unusual. I remember the 1984 SDP election where everyone went tactical vote crazy. Apart from the actual results of course. One of the problems with tactical voting is that it is essentially patronising. The Green Party have stood down ‘in favour of the Lib Dems’ but I suspect many Green voters will compare the Labour and Lib Dem policies and vote for a Green New Deal and a second referendum! Few people seem to have noticed that Guildford is becoming more like London and less like Surrey. Newcomers to the town are more often than not Labour people who understand the public sector, know what a proper public transport service looks like and are culturally liberal. If Labour voters hold their nerve and stick with the party they really want to support, with the Tory vote split and few neutrals really wanting to follow Jo Swinson’s undemocratic line, this could be Labour’s year.
Anyone, particularly a think tank in London, who tells you they know how people in Guildford are going to vote is simply lying. They haven’t a clue but they know there is an advantage in pretending they do. Don’t play along with the myth of tactical voting. Vote for a second referendum. Vote for a Green New Deal. Vote for real change in Guildford. Vote Labour. Vote Anne Rouse!