By Sue Hackman
Tactical voting is one of the main reasons why Labour’s vote in Guildford does not reflect our popularity. People think that if they vote for the Lib Dems they will ‘Keep the Tories Out’. Here are the reasons why we think this is the wrong approach.
Firstly, we believe that you should vote for what you believe in. It’s all too easy to vote against something or someone but it demands thought and courage to vote for what you are for. The Lib Dems in power are pale Tories. You only have to look at their performance in coalition to see how badly they behave: they broke their promise to end university tuition fees, they voted for austerity and supported policies that they are embarrassed of now. But that is how it always goes with any party whose only explicit philosophy is to occupy a middle ground. When supporting an extreme right-wing government, this so-called middle ground simply moves to the right.
Secondly, you don’t have to ‘Keep the Tories Out’ in Guildford’s local elections: they are already OUT. Look at Bellfields. Look at Friary. Look at Park Barn. Look at Woodbridge. The Tories are nowhere in these places. There really is no need to vote tactically to ‘Keep the Tories Out’ when they are out!. We are almost there in a number of wards and only tactical voting is keeping Labour from winning.
Thirdly, only Labour can challenge the ruling party – the Tories – at a national level. Our 200 MPs far outrank the 14 Lib Dems. Labour is the government in waiting. We are on course to win the next general election.
Fourthly, your local Labour candidates are meshed in to the policy of the Labour Party and have contacts at every level. The Labour Party is enthusiastic about local government and will direct much more funding to councils whilst the Tories are busy reducing it. Both the current Tory leadership candidates seem obsessed with smaller government even as services collapse around us. Guildford needs us to elect local Labour councillors who have a direct line into national policy and a voice in national politics.
Finally, all our candidates are professional people who have lived, worked or studied here for many years. We come from all parts of Guildford, all classes, all races, genders and ages. We are serious leaders and managers, and we want to serve. We can do it better if you give us that chance.
If you support Labour, vote Labour.