Vote according to belief or tactically?

Posted on: 9th February 2015

Vote according to belief or tactically will be a question in the minds of some voters. Perhaps the supplimentary question is what would achieve the best outcome? Interestingly, if we had changed our voting system to one of proportional representation the answer to this question would be simple – ‘belief’, every time.

As we are stuck with a ‘first past the post’ system unless you consider the possible outcomes for the one and only seat your vote can really influence, instead of getting what you ‘believe’ in you risk getting what you dread! Look at the history of the St Ives Parliamentary seat. It was safe Conservative until 1997 when Andrew George took it for the Liberal Democrats. Since then, the Conservatives have striven to take it back and closed the gap last time. Whilst the Political landscape might appear very different now, when you boil it all down, consider all the polls and predictions, on May 8 people will likely wake up to a Liberal Democrat or a Conservative M.P. here. If you vote according to your ‘belief’ and don’t mind which of those 2 end up being your M.P then that is fine. However, if one of those worries you then you are better off voting tactically to try to help the best option be the ‘first past the post’.

So, if still pondering whether to vote according to ‘belief’ or tactically then here is how things locally might contribute to what unfolds Nationally. If the Conservatives take this seat back then it will be one more seat towards them achieving their goal of a majority Government to rule without the influence of another party. If the seat stays with Andrew George then the Liberal Democrats are one seat closer to holding the balance of power in the next Government. Liberal Democrats will strive to make Labour stronger on the economy or steer Conservatives towards a fairer society. One thing I am certain about, Andrew will stand up for the ordinary people of Cornwall and will support powers being devolved from London to Cornwall.

This blog is based on a letter I sent to the Cornishman but it was not printed.