Lib Dems Smash Tories in By-Election - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15177324
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-57472032

Perhaps early days to read much into this given there are internal factors like HS2 in play within Chesham, but for the votes to goto the Lib Dems and not Labour means there seems to be a strong Brexit bias still in parish England, particularly in Cornwall, Oxfordshire and now Buckinghamshire. And given the Tories had a strong local election campaign only last month, it would be difficult to argue that their demise is near due to Brexit. But Starmer has still not spelt out what he expects for Labour let alone how to unite the party and his popularity figures still seem on a downward spiral. And people do know what the Lib Dems stand for although perhaps they need a better leader. So should we have an economic downturn given we have yet to see the impact of Brexit or our Covid response, could the Lib Dems come out of the ashes as the party of protest? Perhaps that is wishful thinking. But what you cannot deny given this election is that if the conditions are right they can overturn a HUGE swing and should Labour regain the Northern Red Wall whilst the Lib Dems take parish England along with the marginal constituencies in three years time, a coalition shouldn't be ruled out just yet.
#15177383
In leafy, affluent constituencies that traditionally vote Tory, Lib Dem is the only real option for them if they want to protest. Most would rather stick pins in their eyes than vote Labour, but if they want to send a message to the Conservatives then the classic by-election Lib Dem protest vote is their preference.

As it happens, I was a Young Liberal in 1986, when we won the Ryedale constituency off the Tories in a by-election and since I lived in Ryedale and was active in the party, I helped on the campaign trail. Of course, the Tories won it back again in 1987 and have held it ever since. I dare say the same will happen in Chesham and Amersham.

Many pundits are suggesting that here was a lib/lab/green voting block similar to the ABC campaign in Canada and for so long as we are hamstrung by our 'winner takes all' FPTP electoral system, perhaps that is the only way anyone will ever dethrone the Tories?
#15177385
Cartertonian wrote:In leafy, affluent constituencies that traditionally vote Tory, Lib Dem is the only real option for them if they want to protest. Most would rather stick pins in their eyes than vote Labour, but if they want to send a message to the Conservatives then the classic by-election Lib Dem protest vote is their preference.


Perhaps. Protest vote is an unusual term given it is usually an act to oust out an MP who actively aligns with a policy the electorate is against - which is kind of the whole point of our electoral system of representation rather than a protest per se. This reminds me alot of Richmond a few years back when the same issues were in play and it never returned back to Tories, so doesn't seem likely to happen here either. My only hope is like how the SNP was a protest vote only a decade ago, when people actually saw what they actually did for Scotland, people voted for them even if they were unionist given they voiced their opinion in Westminster - which the Lib Dems would need to mimic. So the same strategy can apply for the Lib Dems given once they gain a seat, they don't lose it easily... unless they are in coalition of course. Having said that it is unlikely the Tories will lose the next election given the internal Labour problems we have and due to the Lib Dems having little power. However if the Lib Dems can take ground in "Leafy constituencies", especially in remain heartlands, and Labour can actually regain the north by returning to traditional Labour policies, then I can see a path for a coalition next election, especially as the Tories have a large number of marginal seats. So both parties should consider working together if they want rid of Johnson I would say.

As it happens, I was a Young Liberal in 1986, when we won the Ryedale constituency off the Tories in a by-election and since I lived in Ryedale and was active in the party, I helped on the campaign trail. Of course, the Tories won it back again in 1987 and have held it ever since. I dare say the same will happen in Chesham and Amersham.


I don't think they will. HS2 is a big issue there. I would say this is now a Lib Dem safe seat. Because one thing you can say that is an advantage for the Lib Dems over both the Tories and Labour, is the party isn't full of career politicians but moderate people who want to make real change for the UK. The party is very much like the SNP in that sense and if you look at their policies, they seem very similar to them here as well - except on the main point of independence of course. There is a reason the Lib Dems do well in the Highlands and Island constituencies for example. In fact, I would say had the Lib Dems not have gone into coalition with the Tories, they would have actually won an election by now. They cannot shake off that betrayal on a national level but over time they might be forgiven.

Many pundits are suggesting that here was a lib/lab/green voting block similar to the ABC campaign in Canada and for so long as we are hamstrung by our 'winner takes all' FPTP electoral system, perhaps that is the only way anyone will ever dethrone the Tories?


YES! INDEED!

Firstly, the last election was won by remain. I know you are aware of this but lurkers and some users seem ignorant on this. The Lib Dems also did well in the European elections - enough to suggest they could have formed a coalition government if they continued their momentum. So the last election was won by Johnson due to two major fuck ups by Swinson. One, agreeing to an election when she was on the rise as doing so was seen as a betrayal by the Remainers. The second, attacking Corbyn who attacked her austerity record. As Remain attacked each other, the Tories stood by and watched. The result, Remain split their own vote. Scotland learnt from that by uniting in their parliamentary election last month so we can see the impact of unity in election if parties work together. If the Lib Dems and Labour want to win the next election they would need to work together very much like this next election. There is absolutely no point fighting for seats you cannot win in marginal constituencies. And the quicker Remain parties understand this the better our nation will be. :hmm:
#15177574
B0ycey wrote:As Remain attacked each other, the Tories stood by and watched. The result, Remain split their own vote. Scotland learnt from that by uniting in their parliamentary election last month so we can see the impact of unity in election if parties work together. If the Lib Dems and Labour want to win the next election they would need to work together very much like this next election.

A question: How does working together benefit parties in a multi-party system like the UK?
What sort of specific cases would there be where not "working together" would have been detrimental?

One can easily see how this might be the case if there is only one official who can get elected in an election, but was that the case in the UK?
Even on legislation, it's hard to see any areas to the left of the Tories that the Lib Dems would support that Labour would not also support. In other words, what have Lib Dems to gain from this special cooperation with Labour?
#15177593
Puffer Fish wrote:A question: How does working together benefit parties in a multi-party system like the UK?
What sort of specific cases would there be where not "working together" would have been detrimental?


Because there is NOTHING in the pollings in regards of voting intentions that suggest that the Tories won't win the next election due to FPTP, regardless of this vote in Chesham. However what they do say is they don't hold a majority in terms of votes overall. Which means that the only realistic chance for parties to win with a shared interest is to reduce the parties on the ballot as those parties will then get more votes overall from the other parties voters which haven't run.

Labour under Starmer are trying to achieve what the Tories already have and unlikely to lose now. The moderate Blairite of middle class upbringing with a leaning towards Brexit. And as such they are trying to please the entire electorate (left-right, remain-leave, young-old, rich-poor),but ultimately they are pleasing no one and as such retain only people who hate the Tories every election. I see no other future for Labour than to return to more traditional policies. Not that they can win election by doing so (yet!) - although more Socialist policies appeal more to the youth vote and as such they would be more electable in the future I might add. Which means in the intermediate term they can only realistically form a coalition if they want to lead Westminster in the next election I would say and that would require cooperation during voting in terms of names on the ballot given anything else splits the vote.

One can easily see how this might be the case if there is only one official who can get elected in an election, but was that the case in the UK?
Even on legislation, it's hard to see any areas to the left of the Tories that the Lib Dems would support that Labour would not also support. In other words, what have Lib Dems to gain from this special cooperation with Labour?


To say the country is split is an understatement. The Lib Dems have absolutely no fucking chance getting a single seat in Leave constituencies. They also don't realistically have a chance in the industrial North. Those are Labour seats - and before the red wall was smashed due to Brexit, were strong Labour seats as well I might add. Where the Lib Dems are strong are in areas Labour are weak. Southern suburbs, garden towns, metropolitan areas, rural areas, Scotland Highlands etc. Both parties happen to be strong in specific areas of the country where the other is weak. Also primarily they are only fighting for marginal areas against the Tories and not against each other I might add. That being the case they may as well not fight every seat but the seats they can win anyway and that is what the Lib Dems may gain by a 'special relationship'. Getting more votes off labour given Labour would have to give up putting a candidate for a seat in marginal constituencies that the Lib Dems are fighting for against the Tories and as such they will have more seats in Westminster. You have to understand FPTP in order to benefit from it.
#15177594
B0ycey wrote:reduce the parties on the ballot

Shall we elect a true Blue Tory, an 'ever so relaxed' Red Tory, or an Orange book Yellow Tory?

Decisions. Decisions...


:lol:
#15177600
Puffer Fish wrote:A question: How does working together benefit parties in a multi-party system like the UK?
What sort of specific cases would there be where not "working together" would have been detrimental?

The UK only gives the appearance of being a multi-party democracy, insofar as multiple parties are permitted, but functionally it is a two-party state propped up by the FPTP voting system. The last time the Tories actually won a numerical majority of the votes was in 1931. In every election since it has been the party with the largest MINORITY of support that has been able to form a government.

So for all the other parties, if they want to unseat the Tories then working together is the only way because if they each campaign as if they alone could form a government, they will split the MAJORITY non-Tory vote.
#15177607
Cartertonian wrote:The UK only gives the appearance of being a multi-party democracy, insofar as multiple parties are permitted, but functionally it is a two-party state propped up by the FPTP voting system. The last time the Tories actually won a numerical majority of the votes was in 1931. In every election since it has been the party with the largest MINORITY of support that has been able to form a government.

So for all the other parties, if they want to unseat the Tories then working together is the only way because if they each campaign as if they alone could form a government, they will split the MAJORITY non-Tory vote.


Why do they continue with the pro Tory government if the majority of the voters dislike that party? Got to get more people involved. It seems to me that the British public is kind of apathetic.
#15177613
Puffer Fish wrote:A question: How does working together benefit parties in a multi-party system like the UK?
What sort of specific cases would there be where not "working together" would have been detrimental?

You often end up with seats where the non-Tory vote is split two or even three ways - typically between Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens - and if people threw their support behind the best-positioned of those three they could theoretically win a lot more seats and form a coalition.

For example, imagine that you have a seat where polling breaks down as 35% conservative, 28% Labour, 15% Lib Dem and 10% Green, plus some minor parties. If Lab/Lib/Green formed an electoral pact, the Lib and Green candidates would stand down in this constituency and campaign for the Labour candidate, theoretically giving them a very handy lead over the Tory.

Something like this happened in the 80s with the SDP/Liberal Alliance (which ultimately became the Liberal Democrats) and it briefly looked like it might pay off - although it never materialised in reality and the Tories won a series of landslides. Lol.

Of course, it's much easier said than done. At literally every election the Guardian and other "nice liberal" papers produce these tactical voting guides, and nothing comes of it. Mostly because the only thing that actually unites Lab/Lib/Green voters is "not being Tories", and their other differences ultimately tend to outweigh that factor.

For example, in the rare case that you get a Lib Dem with any opinions on any topic whatsoever, they tend to be Orange Book free marketeers, rather than social democrats. They'll never admit it, but they are perfectly happy with Conservative governments.

Meanwhile, Green voters tend to care more about drum circles, kale smoothies and chakra crystals, than about protecting workers' rights. :excited:

Then, most Labour voters tend to believe Labour has a god given right to be the beneficiary of tactical voting from everyone else, so will refuse to vote Lib Dem, for instance, if they were the leading non-Tory party. A good example of this is Owen Jones, whose pleas for "tactical voting" in 2019 were basically "just vote Labour".

Basically, this idea of a big non-Tory electoral pact is a pipe dream. :lol:
#15178524
Heisenberg wrote:You often end up with seats where the non-Tory vote is split two or even three ways - typically between Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens - and if people threw their support behind the best-positioned of those three they could theoretically win a lot more seats and form a coalition.

For example, imagine that you have a seat where polling breaks down as 35% conservative, 28% Labour, 15% Lib Dem and 10% Green, plus some minor parties. If Lab/Lib/Green formed an electoral pact, the Lib and Green candidates would stand down in this constituency and campaign for the Labour candidate, theoretically giving them a very handy lead over the Tory.

Thank you for taking the effort to make a long post to answer the question, but I still don't think you've answered the question.
Maybe you missed the point.

The point is, if they're voting on legislation, it shouldn't really matter, should it?
They don't need to "cooperate" on voting for legislation, because if for example the Libs are going to vote for something the Tories don't like, of course the Greens are going to vote in favor of it. And likewise the Libs don't really have anything potentially to gain by voting for legislation pushed by the Greens that they would not otherwise have wanted to vote in favor of. The farther Left parties don't really have anything they can offer to the moderate Left.

Now, if they are voting for specific elected officials, of course it will, but I don't know of any specific examples of that.
#15178535
Puffer Fish wrote:Thank you for taking the effort to make a long post to answer the question, but I still don't think you've answered the question.
Maybe you missed the point.

The point is, if they're voting on legislation, it shouldn't really matter, should it?
They don't need to "cooperate" on voting for legislation, because if for example the Libs are going to vote for something the Tories don't like, of course the Greens are going to vote in favor of it. And likewise the Libs don't really have anything potentially to gain by voting for legislation pushed by the Greens that they would not otherwise have wanted to vote in favor of. The farther Left parties don't really have anything they can offer to the moderate Left.

Now, if they are voting for specific elected officials, of course it will, but I don't know of any specific examples of that.

The "tactical voting" issue always refers to voting for elected officials, rather than voting for legislation.

I agree that the Green/Lib/Lab grouping will often vote the same way in Parliament - but it won't ultimately matter if they have significantly fewer seats due to split votes among the left-leaning electorate. I hope that makes sense.
#15178791
Heisenberg wrote:The "tactical voting" issue always refers to voting for elected officials, rather than voting for legislation.

I agree that the Green/Lib/Lab grouping will often vote the same way in Parliament - but it won't ultimately matter if they have significantly fewer seats due to split votes among the left-leaning electorate. I hope that makes sense.

Yes, sort of. But that will only be the case in certain districts, yes?

Not saying they could always predict which districts these will be, but maybe the Green Party might tell their constituents to vote for Libs or Labor in certain situations in certain districts.
#15178825
Puffer Fish wrote:Yes, sort of. But that will only be the case in certain districts, yes?

Oh, yeah. There are plenty of constituencies where this doesn't apply at all, either because they're safe seats for one party or because they're traditionally a clearly defined two-way swing seat.

The discussion came up a lot in the years immediately after the Brexit referendum, because a lot of people who voted "Remain" believed that tactical voting could bring about an anti-Brexit majority in Parliament. That didn't quite work out, to put it mildly (mostly because they spent the intervening years relentlessly undermining Corbyn's Labour Party and banking on a mass exodus to the Liberal Democrats or "Change UK". Daft cunts :lol: )

Puffer Fish wrote:Not saying they could always predict which districts these will be, but maybe the Green Party might tell their constituents to vote for Libs or Labor in certain situations in certain districts.

Yeah, this is the logic of it. You occasionally see this at by-elections, but as far as I'm aware it has never succeeded at a general election, and likely never will.
#15178937
Heisenberg wrote:.



Thanks to you and the rest who have explained at great length some details of UK ground level politics that has been way out of my my familiar zone.And that FPTP, who designed it? It is a beauty. It acts almost like an amplifier. Hit the right notes, or should I say the right pluralities, or minimum necessary pluralities, then spread them as widely as possible, and there is more bang for one's buck at Westminster. BTW I think I would be a Tory if I were over there. Is UKIP still alive?

Oh, something crossed my mind. If I am reading things right, it appears tactical voting has been much more successful in France. Is it because of absence of FPTP? Madame le Pen can attest, bitterly if I may say, to the prevalence and constant resort to tactical voting at her expense. I find something sleezy about tactical voting. I take FPTP anytime
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