General

Why I’m Swapping My Green Vote with a Labour Supporter

By Tim Hardy

Unless you live in one of the very few seats where a Green victory is possible, the main reason offered for voting Green this election is that if you don’t vote for what you want, you’ll never get it. And I want more MPs like Caroline Lucas in Westminster. Caroline, of course, is likely to win her seat.

The main reason offered for not voting Green is that, in most of the rest of the country, the Greens do not stand a chance of winning. Votes cast for Greens, however, might make the difference between a Labour and a Conservative victory.

To vote Liberal Democrat unfortunately is to vote Conservative, so they’re off the table. This is a shame because no other major party pretends to care for civil liberties.

I’m going to feel no joy at a Labour victory but I am terrified at the prospect of a Conservative one.

Unlike party loyalists and last-minute converts to the church of Ed, I do not believe for a minute that Labour are more amenable to pressure from below than Conservatives or Liberal Democrats. The fight for a just society will not be made any easier with Labour ministers in the cabinet. The fight for electoral reform and for civil liberties will be every bit as difficult. Labour’s voting record in opposition, their authoritarianism and their dog whistle politics around immigration disgust me.

To vote for Labour repels me but to vote Green where I live is, in the immediate term, a waste.

The Conservatives are a dying force with an average party member age of 65 but, if you let them, they’ll scorch the earth before they go and entrench inequality for generations. The damage Cameron’s party will do if we give them another five years is immeasurable. Even an illiberal, austere Labour government will do less harm than a Conservative one over the coming five years.

If my goal is to maximise the chances of stopping Cameron from getting in and to boost the Greens nationally with the long-term aim of making them more viable, then the best strategic and tactical move is for me to swap my Green vote for another’s Labour vote. This is what I have done using voteswap. [Update: Swap My Vote offers more swapping options.]

These are my personal reasons based on my personal circumstances. Everyone should vote – or not vote – according to their conscience, their situation and their own line of reasoning.

I know it is the logical move for me even if it makes my heart heavy.

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