The 1997 Labour landslide was the first time I had ever heard the term “tactical voting”. It was, effectively, pre-internet. It was certainly pre-social media. I know that in the next election, tactical voting will be the third party in the room, and it will be driven online. This time around, tactical voting will wipe out the Conservative party and I can’t wait to be a part of it.
Even now, 23 per cent of voters say that they will use tactical voting to rid themselves of as many Tory MPs as possible—that’s 23 per cent of people willing to put their own first choice aside because they are so desperate to give this government the boot. No wonder the current polling is already so dire for the Tories. No wonder, as one news site reported this week, “the Tories are shitting themselves”. There seem to be endless versions of that word nowadays.
Let’s go back to early May. The weekend before the local elections, I came across a new tactical voting website called www.stopthetories.vote. All you had to do was punch in your postcode and the website did the rest. Depending on your ward, up popped recommendations for Lib Dems, Labour, Greens or for an occasional Independent. As someone who intensely juggles numbers in my head just to make myself smile (it always makes me smile), I contacted them to ask how many people had used the website so far. And this is where it got interesting.
On the Monday before the local elections, around 10,000 people had typed in their postcode. Then my followers and I started tweeting. Three days later, by the morning of the election day, half a million people had typed in their postcode. Boom.
I was proud to help the Conservatives lose 1,063 council seats in May, around a third of their initial total.
Stopthetories.vote is run by volunteers. I’m now one of them. We all want some form of proportional representation in order to reform our inadequate democracy which favours just two parties, and the bunch of uncaring charlatans who hold power right now.
Back at our little organisation, we have tens of thousands of volunteers and a system ready to go live. We have more voters signed up for our newsletters than almost all political parties have members.
Back to numbers. Let’s say that there are around 50m adults age 18 and older who are registered to vote. Twenty-three per cent have already said that they are prepared to vote tactically against the Tories. Twenty-three per cent of 50m (I’m keeping to rounded numbers here to give an overview) would give us 11-12m voters who will hold their nose and vote Labour, Lib Dem, Green, Plaid Cymru or SNP, even though they would rather not, if it will keep the Tories from gaining a single seat.
Right now, the general polls say that Labour is anywhere from 17 to 24 points ahead of the Conservatives, indicating a landslide to Labour. But still, if these polls are to be believed, the Tories could still have over 150 seats. Far too many.
We can do to the Tory party what it has done to this country, and utterly dismantle it. Marvellous
Much polling doesn’t take tactical voting into sufficient account. With this we can do to the Tory party what it has done to this country, and utterly dismantle it. Down to 70 MPs or fewer. Marvellous.
The evening of the general election will be the bonfire of their vanities.
The autumn statement was Rishi “seven bins” Sunak’s last attempt at wooing voters before the election. You know the Tory story. Let’s gaslight the voters some more and tell them these are the “biggest tax cuts since the 1980s” and if the Daily Mail says so, then they’ll believe it. Excuse me while I cough… a lot.
The old techniques of papers telling voters a lie, and them believing it, are mostly now gone. It’s over, boys (and girls). We’ve had enough of the “batshit” bullshit, to echo our home secretary’s verbiage. Everything Tories say now is considered dubious, except to the establishment minority. Look at the opinion polls.
In the past, all we had as news sources were the newspapers and mainstream broadcasters. Now, according to the latest Ofcom report, broadcast news remains king, while online news comes in second, and newspapers way down.
The Guardian leads newspaper brands online, with 16 per cent of adults saying it is their source of news. It’s a clear reminder that we no longer need to rely on the establishment newspapers anymore. It’s also markedly different in age groups. Most under forties get their news online. When you get down to the under twenty-fives, forget mainstream. I, for one, love it.
And if all of the above is known, why then do the endless “press reviews” on television show only the front pages of newspapers (please don’t say because the facts have been checked as they patently have not), but don’t include anything of what has been trending online?
I hope a canny TV news editor will soon start to include where we actually get our news from. Now that “news review” I would watch.