Sunday, May 03, 2009

Seen the Independent?

Today's Independent - headline "Best way to beat BNP is to vote Green"

Read on here... includes lovely picture of Peter Cranie standing in the rain.


Joe Otten said...

Yeah they're reporting a claim.

I've been through this before on Liberal Conspiracy somewhere. But basically the polls don't back you up. It is a more effective anti-BNP vote to vote for another party to stay ahead of the BNP - even for 2nd, 3rd, etc on the list to stay ahead of the BNP - than to vote for the Greens to overtake them.

What you're suggesting is much like suggesting in a FPTP contest, that people should vote for the 5th placed Greens as an anti-BNP vote.

Jim Jay said...

The thing is for Labour's third seat each BNP vote weighs three times as much as each of Labour's - and the other two parties just aren't anywhere near getting a further seat in the NW (although we can't be certain what happens to the UKIP vote)

However we (the Greens) know we are in with a chance of getting enough votes to win a seat (if we weren't then obviously we wouldn't be a good anti-BNP vote) and because it's our first seat in the region the greens are the only party where each of our votes contests with the BNP on a one for one basis.

At the end of the day if the BNP get 20% no one is going to stop them getting seats - but this seems unlikely - what appears to be far more likely at the moment will be that they're (like us) fighting to get that last place on the list.

To a certain extent until the votes are in no one can know for sure - but me and D'hondt are like that (holds up two crossed fingers) and I think what we're saying really does hold water.

Peter Cranie said...

Thanks for putting up the link Jim.

With Respect Joe (pardoning the pun) - our combined vote in the NW in 2004 was 6.8%, ahead of the BNP, so this isn't a question of "overtaking" them, but more a case of staying in front.

As an anti-racism campaigner first and foremost, I'm the first to admit that the dynamic of this election would be far different up here if Saj Karim was still your number 2 candidate. He isn't and his defection has hurt your membership and ability to campaign.

I would be delighted if we get 9% and the Lib Dems get 18%. This would keep the BNP out if they poll less than 9%. I think that is going to be beyond your reach, and that holding onto the vote you got last time would be a major achievement.

It would perhaps be good if we could prove each other wrong, and both get the vote shares we are targeting.

weggis said...

If both the Labour and UKIP vote collapses and they absent themselves, as seems likely, the turnout goes down and the percentage of the vote for the other parties automatically goes up. In this case if the BNP and the Greens can hoist themselves up to around the 10% mark and above UKIP, they will both get a seat.

So says my spreadsheet. OMG I’m turning into an anorak.

Joe Otten said...

I take the point, Jim, about Labour's votes being worth a third as much, in a sense, and Peter, yes, if you are ahead, that changes the maths.

What I am really saying is that this sort of claim should be based on accurate poll data, rather than being, as it is, a cynical way for parties to get their own supporters to turn out.

And short of very good poll data, and probably even then, you should vote for the party you actually support. All this talking up of the BNP is likely to do more harm than any increased turnout or tactical effect does good.

Jim Jay said...

Well you shouldn't get me wrong - I believe in people voting for what they want in an intelligent way. Committed lib dems and labour members should vote for what they believe in of course - just as I believe that in the regions where greens wont be winning a seat this time I still think people should vote green...

In this specific case though there is a potential for Nick Griffin to get elected and the Greens are in a position to prevent that. I think one more or less lib dem or green mep happens to have less meaning than the BNP getting their first so I believe it's reasonable to give it special weight.

I'm sorry if that comes across cynically - Peter, myself and many other greens are committed anti-racist campaigners and so I'd like to reassure you that although we care how many seats the Greens get, we do genuinely care about denying the BNP a place too.

Joe Otten said...

Well, I think Labour are certainly doing this cynically to get their own, disillusioned, vote out, at the risk of talking up the BNP. Although it has to be said that this is also normal politics - threaten your supporters that some other party will get in, if you don't turn out.

Personally I think the BNP threat is overstated. They don't have the numbers to campaign across a whole region, certainly not by their usual MO of stirring up trouble locally.

Whatever. If you still think Green is the right tactical vote in the NW or anywhere else, show us the maths, or admit to wishful thinking.

Peter Cranie said...

Go to or look at (Convention of the Left diary).

Our case is out there Joe and we are open about it. Be interested in your views.