matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

Why vote?

Apr. 7th, 2010 02:13 am
Assertion: Turnout is affected by the likelihood your vote will make a difference and the amount of campaigning the parties are doing in the area.

In areas that are considered to be "safe", a) voters are less likely to be interested and b) parties are less likely to run competetive campaigns, targetting resources and activists on marginal seats they may gain or lose.
Electoral Reform Society: Election already over in nearly 400 seats:
The Society has listed 382 seats which are ‘Super Safe’ in that they will not change hands even with a landslide on any conceivable scale. The Society points out, however, that there are many more seats where the outcome is a very safe bet, even if an upset is not beyond probability.
It is my belief that turnout is likely to go up, overall, in this election as it's the first election since 1992 where the overall result is not a foregone conclusion.

But for residents of 382 seats out of 650, the local result is already a foregone conclusion. There's a spreadsheet on the site to download; if you live in one of the seats listed, and you're not sure you want to vote, make sure you're registered to vote. Go to the polling station.

Don't put an X in the box.

Write "No Safe Seats; make my vote count" on the ballot paper.

Why should you do this? Because at an election, the returning officer must get the agreement of a representative of each candidate before a ballot can be rejected. Your already selected future MP will get to know how frustrated you are.

Prediction: after the election, if it's as close as it is now, a large number of Conservatives will complain that they were robbed and that Labour got more seats than they deserved, or words to that effect; you already see this with the "we won the votes in England" meme. What they don't take into account is that the 'safe' Labour seats are very very safe. Turnout is incredibly low in many of them; that doesn't necessarily indicate disaffection, it just indicates that there's no point in going to the polling station when you know the MPs won already. Labour seats see a much stronger falloff in turnout than Conservative seats, Lib Dem seats are in the middle.

The Conservative party says they like the voting system as is, rotten boroughs, safe seats, differential turnout and all.

It's a damn shame that they've never bothered to try and understand it.
OK, after a lot of people commented, I ran a brief analysis of the thing. I wrote it up here on [livejournal.com profile] ukpolitics [ETA: Now copying and pasting in here below so I've got the analysis, 19/1/2008].

I've put a Tab Delimited Text file up on my storage site (for those not used to TDT files, open with a spreadsheet or database programme like excel, and re-display the columns. Excel filters then let you choose parties and their preferences).

Essentially, many of the policies chosen are popular (or are supposed to be) LibDem policies. But the Labour policies chosen are not that popular, and not what they're really campaigning on. UKIP gets its two main issues easily highlighted at the top (for those curious, if you put in a neutral result for the two Europe Qs, but are opposed to, for example, ID cards, you're likely to show a soft positive for UKIP. Tories also get a number of their headline policies.
More detailed analysis )
So, the test, while fun, is unlikely to show you as a Labour supporter, and is very likely, if you're on the "left" to show you as a LibDem; 3 of Labour's 7 positive areas are also LibDem areas.

Is this a problem? Not if, like me, you're actively out campaigning for the LibDems. But if you want an impartial way of finding out who you should go for, one that allows for choices on all policy issues should possibly be chosen.

Remainder of original post )
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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