Some Thoughts for Undecided Voters
I had an interesting chat today with a neighbour and good friend who could be defined as an undecided voter. Like me, he is in his 70’s. He would like Britain to stay in Europe but is also keen to bring the whole Brexit issue to early closure and so he is quite attracted by the promise of a speedy end implied by Johnson’s ‘Get Brexit Done’. In the past he has normally voted for Labour but does not think that Jeremy Corbyn would make a good Prime Minister. He was, therefore, considering voting for Lib Dems, but, as the campaign has moved forward, he has found Jo Swinson’s party leadership unconvincing. He has little respect for Boris, mainly because he sees him as economical with the truth, but he has not entirely ruled out voting for him and the Tories.
I imagine that there are millions of voters in Britain who face a similar dilemma. Some will ‘make the best of a bad job’ while others may abstain.
Reflecting on this, my advice to Roger (not his real name) would be definitely NOT to vote for the Conservatives for several reasons:
- “Get Brexit Done” is code for “No Deal” which has already been rightly rejected by Parliament. Many more years of negotiations and uncertainty would be required to work out a new trading and coordination arrangement with Europe whether the next government goes for a deal or no deal.
- The Conservative Manifesto does not seriously address the economic, environmental, health, education and security policy issues facing Britain. It all about mending potholes in the roads, potholes in the number of nurses and potholes in the size of the police force – all caused by the party’s very own austerity programme.
- The Conservatives got us into Brexit and have had over 3 years to ‘get it done’ but still cannot tell us what kind of future relationship they want with our European neighbours. Do we want 5 more years of an empty-promise government whose main achievements have been to fan divisions in the country and to leave us poorer.
- Boris Johnson may be full of bonhomie but he is driven solely by ambition. He is not dependable, as shown by his self-seeking disloyalty to Cameron and May. He may speak of the “will of the people” but interprets this to suit his own designs even if he knows full well his policies would continue to hurt us economically for years to come.
If Roger really wants Britain to stay in Europe, then the first step must be to rule out voting for Boris, however good a person his local Tory candidate may be.
As Roger is quite ambivalent about the main contenders, the most sensible thing would be for him – whatever he may feel about their leaders – to vote for the party that, according to the polls, has the best chance of beating the Conservatives at constituency level. This is especially the case if his constituency is listed as a marginal seat where there is a good chance of keeping the Tory candidate out of office. See https://www.tactical-vote.uk/
There is likely to be a lot of horse-trading between parties in the coming days even in less marginal seats with the aim of consolidating a divided opposition vote around a single candidate. This could lead tactical voting recommendations to change right up to the eve of election day. This means following the situation carefully before taking a definite voting decision. Failure to engage in tactical voting could see opposition parties collectively gaining more votes than the Tories but letting the Boris candidate win the seat in Parliament.
You CAN stop Boris. Make Brexit Stop!