Thanks to a campaign group, people can easily vote tactically in the local elections
Local elections are being held in parts of England on Thursday 4 May – with further elections in the North of Ireland on 18 May. The Conservative Party currently has the most seats in the areas being contested. However, given its disastrous track record in government since 2010, the party may well get a routing. Of course, there’s one small way you can help with this: vote tactically. And a new website has given you all the tools you need to be able to do this.
Local elections 2023: what’s what
As BBC News reported:
On 4 May, more than 8,000 seats will be contested at 230 councils across England.
Mayoral elections are also taking place in Bedford, Leicester, Mansfield and Middlesbrough.
In Northern Ireland, 11 council elections are being held on 18 May.
Currently, the larger parties – along with other groups – hold the following numbers of seats:
- Tories – 3,363
- Labour – 2,140
- Lib Dems – 1,221
- Independents – 954
- Green Party – 240
- Residents Associations – 112
So, it’s surely time to try and boot some of these Tories out. While Labour is no opposition in the national government, in some local areas their councillors do good work. Meanwhile, the Green Party will be hoping to build on its success in 2022. However, if your primary goal in these local elections is to remove your Tory councillors, then one website can direct you to who best to vote for to do that.
Stop the Tories
Campaign group the Movement Forward has launched www.stopthetories.vote. It’s a site where people can put in their postcode, and it will tell them who to vote for to have the best chance of ousting the Conservatives. Movement Forward said that from its launch on Friday 28 April to Wednesday 3 May, 250,000 people had visited the site. The group said in a press release that:
While tactical voting sites have happened around general elections and constituencies, it has never been attempted before at this scale or in such granular detail. Via the site people will be able to find out which candidates have the best chance of stopping local Tories in their ward just by entering their postcode. Visitors to the site can also look into the reason behind the recommendation with links to the previous voting data from local and general elections and also download posters to spread awareness of the site themselves to their local network. The site will be updated up to May 4 to include local knowledge of any ward as it is received.
OK, so democracy in the UK is far from perfect. We use a system called First Past The Post. As the Canary reported after the 2019 general election, it:
saw the Conservatives get around 43% of votes but about 56% of all MPs. Labour (and other parties), meanwhile, would have won more seats in a more proportional system. In fact, as Joe Sousek from the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform pointed out:
“In 19 out of the last 20 general elections, most people have voted for parties to the left of the Conservatives. Yet the Tories have been in power for 63% of this time – and this will climb to 66% if they see out their new term in full”.
Abolition or reform?
For many people, the abolition of centralised political control, and power, via governments would be the best-case scenario: where communities run services together, for each other. That won’t be happening anytime soon, though – so meanwhile, we have to work with what we’ve got.
Local elections directly impact all our lives. Local councils are responsible for a lot of services that affect us all: from social care to schools, via waste collection. So, having some at least half-decent councillors representing us can sometimes make a difference. Also, a hammering in the local elections would send a clear message to the Tories – and would not bode well for their chances in 2024’s likely general election.
Also, don’t forget that you’ll need ID to vote in the local elections. This is another reason to boot the Tories out – they’re trying to stop poor and marginalised people voting.
Local elections: boot the corrupt Tories out
High-profile names have been backing Movement Forward. TV presenter-turned-political pundit Carol Vorderman said:
I’m appalled by this government. The scale of corruption and gaslighting is horrendous. They are refusing to call a General Election, and so Local Elections become the time when we can make our feelings known. The new tactical voting website Stop The Tories is very good and simple to use. Just type in your postcode and it will advise you how to vote in your council ward to Stop the Tories.
AC Grayling – philosopher, author, and democracy advocate – said:
Vote for the candidate who is best placed to unseat, or keep out, a Tory: we need to send a clear message that Tory mismanagement is not needed locally or nationally in our country.
Movement Forward everything summed up by saying:
The unprecedented desire for tactical voting information is both a reflection of how angry people are with the Conservatives at every level of government, as well as democratic deficit of our First Past The Post system. The website is a response to these needs and will enable them to take back control of their Conservative council.
Regardless of your feelings about Labour, or elections more broadly, you may wish to consider voting tactically on 4 May. If so, Movement Forward’s website may be the best tool to help you do this.
Featured image via Movement Forward
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