Vote Green, get Tory?

Will supporting the Greens hand Alyn and Deeside to the Tories?

The Labour Party has been keen to portray any vote for the Greens as helping the Tories, and with good reason- Green voters, on the whole, would much rather a Labour government than a Tory one, and so it makes sense for them to raise this as a spectre.

The problem is, it’s bollocks. Firstly, it’s difficult to see the difference between Labour and the Tories anyway, so if we’re going to have a Thatcherite government, do we really care what colour their election leaflets are? On Trident replacement, fracking in the Dee estuary, zero hours contracts and so many other important issues there’s very little difference between the two. If that’s not enough, there are many councils where Labour have actually put the Tories into government, such as Stirling, East Lothian and Aberdeen which are all run by Labour-Tory coalitions.

If Labour want us to take that argument seriously, they have to show they’re worthy of our votes, and at the moment they’re not. Instead of listening to the things Green voters want, they’re in a race with the Tories to out-Ukip Ukip, which is fine if you want a society based of fear, resentment, envy and, frankly, racism. That’s not what Green voters want, and until Labour stop playing it, there’s no way I’ll vote for them.

The other thing is that the electoral arithmetic doesn’t add up either. If that were true, you’d expect the Greens to do best in seats that the Tories previously held, and when the Greens win, for Labour to come third. That is, if the Tories poll 35% in a seat, Labour 50% and the Greens 10%, then as the Green vote grows you’d expect the Tories’ to stay the same and Labour’s to shrink. That would mean that at the next election, the constituency might poll Tories 35%, Labour 30%, Greens 30% and validate Labour’s argument. However, in Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas took the seat directly from Labour with no period of Tory control, and the Greens do well in Labour areas like Liverpool, where we’re the official opposition on the Council- Labour hold 78 of the 90 seats and the Tories have none (there’s 4 Greens, the second largest party). Green voters clearly haven’t helped the Tories there.

Finally, consider Alyn and Deeside. Even in 2010, Labour’s worst general election in years, the seat was held with a 7.3% majority, or nearly 3,000 votes. This seat isn’t going to the Tories, especially with the rise of Ukip locally.

If you support Green politics, vote Green, and the only party you’re helping is the Green Party. It’s as simple as that.

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