Strategic thinking on the tactical vote for Buckingham

I’ve been pondering the likelihood that a tactical vote will have any effect around here, where I live. Speaker Bercow is standing down, so for the first time in a number of elections, the major parties will put candidates on the ballot. Recently, only the Greens and the UKIPs have broken the convention that nobody stands against the speaker. And they, and the old spoiled ballot, have been the recipient of local frustration at not having a choice.

Bercow became Speaker in 2009, so 2005 was the last time anybody stood from the major parties. For tactical voters, the results then do not look good. Even adding together all the opposition votes (not inc. UKIP), the Conservatives had a solid majority of around 9,000.

In recent elections, lots of spoiler and protest candidates have stood, but the vote for Bercow remained fairly loyal. 

In 2019, the Lib Dems (showing their true colours) are putting up former Conservative Stephen Dorrel, while the Greens are putting up the same candidate as last time. Then, Michael Sheppard got 16% of the vote, whereas the UKIP candidate got just under 8%. Stephen Dorrell is high profile enough to show that the seat is being taken seriously, but it was going to be hard enough already to vote tactically for the Lib Dems. Now they’re putting up a Tory Wet, I don’t think I can.

Tell you what though: it’s weird to get any kind of election leaflet through the letterbox, so it’s almost exciting.

Labour have yet to announce a candidate. [[[It’s not as if anybody knew Bercow was standing down.]]]

It’ll be some piece of business to turn this Conservative safe seat into anything else. I’m inclined to vote Green, but I have a sinking feeling.


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