Last two days of election

May 4, 2010

This election has has been remarkable. Cleggmania erupted, and all of a sudden, people around me were talking like their votes meant something. People I had NEVER heard discuss politics.

Not all of them were going to vote for the Liberal Democrats. Some had a renewed faith in Labour, some had taken a second look at the Greens, or the local independent candidates. My next door neighbour is 80 years old, and this election made her feel like it was worth voting again for the first time in 20 years.

The papers called it ‘Cleggmania’- but I thought people were excited at the possibility of an election that Rupert Murdoch didn’t decide? The possibility of a parliament which was representative of the electorate? The belief that people’s votes counted was enough to wake people up and make them feel involved- wherever on the political spectrum they lay.

After generations of a two party system being perpetuated by low voter turnouts= people  believed their vote could change things, and in that belief change could actually come. This election could not be predicted and decided by newspapers. It wasn”t just about Nick Clegg, or the Liberal Democrats.  It was the increased voter turn out that would bring a more representative government. People making their choices, whatever those choices were.

The smartest trick in this election campaign, was pulled off with noone noticing.

The talk of Clegg being a ‘kingmaker’, the declaration that this was a two horse race. The endless speculation about pacts, with the Liberal voice becoming the voice of either Cameron or Brown. The Liberal Democrats were painted as the new party of the left, or as a party who would enter into a Conservative pact.

Afraid that this new party was a replacement, or a threat to the them, people  started to return to long held political allegiances. More importantly they losing enthusiasm for the election full stop. And this is how the stranglehold of a two party system on british politics, is maintained.

We are told we are out of ‘hung parliament territory’, and back in the same two horse race. In spite of the fact that the polls have told us absolutely nothing of value about the public mood- or the rise in voter registrations. We are told  that Cameron leading by one or two points in the poll means that all that hope is out of the window, and we all need to vote tactically.

The excitement this election generated is dissapearing before my eyes. The election where people could change things is gone, and we are down to voting ‘anti-tory’= and the Liberal Democrats are apparently just another party on the left.

I understand the temptation to ask people to vote tactically. In the town I live in, a Cons/Lib marginal, where the Conservatives are fighting hard- this has pushed valuable voters back the Conservative Party. Far from supporting a Lib Dem victory- selling this election as one where people need to vote out of fear, one where Liberal and Labour voters are united- has pushed people away from voting Lib Dem, and in some cases, away from voting at all.

So I am saying here and now. I am voting Liberal Democrat.

Not because I am in a Conservative/Liberal marginal. I refuse to vote tactically.

I am voting Liberal Democrat because they share many of the values which underpin my support of Labour, but consider policies on merit and offer dissent when necessary. I am voting Liberal Democrat because they were the voice who said that the Iraq war was wrong, when a Conservative/Labour consensus said it wasn’t. I am voting for the Liberal Democrats because my local candidate, Hilary Myers is excellent. But most of all, I am voting for Liberal Democrat because a hung parliament, or a Liberal Democrat majority, is the best way to ensure that in future, I don’t have to hear about tactical voting.

I am not here to tell anyone who to vote for. I have it on good authority that a few of my readers, may even vote Conservative. The more people vote, the better for everyone.

The point is this.

I don’t care if people vote Conservative(obviously would rather they didn’t).

The only way this election still offers real hope of a real long term change is if people know that taking part in it, will do as much as Nick Clegg winning to end this two party system, and it will do as to release Rupert Murdochs grasp .  An opportunity to refute accusations that the british people are apathetic.

It is important that the people who were excited about this election a week ago, know that nothing has changed. It is only in getting people out to vote at all(regardless of who they vote for), that any change will come at all. 35percent of the vote undecided is a lot of swing voters.

(And don’t believe the Conservatives when they tell you voting has been moved to the 7th)



  1. I think you are right people do need to vote Lib Dem to change the balance, to upset the Murdoch dominance and for a host of other good reasons. I live in a huge Tory majority and my vote will be an expression of who comes second Labour or Lib Dems. If I lived in a marginal seat I would vote tactically for the Lib Dems if it meant keeping a Tory out. Good luck with your canvassing and do wear heels x
    PS have loved your tweets and my husband is a tory boy so I can live side by side with political views!

    • You misunderstand- I don’t want people necessarily to vote Lib Dem. I just want them to vote. Lol- will have to wear heels canvassing. Its only right! Tell tory boy to vote Lib Dem though….


  2. excellent post – well done. Agree with every word.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Freedom Fighter. Freedom Fighter said: Last two days of election: Since this election was called, it has has been remarkable. Cleggmania erupted, and all… http://bit.ly/9MUmlG […]

  4. […] for who and what you believe in should always be the case. Primarily for the reasons outlined in this article by Lisa Ansell. This election is different. Public spending has to be reduced, all parties agree but don’t […]

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