Who should I vote for?

Since we moved to the UK in 2014 I have voted in four elections: a general election, a Brexit referendum, a council election, a Scottish parliamentary election, and another general election next month will make five. We also narrowly missed out on voting in the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 by just two weeks. I’m starting to suffer from election fatigue and am still undecided about who to vote for in the general election next month. The only certainty is that I will absolutely not be voting for Theresa May whose election promises so far are to unban fox hunting, further endanger elephants by removing the ban on ivory trading, and to introduce a dementia tax (I think she may have since scrapped this last one).

There’s a site where you can enter your postcode to find out who to vote for if your main priority is to keep the Conservatives out of power. It’s called Tactical2017 and it tells me I’m in a safe SNP seat so I should vote SNP but theoretically I can vote for anyone. The isidewith site tells me my views align most closely with policies from the Liberal Democrats followed by Labour and then SNP in third. I have been thinking of voting Labour but then my local Labour candidate put a letterbox leaflet through our letterbox on Thursday in which his top pledge is to “Invest in the oil and gas industry’s future”. If you are someone who wants evidence-based policy-making as I do then oil and gas has no future. I have asked him for more information but haven’t heard back yet.

It seems to me that if we want to protect elephants and keep the Conservatives out of power the only option is to vote Labour. A vote for any other party will only dilute the vote against the conservatives. What do other people think? Who should I vote for?

17 thoughts on “Who should I vote for?

  1. Such a difficult decision.

    The only thing I know for certain is that I don’t want to vote for the Conservatives at all.

    Historically I’ve aligned and voted for the Liberal Democrats but the fiasco of the last time they were in power (coalition with the Tories) has made me not trust them at all.

    Were we still living in England I would easily vote for Labour, but up here in Scotland the choice between SNP and Labour is not easy. Ideologically I align more with Labour/Corbyn but on the other hand, SNP have been more consistent and steadfast with their approach and I agree with their policies for Scotland (eg, I also didn’t vote in the independence referendum because we didn’t live here at the time but I would have voted for independence).

    So it looks like SNP are going to have my vote at the moment.

  2. I’m not sure there’s such a thing as a “safe” SNP seat in this election. The Tories, lib Dems, labour are all telling people to vote for the unionist party that will keep the SNP out. Given that historically Aberdeen had been quite a conservative area in the past, I’d expect to see a swing from Lab to Tory in Aberdeen, and votes consolidating round Tories. If your priority is to keep the Tories out, then vote SNP. I’ve already sent my vote for Callum McCaig off in the post, for me it’s also about sending a message that the Tories are wrong when they say will of the people isn’t about Indy ref 2. Obviously I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’d like folk in Scotland to be able to decide their future re being taken out of single market, free movement etc, not necessarily no Brexit, but about deal, if UK gov drive hard Brexit.

  3. “A vote for any other party will only dilute the vote against the conservatives.” I don’t think that applies to the SNP. The concern would be in seats where the Tories have some chance, and in that case strategic voting would point to whichever of SNP or Labor has the best chance.

  4. I did the isidewith survey. Greens, but barely; Plaid Cymru and Labor not much different). I notice it wouldn’t show me the Green result at first; I had to click for “other parties.” But core Green issues were notably absent, e.g. carbon footprint-related (like RE and sustainable building and transport) and veganism. Are they absent from the Green platform this time around? Overall I’d say the survey was written by someone who doesn’t know much about Green issues and doesn’t care.

    1. There isn’t a green candidate for me – I only have four options and i think the greens have stood down in a few places so as not to take votes from labour. I have never heard the Greens campaign for veganism. Is veganism part of their manifesto in the US!

      1. *checks* US manifesto (it varies by state) doesn’t go that far, but has strong statements on ethical treatment of animals, against CAFOs and for sustainable agriculture, which taken together would amount to a quite large reduction in meat production and consumption. I said it’s a core issue because I know a lot of Greens for whom it is, but I suppose that for the party this is a matter of not wanting to overtly alienate meat eaters, who as you know are rendered a touchy lot by their inescapable blood guilt (kidding, kidding). But the areas I listed are core issues for the US party anyway. At this point not explicitly advocating for veganism seems a little retro.

        The UK GP has “protect and enhance biodiversity, promote sustainable food and farming, and ensure animal protection,” which while a little general seems to be the same basic statement as in the US (perhaps unsurprisingly since the GPs all talk to each other and share the same roots).

        So I have to take it back about the survey not mentioning veganism, But neither did it mention sustainability and biodiversity, which clearly are central green issues.

      2. The promotion of veganism is Green Party policy (in the UK at least):

        >AR411 A reduction in the consumption of animal products would have benefits for the environment, human health and animal welfare. The Green Party will support a progressive transition from diets dominated by meat and other animal products to healthier diets based on plant foods, through the use of research, education and economic measures, coupled with support for more sustainable methods of production such as organic and stockfree farming.

        >AR412 The Green Party will ensure that high quality, nutritionally balanced vegetarian and vegan menu options are widely available and promoted in all public sector establishments such as schools, hospitals and care facilities (see ED190, FA222, HE322). We shall ensure that catering and nutrition for vegetarian and vegan diets is included in all catering certificates and that lessons in preparing nutritious vegetarian and vegan food are included in food technology courses.

        Source: https://policy.greenparty.org.uk/ar.html (this page is generally quite interesting – includes banning the sale of products like foie gras)

        When I was at the Green Party Spring Conference (in combination with the Global Greens Congress) earlier this year, they only served vegetarian food.

        So I’d obviously recommend you vote Green! But in the absence of a candidate, any of the progressive parties I guess.

      3. Yep, so I’d say Labour or SNP. (Weirdly enough isidewith had me closest aligned with the SNP!)

        I remain sceptical of the Lib Dems. They don’t have clear positions on many of the issues I deem to be most important to progressive politics. When Ed Davey came to Keswick during the Copeland by-election, he was advocating for fracking in the Lake District.

        And of course they voted in favour of the Health and Social Care Act of 2012, the bedrooms tax, and the rise in tuition fees which was a total contradiction of their pre-election stance.

        During the Copeland by-election they used all sorts of smear tactics against other parties (including the Green Party and myself). And their candidate was vehemently for new nuclear power even though the Lib Dems officially oppose it. I don’t like them and I don’t trust them.

      4. Yes, I’m leaning towards Labour right now so unless something happens between now and Thursday that makes me change my mind I’ll be voting for Jeremy Corbyn.

  5. Here are the 5 environmental questions:

    – Should the government increase environmental regulations on businesses to reduce carbon emissions?

    – Should disposable products (such as plastic cups, plates, and cutlery) that contain less than 50% of biodegradable material be banned?

    – Do you support the practice of hunting foxes with dogs?

    – Do you support the use of hydraulic fracking to extract oil and natural gas resources?

    – Do you support the use of genetically engineered crops and foods?

    That’s a skewed representation of environmental issues IMO.

    1. I think they chose those questions because these are all part of the current manifestos by one or more parties. The hunting foxes one is only there because Theresa May has specifically said she will allow MPs to vote to lift the ban. I wonder how long it will be before political parties are brave enough to advocate for veganism? Maybe one day we’ll have a vegan party.

      1. Arguably they represent a fair diversity of issues relative to the party platforms, although the lack of anything re e.g. toxic chemicals in the environment is a noticeable real-world lack.

        But I was referring more to the wording of those questions. The carbon one is is simply strange (it’s not just a problem for businesses, nor solvable simply through regulating them), and the disposable products one (do you know which platform has something like that?) is a very poor proxy for sustainability.

      2. Ok, I see your point. I don’t know whether any of the parties are looking into a disposable products ban. I haven’t heard anything like that. And yes, regulating businesses as a solution for climate change is a bit odd.

      3. As above, the Greens do advocate for veganism. 🙂

        And:

        “NR424 A Waste Avoidance and Recycling Act will include measures to:

        ii) ban unnecessary disposable products and packaging, where their non-use would lead to a net reduction in environmental impact;”

        Source: https://policy.greenparty.org.uk/nr.html

        The Greens have also advocated for the plastic bag charge to be extended to disposable coffee cups and other similar products.

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