Progressive punch-up in Pavilion

Not as peaceful as it seems. Image via Wikipedia

Brighton Pavilion is one of the few constituencies where there is a serious Green/Labour battle underway, giving the Conservatives a good chance of splitting the left vote.

As you might imagine, one of the results of this is that Labour and the Greens have been going at each other hammer and tongs, as left-aligned Brighton Politics Blogger bemoans.

He says:

They [Labour and Green campaigners in central Brighton] must put aside their tribal differences and accept that there must be a Green tactical vote in Brighton Pavilion and Labour votes in Brighton Kemptown and in Hove. Defeating the Tories is most important.

I like the “must” – for all the world as though logic had anything to do with political campaigning.

There are many frustrated anti-Conservatives (“progressives” in their own term) who are saying the same thing at the moment. In fact, with saturation coverage of Cameron, Clegg, Balls, and Blair, all pitching in on whether tactical voting is or isn’t OK, inattentive voters might be forgiven for thinking that the little matter of the economic crisis had been solved to everyone’s satisfaction.

The problem in Brighton Pavilion, and in some other constituencies, is the problem of First Past the Post writ small: if your primary concern is to prevent a particular party winning, you have to take a punt on how your fellow voters are going to act, or see your vote go to waste. It is perfectly possible that the vote on Thursday will split 31/30/30 between Conservative, Labour and Green, and that Charlotte Vere, the Conservative candidate, will become the MP of the anarchist bookshop on London Road, the tattoo parlours on North Road, and thirty thousand or so very disillusioned voters.

Definitely something to put Brighton’s voters off their muesli.

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Published by Anthony Zacharzewski

Anthony Zacharzewski was one of the founders of Demsoc in 2006. Before starting work for Demsoc in 2010, he was a Whitehall civil servant and a local government officer.