Thursday, 7 May 2015

Have you ever really voted in a UK General Election?

When I went to vote this morning, as ever, my vote will mean nothing. In a completely safe Tory seat my vote makes no difference whatsoever. My other half thought hard before voting about who to choose and yet really, why bother?

Moreover, I am 39 and have had the following election history

1992 - too young by a year to vote
1997 - Just moved to USA from Leeds Central (would have been safe Labour seat anyway)
2001 - Voted, lived in Surrey Heath, the safest Tory seat
2005 - Voted, lived in Westminster, safe Tory seat
2010 - Voted, lived in Sevenoaks, safe Tory Seat
2015 - Voted, living in Sevenoaks, safe Tory seat

When there was a referendum for Alternative Vote I was dead against that form of voting and changing First Past The Post for what is a hodge podge system of AV.

Now though, with FPTP well and truly broken by the regionalisation of politics in the Country, we surely need to do something more. Even in this election only around 15 seats will change hands, one quarter of the amount available.

No wonder everyone is so bored when 75% of people have meaningless votes in any event.

Surely some of my readers have had a better time of it, or is my experience all too common?


Blue Eyes said...

Only 75%?

The election will be decided by fewer than half a million voters.

1997 - too young
2001 - safeish Labour
2005 - safeish Labour
2010 - rock solid Labour
2015 - even more rock solid Labour

I agree, we need something new. First choice would be a directly-elected PM, with a smaller Commons based on a multi-member constituency system. If that is too racy for Britain, let's have a regional list system, but with smallish regions.

Nick Drew said...

well to give a contrasting voting history ...

*ahem* 1974(1) marginal - narrow Cons win

1974(2) same constituency - by now ultra-marginal, Cons by 130 votes

1979 safe (different constit) Cons seat

1982 (different constit again) by-election, Cons beaten narrowly by Liberal

1983 same constit, Liberal swept contemptuously aside by Cons

1987 (different constit) an odd one: it was the Speaker's seat ((Weatherill), but against all precedent Lab fielded against him, thinking that the demographics were heavily swinging their way. They were right about that, but were crushed anyway, like the cockroaches they were - everyone loved Jack Weatherill

1992 back to first constit again! - Cons hold, becoming marginal again

1997 (same again) Lab narrowly beat Cons

2001 ditto

2005 Cons regain seat with majority of 75

2010 Cons retain, a bit more comfortably but still close

So - the Drew block-vote of 2 (or at least, our efforts) have actually mattered in 9 out of 11 general elections (actually the block wasn't operating in 1974)

I like to live dangerously ..

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Who fucking cares? You pitch up, vote for what you like. In the end it all averages out. And stop fucking whinging about the system. It's not for the benefit of the politicians; it is there to let us throw the bastards out.

If you change the system to AV you just allow PPE twats to decide who runs the show. Fuck 'em

2nd bottle of Malbec. Makes everything more clear.

Blue Eyes said...

Can't help agreeing with SW, as usual.

Thud said...

Born in Liverpool...doomed for much of my life.

Nick Drew said...

make that 10 from 12 !

Croydon Central retained by ... 165 votes!

I can rest my weary feet

o ye of little faith (honourable mention - very honourable - to BE)

estwdjhn said...

Voted twice at GE now:
2005 - just too young. Safe PC seat
2010 - safe PC seat (could have registered elsewhere, which would have been safe Tory)
2015 - Tory/Lab marginal (Tory reelected with increased majority from tight marginal to near safe)

estwdjhn said...

Voted twice at GE now:
2005 - just too young. Safe PC seat
2010 - safe PC seat (could have registered elsewhere, which would have been safe Tory)
2015 - Tory/Lab marginal (Tory reelected with increased majority from tight marginal to near safe)

Blue Eyes said...

Oh well done ND indeed.

What a happy day.

Nick Drew said...

Ed Davey, hahahahahah!

MickB said...

My vote really matters because it is the harbinger of doom. I have supported Michael foot, Neil Kinnock, John Major & recently Nick Clegg. Pay me to sign up for the party that YOU hate!

Jan said...

Try living somewhere where you are in a minority and if you were to put up a poster in your window of the party you want to win you would likely get a brick through your window. That's a very lonely position and again your vote doesn't count.

I speak from experience. Today I am happy!!I now live in what was a marginal seat and my vote yesterday counted.

Blue Eyes said...

Jan, on my estate party banners are banned by the leases. It's quite a good rule in my opinion.

Politics, religion, and lots of other things are personal matters not to be emblazoned all over the shop.

Jan said...

Agree BE. I wouldn't have put up any posters etc anyway but it would have felt better to know I could have and also there was no-one to have a political discussion with as they were all NewLabour with a vengeance with no hope of seeing reason.