web analytics

The folly of electoral pacts

Written By: - Date published: 2:15 am, November 30th, 2019 - 2 comments
Categories: Brexit, electoral systems, First Past the Post, International, Politics, polls, uk politics - Tags: , , , , ,

One feature of the UK election has been various electoral alliances or deals done. This has mostly occurred around the issue of Brexit.

Early on in the campaign I wrote about Trump’s intervention in the UK election, specifically him calling on The Brexit Party and The Conservatives to do a deal. My view at the time was that the Brexit Party would be better off not doing such a deal, as it would tie their fortunes too closely to the Conservative Government. However, the pressure to not split the leave vote eventually meant The Brexit party did a deal whereby they wouldn’t run candidates in constituencies the Conservatives currently hold. The assumption has been that Brexit Party voters will flock to the Conservatives where there is no Brexit Party Candidate.

On the Remain side there has been this somewhat odd pact between the Liberal Democrats, The Greens and Plaid Cymru. The main benefactor of such an alliance is predicted to be The Liberal Democrats. The Lib Dems have been a close second to the Conservative Party as running the most dishonest campaign in this election, as I outlined in an earlier post. If the Liberal Democrats are coming second in the dishonesty race, it’s the only race they are even close to being second in. Their withdraw article 50 and stop Brexit in its tracks position has not gone down well, so now the party has been forced to flip flop back to calling for a second referendum.

Within the Green Party there has been considerable dismay at the Party leadership decision to form a pact with the Lib Dems. In Bristol the local candidate defied this decision and made the call to stand aside and support the Labour candidate. Many Green Party supporters have expressed the view that their leadership is out of touch. Further that the Lib Dems environmental policies are poor, and not a party the Greens should have formed a pact with. This blog post by London Green Left Blog sums up some of the concerns.

Under First Past the Post, a system that leaves much to be desired minor parties struggle. Vote splitting can be a real problem, and a party can win government despite only receiving over a third of the vote. In this context we can see why there is pressure on the Brexit Party not to take votes off the Tories, or for the Lib Dems to try and soak up the votes of other pro EU parties. The question is, how to voters feel about this? As we’ve seen, plenty of Green Party supporter did not appreciate being told to vote for the Lib Dems, and have decided themselves in many cases to vote Labour or do something else. The assumption that everyone who voted the Brexit Party in the 2019 EU elections would switch to Tory if told so by the party is also a huge assumption. Some will of course, but others will go elsewhere.

An interesting example of how tactical voting can play out in illustrated in the below poll result from Salvation polling done in Bath before the 2017 election:

 

Whether their statement below is true or not is speculation. However it is interesting when the same group of voters are asked their intentions, one with the assumption that race was between Conservative and Lib Dems, the other when its a 3 horse race.

So what should we take from this. Voters can be influenced by polling and at times do chose to vote tactically, even when polling has proven to be very unreliable in UK elections. Forming electoral pacts is risky, as potentially you are asking voters to support a party because of a position on one issue (Brexit) when actually they find their other policies unpalatable. To assume voters will uniformly fall in line and vote for a party other than they one they really support for tactical reasons would be naive.

2 comments on “The folly of electoral pacts ”

  1. Agora 1

    [Why are you using this handle and e-mail address when we had agreed that you would stick to one and one only?]

    [Edit: comment ‘restored’ on the understanding that this commenter will stop playing sockpoppets]

    When will the local iwi get their utu on Jackson’s intervention in the local election?

  2. SPC 2

    The electorate seats with first past the post voting democratic system has become dominated by the two party regime.

    That Tory and Labour voters blocked preferential voting in electorates in their recent referendum (and Tories did not allow proportional voting to even get on the ballot) shows that is how those competing for absolute power want it (blocking the emergence of alternatives).

    This is partly the LD own fault, they had made an electoral referendum their condition for supporting a Tory government and yet did not get proportional voting onto the ballot.

    There is no good way for third parties to operate in such an electoral environment, they are effectively lobby groups for their causes and no more.

    They would be better off separating into regionalised parties, SW English Greens or London Counties LD’s to win electorate seats.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Equitable response to Omicron vital
    The Green Party supports the Government’s decision to move Aotearoa New Zealand to traffic light level Red at 11.59pm tonight, but says its success will depend on the support that is made available to the most vulnerable. ...
    9 hours ago
  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    3 days ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand to move to Red from 11.59pm today
    All of New Zealand will move to the Red setting of the Covid Protection Framework (CPF) at 11:59pm today as Omicron is potentially now transmitting in the community, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region are now confirmed as Omicron, and a further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Mandatory boosters for key workforces progressing well
    More than 5,785 (82%) border workers eligible for a booster vaccination at 6 months have received it so far, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “That’s a really strong uptake considering we announced the requirement the week before Christmas, but we need to continue this momentum,” Chris Hipkins said. “We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • NZ to move to Red
    Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday. These cases are in a single family that flew to Auckland on 13 January to attend a wedding and other events ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga
    Aotearoa New Zealand is giving an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding for Tonga as the country recovers from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. This brings Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to $3 million. “This support will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand congratulates Tonga's new Prime Minister on appointment
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Hon Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni on being appointed Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga have an enduring bond and the Kingdom is one of our closest neighbours in the Pacific. We look forward to working with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High-tech investment extends drought forecasting for farmers and growers
    The Government is investing in the development of a new forecasting tool that makes full use of innovative climate modelling to help farmers and growers prepare for dry conditions, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said.  The new approach, which will cost $200,000 and is being jointly funded through the Ministry for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Support for fire-hit Waiharara community
    The government will contribute $20,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support those most affected by the fires in Waiharara in the Far North, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan says. “I have spoken to Far North Mayor John Carter about the effect the fires continue to have, on residents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Manawatū’s ‘oases of nature’ receive conservation boost
    The Government is throwing its support behind projects aimed at restoring a cluster of eco-islands and habitats in the Manawatū which were once home to kiwi and whio. “The projects, which stretch from the Ruahine Ranges to the Horowhenua coastline, will build on conservation efforts already underway and contribute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago