/ Wasted vote

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Bellie on 15 May 2017
How many people on here live in a safe seat? I live in a VERY safe seat. If the world turned on its head tomorrow the current MP would still get in. So I feel that my vote has no value in determining anything.

Anyone else in this situation... and feel like their vote will count for little at the election.





1
andyfallsoff - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Bellie:

It's still worth it - vote with what you believe in! If nothing else, parties measure shifts (from way before they become viable seats to compete) so it will benefit the party you support to see your vote to know that's how you feel - and it might tempt other people in the same position to think their vote is worthwhile.

Change might take a while, but better little than none.
2
Rampikino - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Bellie:

Yep - I live in a South Cheshire Tory heartland of Old Money, farmers, Duke of Westminster, landed gentry...

For the Tories to lose this seat they would have to do something beyond stupid.

I'm not voting Tory but I will be voting - a wasted vote is still a vote cast and will still show up on the national picture. It is better than not voting at all.
1
BnB - on 15 May 2017
In reply to andyfallsoff:

> It's still worth it - vote with what you believe in! If nothing else, parties measure shifts (from way before they become viable seats to compete) so it will benefit the party you support to see your vote to know that's how you feel - and it might tempt other people in the same position to think their vote is worthwhile. Change might take a while, but better little than none.

Totally agree. My mum stood twice for Labour against Speaker of the House Bernard Weatherill. She knew it was a forlorn effort if measured only on a binary scale. But by reducing his majority she understood that policy would be moderated.
1
jkarran - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Bellie:
Your vote is never wasted if you use it, it may achieve little but never nothing even in a very safe seat where your candidate never or always wins.

Your vote signals support for a losing candidate/party that can rally the support of other disaffected voters and campaigners in the future. As you're demonstrating with this thread people don't like to "waste" their vote on candidates that "can't" or "always" win so without some people being willing to signal desire for change that situation remains and is self fulfilling, even if there is significant but invisible support for change people just shrug and don't vote because "there's no point". Likewise if you support the "safe" candidate but get complacent they get less safe and maybe next election the second place party smell blood and put their backs into a proper local campaign with a strong candidate.

Yeah, it's a crap system but it's the one we have, work with it.
jk
Post edited at 13:06
2
Clint86 - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Bellie:

I live in Tim Farron's seat so its rock solid............

But yes......thats why the referendum got a high turnout I guess, as votes counted more. There would be quite a high green vote I think if we had proper PR.
2
Bellie on 15 May 2017
Thanks for these positive messages. I've searched out the candidates now for my area. The person standing for my party of choice seems good.

A touch of resignation had set in, so these messages are of value to me.
1
fred99 - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Bellie:

Frequently the number of people who didn't vote, even in a rock-solid seat for one side or another, would have been enough for the second-placer to have won if they'd gone that way. Indeed in many seats the number of no-shows is actually greater than the number of votes that the winner gets.
Not only that, but I always argue that if you can't be bothered to vote in an election (or AGM for that matter ), then you can't complain about the result afterwards.
1
stubbed on 15 May 2017
In reply to Bellie:

I'm a swing voter but last election voted Green even though they wouldn't get in.
My theory was that if other parties saw the Green party getting some votes, they were more likely to incorporate green policies.
1
elsewhere on 15 May 2017
In reply to Bellie:
It's a wasted vote for those in a safe seat whose vote will never contribute to their party's representation.

It's lunchtime so had a play with Excel...

In the 2015 election there were 360 constituencies with majorities of 10,000 or more. In those constituencies 7.9 million people voted for candidates who lost and 9.5 million for the candidates who won.

30.7 million total in all 650 constitutes voted but 7.9 million of them (in 360 safe seats) had no chance of actually electing anybody of the party of their choice.

If you extend that to include all the 505 constituencies with majorities of 5000 or more then 11.5 million people voted with no realistic chance of contributing to their party parliament.

That's not much less than the 15.3 million people who voted for the 650 candidates who won.

I don't think safe seats are a good thing as they breed political complacency or a quite logical apathy among voters.

I guess 80% of us live in the ~500 constituencies where you pretty much know which party will win.

FPTP does work* but it seems to be one of the most imperfect versions of the many imperfect versions of democracy.

There's too many people who can vote with no prospect of electing anybody or contributing to additional representation when they have choice between no-hopers or boosting a near guaranteed majority in a safe seat.

*although a result of SNP 56 out of 59 Scottish constituencies can't really be described as "working".

You can get the numbers to play with at http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/our-work/our-research/electoral-data
Post edited at 14:28
jonfun21 on 15 May 2017
In reply to elsewhere:
In what way does FPTP work? The last parliament (see below) looked nothing like the "will of the people" my guess is this story will get even worse/distorted in this election.

The result of FPTP continuation is going to be increasing levels of voter apathy/low turn out.

Seats

Conservative (331) = 53%
Labour (232) = 37%
UKIP (1) 0%
Liberal Democrat (8) 1%
Scottish National Party (56) 9%
Green Party (1) 0%

Votes Cast

Conservative (11,334,576) 38%
Labour (9,347,304) 32%
UKIP (3,881,099) 13%
Liberal Democrat (2,415,862) 8%
Scottish National Party (1,454,436) 5%
Green Party (1,157,613) 4%
Post edited at 14:48
cragtaff - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Bellie:

a seat is only a 'safe seat' because the majority of the voting population want it. What is your complaint? Its democracy, at least the UK version of it.
6
toad - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Bellie:
It's not just the fact that I'm in a massively safe seat, it's the fact that in 20 odd years, I've never been canvassed beyond the occasional leaflet. It's not just that my vote doesn't count, it's that they ( all and any politicians) don't care about my vote. I still vote, but it's frustrating and demoralising
Post edited at 19:24
LakesWinter on 15 May 2017
In reply to Bellie:

Even if you feel that please go and vote. It's important that your view is expressed and your vote counted as x votes for green or lib dem or whatever will still influence the political discussion post election. If everyone acts like their vote doesnt count then the whole thing will be a foregone conclusion as predicted by the daily mail.
stevieb - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Bellie:
I've got a vague hope that when ken Clarke steps down, he'll take quite a few votes with him and my vote will count for something.
Until then, remember ukip only got one seat last time, but given the events of the last two years, do you think their 4 million votes were wasted?

Baron Weasel - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Clint86:

> I live in Tim Farron's seat so its rock solid............But yes......thats why the referendum got a high turnout I guess, as votes counted more. There would be quite a high green vote I think if we had proper PR.

I live in Tim's seat too. Normally I vote Green, but will be voting labour this time.

I wonder if Labour get more votes yet the Cons get in due to PR if people will take to the street?
Big Ger - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Bellie:

I've voted Mebyon Kernow in the past, and probably would have this time. But they aint standing...

https://www.mebyonkernow.org/news/article.php?id=317
Bellie on 16 May 2017
In reply to cragtaff:

Certainly not a complaint. Where I used to live I was in another safe seat - but on the 'winning' side that time.

No, its the feeling that despite having a vote - you aren't contributing much to a result, and I just wondered how other people felt about it. Whether or not it made them not want to bother either way, and that goes for whatever colour of party you support.

In reply to Toad, I have had to search to find my candidates, and haven't had any literature stuck through my door in all the time I have been here. Even though the MP is a shoe in, it would be nice to get info from the other candidates so I know what the want to contribute to the local picture and not just trotting out the national info.


Clint86 - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Baron Weasel:

Yes, thats a nice thought.
I was tongue in cheek about Tim of course. Do you not think the danger of voting labour is that the Conservatives will get in as I'd like to vote green as well? I think the Green candidate is/has dropped out to enable people to get behind the party with the best chance of keeping out the Cons.
David Martin - on 16 May 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> Yeah, it's a crap system but it's the one we have, work with it.jk

Or, there's always a possibility that ongoing embarassingly low turn-out might contribute to electoral reform, and the craaaazy prospect of our vote finally meaning something.
jkarran - on 16 May 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Or, there's always a possibility that ongoing embarassingly low turn-out might contribute to electoral reform, and the craaaazy prospect of our vote finally meaning something.

Cui bono? Certainly not the tories (or Labour for that matter) so when it comes to electoral reform why would they ever consider anything more than a bit of mild gerrymandering and a big injection of blue lords?
jk
GrahamD - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Bellie:

You should always vote but realise that in a country with over 40 million potential voters your voice is always going to be small. You have to hope that enough likeminded people do likewise.
Baron Weasel - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Clint86:

I think Tim's pretty safe anyway and I want my vote to show for Labour. I've given it a fair bit of thought and have considered doing a vote swap with someone, but it seems like it could be open to abuse.
David Martin - on 16 May 2017
In reply to jkarran:

Most likely. But in a safe seat, where voting is guaranteed to achieve nothing, walking out of the process entirely is no less sensible.
jkarran - on 16 May 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Most likely. But in a safe seat, where voting is guaranteed to achieve nothing, walking out of the process entirely is no less sensible.

I totally disagree for the reasons stated yesterday.
jk
Trevers - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Clint86:

> But yes......thats why the referendum got a high turnout I guess, as votes counted more. There would be quite a high green vote I think if we had proper PR.

You'd also end up with a much closer balance of power between broadly left parties and broadly right. Majorities would be rare and Lib/Lab/Green coalitions would become a thing.

Of course, so long as the Tories stay in power, PR will never be on the agenda.
Trevers - on 16 May 2017
In reply to GrahamD:
> You should always vote but realise that in a country with over 40 million potential voters your voice is always going to be small. You have to hope that enough likeminded people do likewise.

I saw something written somewhere that suggested that in 2015, had 7000 people in marginals voted differently, it would have changed the outcome of the election. But I have no idea where I saw this, so I can't speak for the voracity of that claim.

http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide/conservative-defence/

If you sum up the majorities of the top 17 constituencies, you get 10,000. So voting in one of these constituencies gives you many times the voting power of someone in a safe seat.
Post edited at 11:10
Andy Hardy on 16 May 2017
In reply to Bellie:

https://www.tactical2017.com

Gives an indication of how to vote to reduce Cruella's majority
Bellie on 16 May 2017
In reply to Trevers:

It does make me wonder about party politics, and how entrenched it all is. After all we have gone into a GE because the PM thinks she can't get her own way on matters.

Perhaps if we had a system where a wider range of views were represented in parliament, and it wasn't all down to specific party lines. Maybe we would get somewhere.

I'm sure for the most part, its the constant everything the other party does is wrong/rubbish etc. that people grow tired of.
ads.ukclimbing.com
GrahamD - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Trevers:

> So voting in one of these constituencies gives you many times the voting power of someone in a safe seat.

It does, which is unfortunate. But it doesn't mean that votes cast elsewhere are worthless (even if it seems that way sometimes).
GrahamD - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Bellie:

> Perhaps if we had a system where a wider range of views were represented in parliament, and it wasn't all down to specific party lines.

Well it has to start with voting for who you want to vote for and hope that an increasing number of like minded people join you.
toad - on 16 May 2017
In reply to stevieb:

> I've got a vague hope that when ken Clarke steps down, he'll take quite a few votes with him and my vote will count for something. Until then, remember ukip only got one seat last time, but given the events of the last two years, do you think their 4 million votes were wasted?

I have wondered about this, he's got a lot of personal support in these parts, but fundementally it's very blue round here, although we did vote strongly for remain.
stevieb - on 16 May 2017
In reply to toad:

> I have wondered about this, he's got a lot of personal support in these parts, but fundementally it's very blue round here, although we did vote strongly for remain.

Yeah, hard to know, but he's definitely a vote winner. In 2010, lib + lab matched his vote, split in half, but since then the lib vote has fallen through the floor, and the cons did win almost all the council seats.
elsewhere on 16 May 2017
In reply to GrahamD:
> Well it has to start with voting for who you want to vote for and hope that an increasing number of like minded people join you.

That hope is unrealistic for the 50% of us who live in seats with majorities of 10,000+ or the 80% of us who live in seats with majorities of 5,000+.

Subject to thresholds, that hope becomes a near certainty that your vote could contribute to your chosen party's representation if you rely on like minded people across the UK rather than just those in your constituency.

That's how Scottish Parliament & Bundestag elections roughly work in practice - additional members that can represent lots of big majorities and minority votes in safe seats. It makes every seat important to every party. It's much less divisive as no area is politically insignificant to a government or opposition.
GrahamD - on 16 May 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

The only reason these majorities exist is because a) the opposition isn't bothered or mobilised and b) are not being very persuasive with the incumbent voters, a great many of whom I bet could be swing voters. Whilst you let your party of choice look like no hopers you haven't a chance with the swing voters and it is self perpetuating.
1
Clint86 - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Baron Weasel:

I think it will be closer than I thought. It will be interesting to see.

I like the Labour manifesto.
elsewhere on 16 May 2017
In reply to GrahamD:
Even the most brilliantly successful campaign or landslide victory changes fewer than 200 seats.

450-500 seats don't change regardless of how good/bad or motivated/apathetic the government, opposition or any party is.

In those seats if you vote for the sitting MP the seat is in the bag but you can never boost your party in parliament.
In those seats if you vote for another party it doesn't matter because your party will never get in.

It doesn't matter how persuasive the government or opposition are in those 450-500 seats. They have to be persuasive in about 150-200 seats.

The other 60-80% of the UK population in the safe 450-500 seats have been a political irrelevance.
Post edited at 16:39
Mike Stretford - on 16 May 2017
In reply to GrahamD:
> Well it has to start with voting for who you want to vote for and hope that an increasing number of like minded people join you.

No it doesn't, you can vote against a party you don't like if you want. If you want people to always vote for their favourite party campaign for PR.
Post edited at 16:49

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