Monday, 5 June 2017

Why I'll Probably Vote Lib Dem And You Probably Should Too

When this election was called I thought getting rid of the Tories was secondary to trying to get rid of Brexiters.

Of course this election turned out to be about everything BUT Brexit. I'm still rabidly pro-EU. I'm not giving up on the dream but I think the fight for Remain is now totally over. The fight for Return will have to start but it can't exactly do that for a while.

The Tories have shown themselves to be even more useless than I'd given them credit for. Since May took over as Prime Minister I've struggled to understand some of her actions. Her failure to actively build bridges with Remains and picking a judicial fight over Article 50 rather than just get it through the Commons first time are top among the pre-election "blunders". These pale in comparison to the errors that May has made since calling the election.

She can't help but say hypocritical things like how she was too busy thinking about Brexit to attend a debate (well you called the election during the negotiations Prime Minister!) or complain about Labour being all soundbites and no substance (this needs little explanation!). Her manifesto policies were not just poorly conceived and rather empty, they were also pretty bleak. There was no vision there, none of the promise that Brexit supposedly will bring. It was all charges and pain.

Despite being extremely cool towards Corbyn before (his stances on the Falklands War and the IRA remain deep concerns to me), he seems like a professional whilst May appears dangerously inept.

At this point I'm more concerned about the prospect of a May return than a Corbyn premiership.

Meanwhile the Lib Dems, the only party I've ever voted for at general elections, have not taken off. The Brexit focus turned out to be the wrong strategy. They remain tarnished by coalition and caught off guard in what is turning out to be a possible national re-alignment politically. But right now the Lib Dems are the most sensible of the three main national parties (though some of those "Which Party Should You Support?" websites have me down as SNP!!). Their manifesto is sensible and costed. Tim Farron is a bit wet but he's not crazy and he's not utterly inept. At this point that's the best we can hope for.

You'd think as a near life-long Lib Dem member, a past paper candidate, and a liberal to my core, the decision to vote Lib Dem should be straightforward based on what I've laid out above. However, here in Dover, Yougov have got the seat down as leaning Labour. A chance to help punish the self-obsessed Tories who've put themselves before our national interest is calling out to me. I'm fighting it, but I don't think I'll know how I'll vote until I get to the polling booth.

And if you think that's crazy just take a look at this on the Yougov projections. If accurate (take a very large pinch of salt!) it suggests we could see massive seat changes across the country unlike anything seen for many years. I still think the Tories will win handsomely. But you never know!

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