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Analysis

Greens and Lib Dems are usually better bet than Labour

by Hugo Dixon | 20.05.2017

Help Labour Remainers if they’re in danger. Remove Tory Brexiters where that’s possible. But, otherwise, pro-Europeans should vote for the Greens or Liberal Democrats on June 8.

The top goal for those who want to stop a destructive Brexit should be to get as pro-European a House of Commons as possible. That could involve backing a Labour candidate who has a chance of unseating a Tory. There are also a few cases where it makes sense to back a Conservative, such as Nicky Morgan, who has been trying to restrain Theresa May from doing something crazy.

How should you vote?

But there are many safe seats where there’s no chance of removing the sitting Tory MP. In those cases, backing a Labour candidate won’t make any difference. It is then better to support one of the two parties which are genuinely pro-European – the Greens or the Lib Dems. Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit policy may be better than Theresa May’s, but it’s spineless and riddled with holes.

Even if the prime minister gets her predicted landslide, there will also be some safe Labour seats. Where the sitting MP, such as Ed Miliband, has been battling to stop a destructive Brexit since the referendum, voters should back them. But otherwise, it’s better to boost the national vote for committed pro-European parties.

In these cases it’s better to vote Green or Lib Dem. The more votes they get, the more authority they will have to oppose May’s Brexit plans after the election.

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But which party should pro-Europeans back: Greens or Lib Dems? That depends. Both are promising a referendum at the end of the Brexit negotiations to check that the people still want to quit the EU. There’s not much to choose between the two on policy.

When one of the parties has even an outside chance of winning, voters should obviously back that party. But these will, by definition, be neither safe Tory nor safe Labour seats.

The Greens also aren’t standing everywhere. In 31 cases, they have stood down to make it easier for progressive parties to defend themselves or attack the Tories. Labour and the Lib Dems sadly have been so tribal that they haven’t been willing to engage in pro-European pacts or so-called progressive alliances.

Be that as it may, in any safe Tory or Labour seats where the Greens are not standing and the sitting MP hasn’t done anything to fight a destructive Brexit since the referendum, the choice again is easy: back the Lib Dems.

In all other cases, there isn’t any good reason from a Brexit point of view to support one party over the other. Pro-Europeans in those seats should vote for whichever of the Lib Dems and Greens takes their fancy on other grounds.

Edited by Rachel Franklin

6 Responses to “Greens and Lib Dems are usually better bet than Labour”

  • It is not correct to state that the Liberal Democrats have refused to engage in electoral pacts – they have stood down in two seats! Ignoring the fact the Liberal Democrats are in second place in substantially more seats than the Green Party also hugely undermines this article.

    Once again, InFacts seem to be going to absurd lengths to be unsupportive of the UK’s primary pro-EU party.

  • Thoughts upon BREXIT

    Boris, Gove and Farage lied and cheated,
    Thus the Remain campaign was defeated.
    If now you don’t like the terms of Brexit
    Pray that Parliament votes quickly to correct it.

    We suggest the Brexiteers be put in jail
    and hope that EU negotiators fail.
    Fail to tear the UK from its neighbours
    Those from whom we expect important favours.

    The pound has already taken a tumble
    With luck voters will start to grumble.
    The universities will be starved of cash
    and then the economy may well crash.

    With consequences dire
    Boris and his team played with fire.
    They said every week we’d save a lot
    but so far there is only an empty pot.

    Brexiteers think that Brexit’s nice
    No matter what, they’ll agree the price.
    But folk that have a brain
    Will realize their reasoning is insane.

    We’ll trade with the world was the claim
    So far its no more than an illusory aim.
    Until the EU flag has one less star
    We cannot make new partners near or far.

    Once Great Britain led the way
    But now we may not have a say.
    If you agree and don’t like the terms of Brexit
    Pray that Parliament votes quickly to correct it.

    © David Watmough, file thoughts on brexit 050916.doc

  • No lib dems have engaged in local alliance where practical. There will be no Lib Dem candidate standing against Caroline Lucas.

  • Why urge people to facilitate hard Tory Brexit by voting for parties that cannot form a government? We’ve all seen how the LibDems behaved in coalition with the Tories. Does anyone seriously believe that Theresa May will take any notice of protest voting for the Greens or LibDems? All she cares about is power, and her style is increasingly reminiscent of Erdogan. Labour is the only party which can stop May in her tracks, and it’s proposing a manifesto which has much in common with mainstream European progressive politics. If the Tories win, we risk becoming an impoverished
    and reactionary backwater with no protection for workers’ rights, social justice or the environment.

  • A well reasoned alternative to all those “vote for the party most likely to stop the Tories” articles. The third paragraph is key – even if you want to vote tactically, if it’s a Conservative or Labour safe seat, you’re better off voting with your heart. And you’ll feel better for doing so.

  • Hello. I don’t agree. Lib Dems are going for 2nd place. Labour is going for 1st place. The polls this week have narrowed. If we want to stop the Tories, Labour is the choice.