If the council elections are a barometer, the Remain voters seem to be widely voting for Lib Dems. Combined with a relatively better established party organisation, this gives them the best chance, of the Remainer parties, of winning seats in the European parliament.
The Change UK party has one thing going for it – hope of a moderate, centrist contender.
Voting for them is a sending a message to the moderates in both parties that there’s a third way. A strong message on this may be more important as the Tories get ready to tilt further to the right once they rid themselves of their stubborn leader, and Labour shows no sign of recovering from its hard-left capture.
If Change UK win a decent percentage of the vote—and this election may be more about vote shares as a signal than the number of short-lived MEPs—then it may encourage more of the moderates in both main parties to speak up, or defect to the CUK.
I’m split. Should I…
Vote for a party that has the better chance of winning a probably inconsequential MEP seat, or
Vote for a party that has little chance of winning now, but has a chance at becoming a stronger, better force if enough people are seen voting for them?
Conservatives have governed the Guildford borough council since 1999. Today they lost 25 seats – going from 34 out of 48 seats, to just 9 seats. All of these remaining 9 were in armed forces heavy villages around Ash and Normandy.
They lost remain voters in the town by becoming the party of Brexit. And they lost Brexit voters in the villages by dismissing the widespread opposition to the local development plan, and cynically passing it just a week before the election.
(The plan allows three separate developments in the green belt for a total of about 4000 new homes. It’s massively unpopular for a variety of reasons – green belt love, house price NIMBYism, bad traffic and amenities provision…).
Labour remained immaterial, winning their token 2 seats in Stoke.
Lib Dems gained much of the Remain vote in the urban areas in and around town – gaining 7 seats to become the largest party with 17 seats.
Two groups of local/independent parties – Guildford Greenbelt Group and Residents for Guildford and Villages – gained most of the previously conservative votes in the villages.
Both these parties were formed in opposition to large scale house building plans in the green belt. The Brexit voting conservative voters in the villages are angry about the developments, and punished the Tories for their arrogance.
I wonder if R4GV+GGG will now be brave enough to push for a recall of the much hated local development plan.