Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Head or heart?

I'd done the simple calculation ages ago: there was no way that the LibDem was going to overtake either of the others.  The 2005 figures (rounded) were: Labour 19000 (45%), Cons 14000 (34%), LibDem 7000 (16%), on a turnout of 55% of an electorate of 72000.  So I had to vote tactically - Labour in order to keep out the Tory.  But it stuck in my craw.  I was about to search out a suitable clothespeg.

But this afternoon I decided to have a closer look (well, it was that or wash the kitchen floor).  I made a few not unreasonable assumptions, and came up with a surprising conclusion. 

The Labour vote in 05 was 8% down on 01, largely as an anti-war reaction.  That it wasn't down further was due to the popularity of our great constituency MP Martin Salter, who has now retired.  So I thought it reasonable to assume that the new Labour candidate would lose this personal vote, especially as he's been helicoptered in from Essex.  So, I thought, reduce let's Labour's share by another 12%.

Assume that the Tory vote here is more or less unchanged.  34% seems about right.  The candidate is local, and seems unobjectionable (apart from his politics).

Apply the national swing to the LibDems, so up from 16 to say 28%.   The candidate is, again, local.

All the above is based on the 2005 turnout of 55%.

But then, assume that turnout is going to increase dramatically.  This is a politically aware constituency (personal knowledge confirms this).  I have factored in a 75% turnout.  I've also, controversially, applied the increase in the ratio of 25% Labour, 25% Tory, 50% LibDem.  (I think this is ungenerous to the LibDems).

Running all that through the calculator, it comes out at near enough 17000 votes for each of the three parties.  Would you believe it?

So, guess what I'm doing tomorrow morning?  That's right, looking again at my maths, checking out the relative health of my head and my heart, then trolling across to Cranberry Road to cast my vote. 


  1. Excellent! If only more people thought it through like that. It would make the difference. And everyone needs to bone up on PR & demand that the negotiated deal is for the Single Transferable Vote. Those who say it's too complicated are right about the complicated bit but not the too bit. But we have computers nowadays to make these things easier. Read more at

  2. From UKIP's website:
    "Just after 8am this morning a light aircraft carrying Nigel Farage the UKIP MEP and chief spokesman crashed at Hinton in the Hedges airstrip in Northamptonshire.
    At this time we understand that the pilot has been taken to hospital in Coventry.
    Mr Farage has been taken to Horton hospital in Banbury for his injuries.
    UKIP is sure that everybody involved in today's General Election will join us in hoping and praying that the pilot recovers from his injuries as soon as possible."

    But as for Nigel....

  3. Well, there we are then. A result. Pretty jolly good result in my humble opinion.
    To coin a phrase:
    Where there is discord, may we bring harmony.