Letter No 8k by Mike Allott: back to directory
10 March 2005

How the votes will add up

Martin Kettle warns that Labour might lose the election thanks to tactical voting. But his analysis presupposes that sections of the electorate are still natural supporters of one of the three main parties, and switch allegiance to benefit their party nationally. Such embedded loyalty was destroyed by Thatcher - and new Labour's appeal to the middle classes has squared the circle. Most political loyalties are now understandably transient and transferable.

The consequence of these shifts is Labour has assumed the centre and the Lib Dems are firmly on the left, with the Tories, of course, on the right. This strikes me as healthy for democracy, and whatever choice the electorate makes, it will not be one that can necessarily be attributed to tactical voting.

Mike Allott
Eastleigh, Hants