The real danger of voting Green

Unless you live in Brighton Pavilion a vote for Green this time around is not going to result in a Green MP. You might think it’s harmless to vote Green and will simply support a smaller party who may one day in the future, either through increased support or change in the electoral system, have more representation in Westminster.

However, we’re also in one of the closest fought elections we’ve ever seen in the UK. Labour and the Conservatives are neck and neck in the polls. And despite what many people still try and say, there is a very real difference in the direction these two parties want to take the country.

It’s for this very reason a vote for the Green party in many constituencies is a real danger to the direction the country is about to go down.

I’ve been looking at the ‘nowcast’ results published by YouGov on the current estimated results if the election were held now. The results suggest Labour will be the largest party with 276 seats and the Conservatives just behind on 272. But around 50 seats are too close to call meaning all is to play for. Just 3 seats going differently could make the Conservatives the largest party with the biggest mandate to govern.

So where does the Green danger come from? It makes the chance of a Conservative victory much greater. I looked in detail at those seats which YouGov is saying are ‘too close to call’ which have Labour in second place and those which Labour won in 2010, but are not on course to win now. Surprisingly there are 24 seats which the combined Green and Labour support, if all went to Labour would move Labour in to first place.

This would see Labour win extra seats in England, Scotland and Wales than what is currently expected – not just from the Conservatives, but from UKIP, Liberal Democrats, the SNP and Plaid Cymru.

Overall, it would make the YouGov ‘nowcast’ suggest Labour would get 300 seats to the Conservatives 258.

While around 50 seats would still be too close the call, it makes the likelihood of a Labour victory [and a direction of the country more pleasing to the Green voters] significantly more possible.

I’m making an assumption here, that if it were a choice between a Labour-lead and a Conservative-lead government, the vast majority of Green voters would choose Labour (if you disagree, please find me Green voters who would prefer the promises made by the Tories). I’m also assuming votes for other parties would remain the same.

But I find it interesting to see how different this election could be playing out. We have a choice this Thursday on whether we help elect a Labour-lead government or help elect a Conservative-lead government. Which do you want more? If it’s a Labour-lead Government, a vote for the Greens is only going to hinder that – so please use your vote wisely.

The constituencies where a Green vote could cost Labour a seat and lead to a Tory Government

  • Aberdeen North
  • Arfon
  • Calder Valley
  • Cambridge
  • Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire
  • Cleethorpes
  • Colne Valley
  • Dudley South
  • East Lothian
  • Edinburgh North and Leith
  • Edinburgh South
  • Finchley and Golders Green
  • Glenrothes
  • Gloucester
  • Great Yarmouth
  • High Peak
  • Lanark and Hamilton East
  • Norwich North
  • Rossendale and Darwen
  • Rugby
  • Sheffield Hallam
  • Thurrock
  • Warwick and Leamington
  • Worcester

I would urge anyone considering voting Green in any of these seats to instead vote Labour to keep the Tories out.

What about Brighton Pavilion?

The only place the Greens really have a chance – what should you do? Plenty of people say to vote Green here. But I’m calling on people to vote Labour. As the election is so close we cannot afford to give the Conservatives a way in. If we find the Conservatives have a majority of seats on Friday, then they have the mandate to form Government. One Green MP does not help given Labour a mandate. But one more Labour seat takes them one more step ahead of the Tories. If you vote Green in Pavilion on Thursday and they win, what will you think if the Tories pull ahead by one seat? It’s not a risk worth taking.

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