Thursday, October 09, 2014

The tactical anti UKIP voter's choice in Clacton or Rochester. VoteConservative (Aargh!)


I would vote Conservative in Clacton or Rochester. Anyone who knows me would know how bizarre this admission is but it is forced on me by our FPTP electoral system. Over the years I have voted for whichever candidate in a First Past the Post election had the better chance of beating the Conservative. In 2010 that was Vince Cable in my constituency of Twickenham. However in more proportional elections like the London Mayor or the EU elections I vote for the candidate(s) I really believe in. Labour, Independent, Green, LibDem... Never Tory.

The Clacton/Rochester elections admission (theoretical, of course, as I don't have a vote in either constituency) is not because my preference would be for a Conservative in either place. Obviously! But because I would want to stop UKIP. I heard both Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless speak at a ConHome conference earlier this year. The former impressed me as a hard-working local MP whose efforts had made a previous Labour seat into a Tory stronghold. He is clearly a good and decent local MP. His belief in changing politics to hold MPs more to account I agree with. He is a democrat, albeit his defection to UKIP was strange to understand. Until, that is, you look at Carswell's obsessive Anti EU position. He has been at odds with his Party on this issue for sometime. I think his views are totally wrong and I don't think that he argues his case very well either. He reminds me of the sort of bloke you meet casually and chat aimiably with until the EU comes up - then he goes into rant mode. You run screaming from the bar to avoid hearing more. Carswell is a pub bore on Europe and rather a humourless one. 

Mark Reckless has none of Carswell's dull charm. He is a charmless undertaker type who wears what look like good suits but spouts extreme positions that are borderline bigotry. He's one of the most unpleasant politicians from any party it's been my misfortune to meet - albeit at a safe distance. His new leader Nigel Farage, who I once had dinner with (!) is good company, funny and clever enough. Reckless would be the sort of bloke that Nigel would in the past have avoided like the plague. But the Rag, Tag and Bobtail UKIP "leaders" need a bit of gravitas and Reckless, awful though he is, by comparison with them does I suppose provide it.

Anyway both Clacton and Rochester are straight Tory/UKIP fights and tactical voters must surely choose the lesser of two evils. FPTP forces them to do this. I don't want obsessives like Carswell or pompous bigots like Reckless in Parliament and I'd even vote for a Tory to keep them out!  


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