8 June. Your vote can stop the Tories.

Theresa May called this general election in a cynical attempt to crush the opposition to her hard Brexit. But together we can foil her plan – with tactical voting for progressive candidates who are best placed to win their seat.

Enter your postcode to look up your constituency or see the constituency A-Z.

Source: https://stopthetori.es/ or follow: https://twitter.com/votetools


Reasons to vote tactical….

Don’t let the Government turn back the clocks to Downton Abbey days. Here are some excellent reminders as to what this election is about. And if you haven’t done so yet – now is the time to register to vote – and why you need to #VoteTactical

To download the full set of 9 graphics, click here.


These graphics have been made by Dean Vipond deanvipond.com

For more background on why I made them, go to my Medium page https://medium.com/@deanvipond

Feel free to share these on social media – no credit to me is required. Try and start honest conversations with people. Social media is terrible for changing people’s minds, but we have to try something.

I passionately believe that Theresa May’s Conservative government is dangerous. For the future of the people who live in Britain. Please vote against them.



The spreadsheet for tactical voting is now a website

To note is that it is heavily focused against Tories – all Tories. My thinking though suggests that, to win the argument we should be focusing on one idea: defeating Brexit. With the support of the moderate, pro-EU Tories this will be by far more possible.

The Indie story goes as follows:

A widely-shared spreadsheet which encourages people to vote tactically in order to deny the Conservatives a victory in the general election has been made into a mobile-first website.

Last week the Google doc, started by 28-year-old Becky Snowden in West Yorkshire, was circulated widely around social networks.

The theory is easy. Find a Tory swing seat and get people to vote for whoever is most likely to beat them. And for some constituencies it was genuinely that simple. For others, the Tory safe seats, it isn’t clear at this time who the best competitor is. Most of the data is based on previous election results in 2015, 2010 and by-elections.

I have also had overwhelming support from people offering local knowledge. I try to take this into account where I can.

The most difficult to call areas I have tried to indicate that people will have to pick those for themselves. I’ve also tried to indicate which seats are safe ‘non-Tory’ so people can make up their own minds on those.

Becky has since, with collaborators, set up a mobile friendly website, to make the experience easier.

You simply enter your location, or allow the website to track it, and it’ll tell you what it deems as your best tactical vote against the Conservatives.


Becky told indy100:

There are a few of us who have teamed up to make the site and also a group who are working on promoting it.

It’s definitely a growing movement, more and more people hear about it each day and with the support of volunteers we are able to make the message easier to spread – hence creating a mobile friendly site.

Although Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron previously said he would go into coalition with the Conservatives, he has now ruled out a coalition with both the Tories and the Labour party.

He told the Observer:

There is no way we can countenance any kind of arrangement or coalition with the Conservative party and likewise with the Labour party led by Jeremy Corbyn.

He [Corbyn] accepted hard Brexit, he voted for it. He enabled it. It has put us in the situation we are now in.



See full story: https://www.indy100.com/article/spreadsheet-strategic-voting-labour-conservative-lib-dem-general-election-2017-latest-7697431

Ben Goldacre lends support as grassroots tactical voting drive to oust Tories grows

By Serina Sandhu, digital reporter at inews.co.uk 

The popularity of tactical voting in the run up to the 2017 General Election is because politicians have turned into “toddlers” who cannot compromise, says academic Ben Goldacre.

The best-selling author of Bad Science tells i that it may also be a sign that in the current political climate, more people are defining themselves by standing against an idea, rather than in favour of something.

Dr Goldacre’s reason for voting tactically? To oust the Conservatives over their NHS policies. Other voters may have different reasons – but feel the same way about the party. His first poster promoting tactical voting, created in an hour in front of Saturday night TV, has been shared hundreds of times. Others are joining in.

The senior clinical research fellow, based at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, says he is not “party political”. Nor does he believe that one party is “entirely perfect” or “entirely evil”. ‘Dangerous choice’ But on the NHS, he says: “I think the Tories are a dangerous choice for most people.” The health service is “life or death for millions,” he adds.

Read the full article at: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/politics/ben-goldacre-supports-tactical-grassroots-voting-drive-oust-tories/

Progressive Alliances: Momentum Building!

Taken from Jonathon Porritt’s blog post.

So, Theresa May has gone and done what any average, self-serving opportunistic politician would have done in a similar set of circumstances: forget ‘national interest’ and seize the moment to hammer an already divided and enfeebled Opposition. Who’s surprised – however many times she may have lied through her teeth that she’d never do such a thing?

For those of us who’ve been involved in different initiatives to build some kind of movement around ‘progressive alliances’ in the UK, it still raises all sorts of problems. Though we suspected she’d default to standard politicians’ hypocrisy, we sort-of hoped we’d have another three years to put in place the foundations for a long-term transformation in UK politics. We now have to do in seven weeks what we’d hoped to be able to do in three years!

Oddly enough, that may not be such a disaster. There’s just so much energy out there to seize the moment – not just ‘to make the best of a bad job’, but to help ferment another ‘political shock’ on top of all those that we’ve experienced over the last couple of years.

There are three preconditions for anyone reading this blog getting into a positive enough position to enjoy the rest of it:

  1. Disregard what the national parties are saying about alliances of any kind. They’ll say what they think they have to say: some of it will be aimed at party loyalists, and some at prospective new voters. Most of it will be completely formulaic.
  2. Disregard what the utterly wretched print media will be saying. Even the Guardian (my escapist read of choice) hasn’t got the first clue what’s going on out there, and all the rest are either irrelevant or irredeemably despicable.
  3. Watch out for counter-intuitive signals coming in from local constituency parties. Listen to the mavericks, the commentators who understand the deathly grip that ‘tribal politics’ currently has on all our imaginations. And pay particular attention to the ‘merchants of hope’ in the face of despair.

In essence, it’s all about what’s happening at the constituency level – which candidate can demonstrate (persuasively and inclusively) that she/he is in the best position to beat a Tory incumbent in the key 50/60 marginals? The big, powerful idea of ‘progressive alliances’ (not one alliance!) is hugely supportive of any initiative that promotes tactical voting at the local level – and will simultaneously counter the Tories’ charge of ‘coalition of chaos’. This is particularly the case where the Right Wing vote is likely to be split between the Tories and UKIP.

And it matters hugely that every effort is made to engage young people’s networks in all these different initiatives, to ensure at least as high a turnout as happened in the 2016 Referendum.

So what’s actually going on out there at the moment? Here’s my take on the overlapping movements around progressive alliances and ‘smart Brexit’ initiatives:




The basic idea is simple: persuade the candidates of progressive parties (Labour, Lib Dems and Greens, though also the SNP and Plaid where relevant) to focus their energy on attacking Tory candidates (or protecting vulnerable Labour candidates) in key marginals, rather than attacking each other.

There are two principal organisations involved here:

1. Progressive Alliance
(This is being run under the aegis of Compass, building on the work they’ve done over the last few years.) #TogetherWeWin

This will be launching digitally this week, with a big physical launch on 2nd/3rd May the week after. Aiming to get 2,000 people together at a rally.

Progressive Alliance is a bottom-up, constituency-based campaign, seeking to persuade candidates to do the sensible thing in terms of helping each other in clusters of constituencies.

Progressive Alliance is a left-leaning organisation (as in pursuing a ‘progressive political agenda’), but it will not be pushing any particular platform – other than advancing a very strong commitment to Proportional Representation.

It’s currently doing a big crowd-funding campaign.

One important addition here is that part of the campaign will be to act as the main contact point for a vote-swopping initiative, enabling people in different constituencies to make more of their vote than might otherwise be the case.

2. More United
This is a much younger initiative, set up after the last General Election in 2015.
Its principal success so far has been appealing to people’s demand for ‘a different kind of politics’, which has enabled them to bring together 70,000 people, raising at least £350k.

It too has no platform as such, just a list of motherhood-and-apple-pie values. In order to get the endorsement of More United, candidates will have to sign up to these values, and commit to working together in the next Parliament for this kind of ‘better politics’.
However, More United will not require candidates it supports to commit formally to Proportional Representation.

As regards the use of the money, the idea is that once MU’s national membership has ‘voted’ on prospective progressive candidates (more of an endorsement of decisions taken by the Board of MU than a vote), then varying sums of money will be made available to them to support local campaigns.

It has been agreed that Progressive Alliance and More United will work together as closely as possible, particularly in terms of ensuring the best possible coordination at the local level. The likelihood is, however, that they will not formally endorse each other, as there are all sorts of difficulties regarding the rules put forward by the Electoral Commission. Legal advice is being taken on this at the moment.

In particular, Progressive Alliance will keep More United in the loop about the concrete deals going ahead at the local level, so that More United can factor those into their funding plans.

3. Make Votes Matter
This is an organisation (that works alongside the Electoral Reform Society) to seek specific commitments from candidates of any party to introduce Proportional Representation.

Understandably, its principal target is Labour, and there was going to be a big debate at the Labour Conference later this year to try and persuade them formally to endorse PR.

4. Avaaz / 38 Degrees
A lot of work is going on at the moment to see if it’s going to be possible to persuade both Avaaz and 38 to launch initiatives to mobilise their members – both in terms of providing financial support, and in terms of getting troops on the ground.

Although it all looks rather fragile (and indeed febrile!) at the moment, there’s much more to this than cynical political journalists in Westminster would seem to acknowledge. Unfortunately, pretty much everybody was hoping that there wouldn’t be an Election until 2020, so they’re now having to pack into seven weeks what might otherwise have been planned through over three years. Expect some inevitable incoherence!


There’s a wide range of organisations whose focus during this Election will be on Brexit – with a view to securing an outcome from the Election that will make things rather better than they appear to be at the moment.

The four principal organisations involved here are:

1. Best for Britain
This is very much a vertical take-off campaign, focussed on tactical voting to secure the election of those opposed to a ‘hard Brexit’

2. Britain for Europe
This is very much a bottom-up organisation, involving constituency-specific individuals and organisations seeking to secure the best possible deal out of the Brexit process. The number of local groups has increased markedly over the last few months, but it’s still quite small.

3. Open Britain
This is the successor organisation to the ‘Stronger In’ campaign, about which many people still have strong reservations! It was, after all, an astonishingly unsuccessful and ill-conceived campaign. Which means a lot of people feel pretty sceptical about Open Britain.

4. The European Movement
This is the oldest of the organisations, and rather more traditional in its approach. Not sure how significant this will be.

In terms of what they’re all hoping to do, it’s important to point out that they will not necessarily be pushing formally for a second Referendum (as demanded by the Lib Dems), but rather for two things:

1. ‘Smart’ Brexit (as opposed to Hard Brexit).
That sounds eminently sensible, but it’s uncertain exactly what is meant by this. There are so many different permutations and combinations here, around the Single Market, membership of the Customs Union, the European Court of Justice and so on. And it’s in the detail that success here will be built.

2. A final vote in Parliament.
This is probably the clearest demand of all the organisations – that this should not be decided by the Executive, but by Parliament.

Ironically, that’s exactly what Theresa May imagines might happen, which is why she has decided to go early in order to build the size of her majority in Parliament!

These organisations, and others, are currently discussing scope for collaboration, with good signals emerging at the moment. I suspect it’s unlikely that they will merge in any way.

One small point: both Progressive Alliance and More United are very much on the side of the ‘Smart Brexiteers’. They will support wherever they can, within the rules of the Electoral Commission.


I think it’s widely accepted that it’s going to be very hard getting any amount of profile/ impact around the environment agenda during this General Election campaign. There are certainly going to be a number of initiatives around climate change, which will help, but it is felt that this is going to be an uphill battle. Whatever coverage there is will most likely be Brexit-related – ie securing the best possible outcome for the environment (and for climate initiatives) through the Brexit process.

At the moment, there has been one clear initiative, a joint letter signed by most of the Chief Executives of the big environment / conservation organisations to Theresa May, reminding her of the critical importance of keeping the environment high up the agenda.
Expect other initiatives to follow, but I wouldn’t expect too much impact!

The beginnings of an Oxford Alliance?

The Oxfordshire Progressive Alliance” People came from the the Greens, NHA, Labour and LibDems – we have many differences but are united in our urgent need to see the back of this Tory govt. So we all agreed to work together, to encourage tactical voting, voter registration, vote swaps – whatever it takes to elect non-Tories in Oxfordshire
Here’s our press release:

PRESS RELEASE 22 April 2017


A packed and lively pre-election strategy meeting was held on Friday night in St Giles, Oxford.

Around 100 concerned voters (including many activists and members from Labour, Lib Dem and the Green Party) vowed to organise and co-ordinate tactical voting across the Oxfordshire constituencies to oppose the authoritarian shift in British politics. The specific targets agreed upon were a Labour hold in Oxford East and Lib Dem gains in Oxford West and Abingdon and in Witney.

The meeting was convened by Oxford Compass / Progressive Alliance ( http://www.compassonline.org.uk/). A strategy was thrashed out to put party differences to one side. Those present pledged to work in an alliance and avoid splitting the vote of progressive-minded electors in the June 8th General Election.

Participants agreed a raft of measures to increase voter registration and promote tactical voting with media campaigns and publicity supporting Lib Dem and Labour candidates for the constituencies in which they are most likely to win.

Note to editors: In 2010 Oxford West and Abingdon was taken from the Lib Dem Evan Harris by Conservative Nicola Blackwood with a majority of just 176. In 2015 the national Lib Dem vote collapsed and Blackwood held the seat with 9,582 majority. This year it is widely expected that the Lib Dem fortunes will be reversed. On Brexit, the constituency is one of the most pro-Europe in the country and it is expected that the Lib Dems will gain votes at the expense of the Conservatives.

In Oxford East, popular local MP Andrew Smith is retiring. In 2015 Smith defied the national trend, increasing his majority from 4,581 to 15,280.

In the Witney constituency David Cameron won in 2015 with a 25,155 majority. In a by-election a year later this was reduced to 5,702.

Contact details
Helen Salisbury 07799883210
Oxford Compass / PA oxfordprogressivealliance@gmail.com