As we approach voting day, I thought I should deal with the elephant in the room head on.
The two questions I’m being asked are “Is voting Green a wasted vote?” and “Shouldn’t I vote tactically in Banbury to get the Tories out?”
I’ll take the second question first and I answer that by way of this short video, but the gist is that tactical voting in Banbury is very unlikely to work. The Tories still have a 12000 vote majority after Labour’s strongest performance in 2017. Even if you added together all the non-Tory votes in the 2017 election (including UKIP) the next nearest party (Labour) would still have been 8000 votes short of winning.
So you’re free to vote for what you believe in, in Banbury.
The first question I’ll answer with 10 reasons why voting Green is not a wasted vote
1. The national vote share for the Greens will send a message to whomever is in government that we want to see real commitment to climate change issues.
2. A big swing to the Greens will really shake up the other parties and make them realise this is serious!
3. Greens have already influenced the national political landscape. Jeremy Corbyn wouldn’t be the leader of Labour if the Greens hadn’t pushed them to be more radical after the 2015 election.
4. A big Green swing will get a lot of publicity making the point even more strongly. Just another second place for the next nearest party will get virtually no media coverage.
5. Votes for the Greens help them get funding in the form of Short Money. In Banbury that money is worth several thousand pounds. Remember we don’t take funding from big businesses or institutions like the other parties do.
6. Greens call ill-afford to lose the £500 deposit in any constituency. They only need to get 5% of the vote to do that. We got 4.6% in 2015 in Banbury. We only needed another 225 votes, so every vote counted.
7. The number of votes any party gets in a GE determines how much coverage they get on national media, particularly for platforms like the BBC and ITV.
8. We have been winning seats in Oxfordshire. We doubled our number of MEPs and gained 10 times as many council seats, with joint control of one District Council. More Green votes in all elections mean more people get into the habit of voting Green and we get more Green representatives in government.
9. Voting Green gives encouragement to your local branch to make the effort each time to put up a candidate so you will always have the chance to vote Green.
10. If you really care about the environment and the future for generations to come, you’ll be able to tell your children and grandchildren with a clear conscience that you voted for them in years to come. Voting with your heart is never a wasted vote!
I hope this helps anyone who might be undecided about how they can vote in Banbury. And remember, if you’re a Green at heart, this is the time to vote with your heart. For the planet, for your children and for our future.
If not now, then when?