I agree with those finding it distasteful, and in all likelihood counterproductive, that Hain & Balls have come out with a call for tactical votes. Of course, people should vote how they want, and that might be framed in negative terms: if I had Beelzebub standing locally, I would vote for whoever beats him. Or her. But there isn’t an ‘anything but the Conservative’ party, and I personally feel slightly uncomfortable with H&B and the rest implying that such an informal coalition of sentiment exists.
the trouble is that this is an election in which, more than any other in recent British history, people will be paying close attention to the national vote-share figures. A big Lib Dem vote, likely to be wildly disproportionate to the number of Lib Dem seats, would help to advance the case for electoral reform that has gained increasing traction during the campaign. The higher the Lib Dem vote, the more indefensible the system will appear
Exactly. I am voting Lib Dem in a Conservative-Labour marginal. Partly this is in the hope that it generates a 2-3 term strategy. But mostly because every Lib Dem vote counts for winning the argument. As Bagehot concludes:
if Lib Dem voters also want to dramatise the injustice of the electoral system, as well as boost the moral standing of the party, they may be best off voting Lib Dem even in seats the Tories stand to win.