Peter Hoskin

Will the tactical voting plea work?

Will the tactical voting plea work?
Text settings

There's only one question which matters when it comes to Labour's tactical voting plea: will it work?  You can certainly see Brown & Co's thinking on this.  This is the election, after all, where the Lib Dems have become a viable option for a lot more people - so they might act as a speed bump for people rushing away from Labour and towards the Tories.  And anything which depresses the Tory vote gives Labour a greater chance of holding the most seats in the House, and of making some kind of post-election pact with Nick Clegg.

But as David said earlier, Labour's osciallating stance towards the Lib Dems - lofty sneers one minute, sickly grins the next - is hardly convincing.  And neither is the timing.  If Labour had been urging tactical voting a few weeks ago, then it would have seemed just as cynical, but perhaps not quite so opportunistic as two days before the election.  The result may be to further put people off the whole process.  Or - who knows? - to mobilise the Tory vote.

In the meantime, I'm sure the Lib Dems are looking on with some degree of anguish.  Having Ed Balls calling on people to vote for your party does rather tarnish your "new politics" credentials.