I should have done this donkeys ago.
Better late than never...?
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In our area (Broxtowe), despite Lib Dem councillors, the two party system is too ingrained to be torn up without a significant Lib Dem candidate. Consequently, I have no qualms about supporting Nick Palmer as a good local MP (see Rullsenberg and Cloud passim). Have always been open about supporting a Labour Party that never has and probably never could exist: too idealistically socialist to get much enthusiasm for Labour policies in practice. Nevertheless, an abiding loathing for conservatism in Big P politics sense (C) and mostly in small p politics sense (c) as well.
But for a friend of mine, stuck over in sunny West Bridgford, it's a more tricky proposition being of a socialist incline: he's under Rushcliffe: a Tory stronghold, 445th safest seat in the Commons with Kenneth Clarke at the helm. With the best will in the world, the Rushcliffe residents are not going to be voting in Labour any time soon. In 1992 Labour was almost evenly split with the Lib Dems (23.2% vs. 20% share of the votes); 1997 Labour got 22,503 votes and a 36.2 share, and this in a year when Clarke's vote went down 10%. In 2001 the number of votes may have dropped, but Clarke's share rose back and Labour could not capitalise on the 1997 position. Not very likely in the current climate then that Labour would make much headway there.
A semi-rural seat, the 'good' burghers of Rushcliffe are anti-tram and pro-hunting (neither a standpoint my friend feels any sympathy with). He's too hacked off with Labour to feel able to vote for them, so what to do? Protest by voting Lib Dem? There seems little other option for him even though they are even LESS likely to gather the Rushcliffe seat. Any wonder the vote is going down, even amongst the most politically aware?