Last rites for democracy
The media accused British pollsters of getting their election predictions spectacularly wrong. Pre-election polling suggested a photo finish between Conservatives and Labour, but in the poll that mattered the Tories won by a country mile.
Pollsters didn’t it wrong. The difference between the predictions and the actuality is a difference in motivation. Conservative supporters went to the polling booths. Labour supporters pledged support to the pollsters but stayed at home and watched football.
It didn’t matter anyway
No one got what they wanted. Astonishingly, most people didn’t even vote for what they wanted.
The website Vote for Policies survey hundreds of thousands of potential voters. The punters are asked to select their preferred policies on a wide range of issues. The catch is, the poll is blind and those surveyed aren’t told which party promotes which policy.
Here’s the result. Potential voters preferred Green Party policies by a convincing margin. The election winning Conservatives were fourth.
It gets worse
On individual policies, the Greens were first choice in 5 out of 9, and second choice in another 4. Only in policy on Europe did they drop to 4th. On the three ‘E’s; Education, Economy, and Environment, arguably the most important issues we all face, they wiped the board.
And how did they vote on election day I hear you cry?
Here it is:
Think about this. It’s a stunning revelation. How do voters make their choices? How can we make meaningful change when the majority of people have no idea what they’re voting for?
My father was a Labour man. Even when the New Zealand Labour Party lurched slightly to the Right of Atilla the Hun in the 1980s he kept on voting for them.
Unless we figure out ways to get people to understand the issues, then act on that understanding, basically we’re buggered.
I’ve seen later results which showed the Labour Party leading Vote for Policy’s poll, but at no point did the Conservatives gain majority support in any area.
You can help
You can find the Vote for Policies people at this link. They’re volunteers. If you’re a British voter please consider supporting them.
Outstanding journalist George Monbiot has a relevant article called The Lamps Are Coming On All Over Europe.