Clatter at my letterbox as a Liberal Democrat leaflet arrives. It informs me that Labour has no chance here – which is a bit of a downer when you’re a Labour candidate.
But wait, is it all that it’s cracked up to be? Haven’t I heard this all before?
I’m a bit of a nerd. In a good way, of course. It’s that I like to deal in facts and figures – with my background in science and law it’s a bit of a reflex action! So I’ve checked the claims
They have picked the most favourable result for them … and even that’s not that good
It’s true that last time in the Mayoral elections the Lib Dem candidate was second with a gap of 14% behind the Tory, hardly close.
There’s another ‘last time’ here as the Police & Crime Commissioner elections will be on the same day. Very different result.
Labour ran the Tory much closer – the gap was 6%. And the Lib Dem limped home to fourth and last place. And after that result, the Lib Dems are running the same candidate again.
Have they forgotten this is a preferential voting system?
Mayor and Police Commissioner are elected by supplementary vote. You express a first and second choice. In round one all the first choices are added up. If any candidate has more than 50% of the vote, they win. Otherwise the top two go through to a second (and final) round in which the second preferences of the eliminated candidates come into play.
What this means is that you give your first preference to the one you want. Second preference to your tactical choice.
Odd that the Lib Dems, who claim to favour Proportional systems, seem to have forgotten to mention it here
Sitting in the middle of the road won’t matter here
In Cambridgeshire it is pretty likely that the Conservative will go through to the second round. Meaning that second choices for the Tory voters do not come into play.
But just because the Conservatives will go through does not mean they will win. Anyone wanting to keep the Tory out – and I assume that’s you, dear reader after James Palmer’s four catastrophic years as Mayor and the Tory PCC resigning in disgrace after a criminal investigation – can safely vote for who they want as a first choice. And then if you like, pick a second choice in case their number 1 doesn’t make it through.