Thursday, 11 February 2016


Labour gave the Additional Member System to the Scottish Parliament, to the Welsh Assembly, and to the London Assembly. It gave the supplementary vote system to the directly elected Mayoralties.

Then it notionally expelled anyone who used those electoral systems to full effect, and it very definitely expelled anyone who publicly advocated doing so. It continues to take that view.

Although it hardly matters where Scotland is concerned this year, if you have voted for a Labour constituency candidate in a region where the party is likely to win a lot of constituency seats, then a Labour vote for the list as well is simply a wasted vote.

Of course, this applies to any party. For example, the SNP. Pretty much any SNP list vote this year will almost certainly be pointless.

But someone is going to fill those seats. They are not going to be left empty. Yet to advocate a different vote for the list is expulsionable from Labour, and no doubt from any other party, too.

Does anyone seriously doubt that politically savvy people in Scotland, Wales and London, such as senior councillors or full-time party officials, split their votes routinely in order to make them both count?

Or that those people, anywhere where there is a directly elected Mayor, exercise a second preference? The people running the Labour Party nationally will, without doubt, be doing so in London this year.

When I sought my third term as a Parish Councillor, by then without a party affiliation, then you could have voted for every Labour candidate and for me, and indeed for every other incumbent seeking re-election.

And people did. I saw the ballot papers. What is more, I'll bet you anything that several of those people were ... well, you can finish that sentence for yourself.

Speaking of the London Mayoral Election, not only is the deposit £10,000, but nomination is by 330 people on the electoral register, 10 from each of the 32 London Boroughs, and 10 from the City of London.

When you see the complete list of candidates, remember that each of them has managed to find 10 of the City's 7,375 inhabitants (a population that is 78.5 per cent white), not merely to vote for them, but to sign their nomination papers.

Think on.

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