DIEM25 UK Advice to Voters
Be as principled as you can!
First-past-the-post is crap.
After this election, DiEMUK will go back to campaigning in any way we can for a fairer voting system.
Until then, we all have choices to make. Most people are resigned to tactical voting. It’s depressing, but for many of us it’s all we can do.
Things are rarely black and white, however. Throughout this election we have supported the idea that parties with progressive principles should be working together. As part of this process, we drew up a list of principles important to DiEMUK. Commitment to electoral reform, for example. Or the promise to reform the financial system.
We then looked through the manifestos and used this list to score how well the different parties match these broad principles, using a simple system. For each principle, a party could score 1, a zero, or -1.
1 – A hit! The party is proposing almost exactly what we want
0 – Not so good. Not quite what we want, or they simply haven’t mentioned it all
-1 – Very bad. Paul Nuttall bad. The opposite of what we want
We then tallied up the scores to see how well each party did.
The outcome surprised us. Greens came out very strongly; Labour and Lib Dems fight for second place. Just to repeat; all we’re advocating is a process. Take a look at the scorecard below.
If you disagree with our scores; change them and see how it looks! Additionally, a zero in this scoring system indicates uncertainty; maybe you want to call up your candidate or get that person delivering leaflets and ask them what they think. The answer could change the score.
Based on our scores, we have come up with a broad guide for how we would vote in England and Wales. Based on your scores, you might have a different process. We’re still working on Scotland (the SNP manifesto only came out last week), but feel free to have a go yourself, and share with us!
What we’re hoping is that this will make you feel like you’ve got some power back. That if you feel like you can’t vote for your ideal candidate, you can take a look at policies and principles and find a candidate or party who believes in some of what you believe. So maybe not totally principled, but not completely tactical either. With the system we have, that’s the most you can do.
- If you don’t like the principles we’ve chosen, but want to know what the parties say about things that matter to you, DiEMUK has a tool for this. Just search for the words or phrases you want, and this tool will find them in the manifestos.
- The approach we’ve taken isn’t totally novel. Vote for policies has done something very similar, so if you don’t like what we’ve done head over there (or watch this).
The DIEM25 UK Scorecard
|DIEM25 UK Commitment||UKIP||Conservative||Labour||Lib Dem||Green||SNP||Plaid Cymru|
|Financial and Political Transparency||Some transparency and anti-corruption proposals Score 0||Address tax avoidance; regulate trusts; protect business interests Score 0||Fair taxation, transparency in crown dependencies Score 1||Commit to global anti-corruption initiatives Score 0||Personal data privacy; crack down on tax avoidance Score 0||Crack down on tax avoidance; improve transparency of tax paid by major internationals Score 0||No significant initiatives Score 0|
|Freedom of Movement and EU Citizens’ Rights||End FOM; will allow EU citizens to remain if reciprocal arrangement Score -1||End FOM; no guarantee of EU citizens’ rights Score -1||FOM will end; EU citizen rights guaranteed Score 0||Freedom of movement and EU citizen rights Score 1||Freedom of movement and EU citizen rights Score 1||Want confirmation of rights of EU nationals; will push for guarantees over control of who enters Score 0||FOM will end; EU citizen rights guaranteed Score 0|
|Global stability and Refugees||Abolish FR; “bona fide asylum seekers” Expand military. Trade not aid Score -1||Will work to reduce refugees and asylum claims; action at source of conflict Score 0||Commitment to refugees; links to foreign policy Score 1||Support and safe travel for refugees, preserve FR, end detention etc Score 1||‘Humane system’ that takes responsibility for UK role in instability Score 1||Allow vulnerable refugee children into the UK; Refugee Integration Strategy; protect LGBT refugees Score 1||Allow vulnerable refugee children into the UK; no military action w/o UN Score 1|
|Transformation of Financial Sector||Framed in terms of outcomes and advantages of Brexit Score 0||No significant initiatives Score 0||National Investment Bank; ring-fence investment banking Score 1||Expand the activities of British Business Bank; preserve role of City within EU Score 0||Transparency, national investment bank, people’s banks, UBI Score 1||Some reforms to control finance; tax bankers’ bonuses Score 0||A Welsh investment bank to invest in business; opening a public bank to ensure local access Score 1|
|Economic Security and Privatisation||Framed in terms of ‘British workers’ and small businesses Score 0||Protection of ‘gig economy’ workers, privatisation and ‘mixed’ approaches Score 0||End zero-hours contracts; Roll back privatisation; public ownership of utilities Score 1||Living wage, regulation of zero-hours; not specific on privatisation Score 0||Roll back privatisation; public ownership of utilities Score 1||Restore NHS to fully public; living wage; ban zero-hours contracts Score 1||Living pension for all; want public sector to hire local companies at living wage Score 0|
|Green Investment||Conservation and recycling, but will repeal CCA and other ‘red tape’ Score -1||Pro-fracking; meet obligations on climate change; other one-offs Score 0||High tech plans; increased zero-carbon; other environ. policies Score 0||A wide range of quite well integrated policy and commitments Score 1||Large and small-scale investment in green initiatives Score 1||Oil/gas key role in Scotland’s future Score 0||A few policies covering renewable energy generation & tackling climate change Score 1|
|Open Debate and Avoiding ‘No Deal’ EU Exit||Pressing for immediate hard Brexit Score -1||No open debate; rhetoric of ‘best deal’ Score 0||Debate & vote; retain single market and other aspects, No hard Brexit. Score 1||No hard Brexit; preserve; offer second referendum Score 1||Remain in single market; final referendum Score 1||Want membership single market; vote on any deal tied up in independence Score 1||Want no barriers in trade; little detail Score 0|
|Proportional Representation||Yes Score 1||No Score -1||No stresses local democracy Score 0||Yes Score 1||Yes Score 1||Yes Score 1||Only for the Welsh assembly Score 0|
|UKIP||Conservative||Labour||Lib Dem||Green||SMP||Plaid Cymru|
DIEM25 UK Advice to Voters in the General Election
Summary: Constituencies in England
DIEM25 UK encourages principled rather than simply ‘tactical’ voting in the forthcoming UK General Election. On the basis of alignments between party manifesto documents and the commitments of DIEM25 UK, we advise the following in order of priority – that is, if you are not able to fulfill point 1, move to point 2.
- Vote for a candidate from the list identified by DIEM25 UK.
- Vote for any incumbent or strongly placed Green candidate.
- Vote to defend any incumbent Labour or Liberal Democrat candidate.
- In seats where the incumbent is a Conservative, vote for the Green, Labour or Liberal Democrat candidate most likely to defeat them.
- In seats where the contest is likely to between Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates such as Birmingham Yardley, Vauxhall or Cambridge, then the voter needs to consider which commitments they value more highly – the Labour Party’s, to worker rights and public ownership; or the Liberal Democrats’ to Freedom of Movement and a second EU referendum, along with the record of the individual candidates.
- Vote for the most strongly placed candidate against any incumbent or candidate who espouses an immediate (non-Article 50) exit from the EU.
Supporting Argument: Constituencies in England
Many of the Green Party manifesto commitments align closely with our commitments on Europe, Green Investment; Transparency; and Public Ownership. The Green Party is also committed to Proportional Representation, which DIEM 25 UK sees as a key democratic requirement.
If you are in a constituency where a Green Party candidate is the current incumbent (Brighton Pavilion) or has a good chance of being elected (such as The Isle of Wight or Bristol West), then DIEM 25 UK encourages you to vote for them.
Within the Conservative Party, we commend MP’s like Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston for voicing their dissent, and the contribution over the years on issues key to Britain’s future made by eminent parliamentarians such as Kenneth Clarke. But failure to support calls for a major national debate on the Brexit deal under way over the next two years (perhaps due to party discipline and perhaps due to individual concerns about re-election) makes it impossible to entrust our democracy to a Conservative party that is so influenced by ‘hard’ Brexit advocates within their own party, from UKIP, and from other external interest groups.
With the exception of individual candidates with exceptional records, or in the face of a likely UKIP victory in a specific seat, we cannot encourage voting Conservative.
While there are some sections of the UKIP manifesto that discuss workers’ rights, local democracy and transparency, there is little in the manifesto that aligns with the international or domestic outlook of DIEM25 UK. UKIP is in favour of a ‘hard Brexit’ and this underpins other policy positions.
In the event of a UKIP candidate being in a position to win a seat, we encourage you to vote for the candidate most likely to defeat them.
The Labour Party manifesto accepts that free movement of people will end, although it rejects ‘no deal’ as a viable option for UK-EU relations and suggests the negotiation of transitional arrangements. In many other respects, for example, an acknowledgement of the links between global stability and migration; transparency; workers’ rights; and resistance to privatisation of public services, the manifesto aligns well with DIEM25 UK’s commitments. While a range of environmental policies are presented, these are not explicitly linked to a green investment programme as in the Green Party manifesto. As a potential sole party of government, or major partner in any post-election coalition, the voting for the Labour Party represents many voters’ best opportunity to elect a candidate whose party manifesto aligns with DIEM 25 UK commitments.
Where a Labour candidate is defending a seat in England, or where they were the second-placed candidate in 2015, or where local polls indicate that they are now well-placed to win, we encourage you to vote for them, other than where there is a better-placed Green Party candidate.
With its explicitly ‘Pro-Remain’ stance and determination to preserve as much of the existing UK-EU relationship as possible, the Liberal Democrat manifesto contains many policies that align well with DIEM25 UK’s commitments, and many individual MPs and candidates have admirable records and an internationalist outlook. The manifesto offers a well-integrated set of environmental policies tied to public investment. However, their commitment to the maintenance of the status quo in a number of key areas such as employment or financial reform, halting privatisation, and public ownership, means that their alignment with DIEM25 UK is less evident in these areas than is the case in the Labour and Green Party manifestos.
Where a Liberal Democrat candidate is defending a seat in England, or where they were the second-placed candidate in 2015, or where local polls indicate that they are now well-placed to win, we encourage you to vote for them, other than where there is a better- or well-placed Green Party candidate. If a contest is between Labour and Liberal Democrat (as in Birmingham Yardley) we would encourage voters to base their decision on assessment of the individual records of the candidates.
Supporting Argument: Constituencies in Wales
Plaid Cymru currently have 3 of the 40 Welsh Parliamentary seats. A Welsh-centric party with concern on gaining more devolved power to the Welsh assembly. Plaid’s nationalist position is at odds with DiEM25 UKs international agenda. However the drive for more powers nationally and to address the Barnett formula funding issue for Wales is in alignment with DiEM25 UK’s push to address inequalities within the financial and economics systems of Britain.
Where one of the 3 incumbent Plaid seats is strong and non Labour marginal then DiEM25 UK recommends a vote for that candidate based on Plaid Cymru’s rough alignment on DiEM25 UK’s agenda.
Labour manifesto alignment has been previously outlined within this document. Welsh Labour candidates will be standing on the same national manifesto as candidates in England and Scotland. In Wales the Labour party represents the majority of parliamentary seats having 25 of the total 40. It also holds the majority in the Welsh assembly, the devolved government of Wales. The Welsh Assembly government struggles with the disadvantage of Barnett formula funding issues and has become reliant on EU funding to maintain capital projects. A Labour national government currently represents the most likely possibility to deliver for Wales and address regional inequality.
Where a Labour candidate is defending a seat in Wales, or where they were the second-placed candidate in 2015, or where local polls indicate that they are now well-placed to win, we encourage you to vote for them
As previously stated the green party manifesto aligns well with our commitments. However there are currently no incumbent green party candidates within Wales. The green party recognising the limitations of the first past the post system has stood down candidates within many welsh constituencies to support Labours challenge to the Tory Westminster government.
Where a local green party within Welsh constituencies has stood down and has endorsed labour DiEM25Uk recommends following their advice. Continuity of support for Green policy is recommended where possible.
The Liberal Democrats hold 1 Welsh constituency seat. In the Plaid/Liberal marginal seat of Ceredigion. Liberal Democrats’ pro-EU position makes the issue of Welsh assembly government funding conveniently go away if Brexit is blocked. However that fails to address the international issue of democracy within Europe and abroad. Also, the unlikelihood of it renders the argument moot.
DiEM25 UK would recommend serious consideration between Plaid and Liberal Democrats within the Ceredigion constituency unless polling dictates an upcoming conservative marginal in which case vote for the incumbent Liberal Democrat candidate.
Supporting Argument: Constituencies in Scotland
We would love to hear from you on how to supplement the above with discussion of SNP and how to decide between Green, SNP, Labour and Liberal Democrat.
Supporting Argument: Constituencies in Northern Ireland
We would love to hear from you on how to supplement the above with discussion of NI parties and to encourage those opposed to hard Brexit, or any agreement that would lead to a closed border.