Letter: A tactical stratagem that could bring about a Conservative defeat at the next general election

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Sir: You state in your leading article 'A well-earned kicking, but not much more' (8 May) that Liberal Democrats and Labour must find a way of acting in combination if the Conservatives are to lose the next general election. Perhaps the following solution could beadopted?

In any seat where there was a majority of 12,000 or under at the last general election and where the third party gained fewer than 10,000 votes, the third party would agree not to put up a candidate for one general election only. A clear explanation of this strategem would be offered to the electorate in the seats affected by this agreement.

In the light of the very intelligent tactical voting on 6 May, it is doubtful whether the voters would complain. The dedicated activists in the affected wards would be free to go to another seat to ensure that their candidate was elected there.

The parliament thus elected would then have the length of one parliament only to come up with a better system for the future, knowing that if they failed to do so, the parties would revert to current election practice for all subsequent elections. A similar scheme could be piloted at the local elections in 1997, at which time local parties agree to see whether it is a workable solution.

Yours sincerely,




8 May