Letter: Distortions and myths of voting

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The Independent Online
Sir: Tactical voting was acknowledged by most political commentators as the key to the Tory rout on 1 May. In constituencies as far apart as Tayside North, Taunton, Lewes and Dover its devastating firepower unseated Tory MPs. If there had been more coherent tactical voting in over 120 other constituencies such as Dorset West, Mid Dorset and Poole North, Dorset South and Congleton the Tories would have been reduced to third party arithmetic in the new Parliament.

Grot (Get Rid of Them) and its sister organisation the Scottish Tactical Voting Alliance played a key role in alerting the media to the possibilities for a Tory meltdown, in making opposition party candidates and agents aware of the electoral potential in their own constituencies and in promoting tactical voting with the electorate in the run-up to polling day.

Under a fair and representative proportional electoral system tactical voting will, of course, become redundant. It was encouraging to read Richard Burden MP's affirmation that Labour in government still had electoral reform firmly on the agenda (Letters, 9 May). Grot found in their campaigning up and down the UK that most tactical voters were "switching" in order to enable the end of Tory monopoly power and therefore the possibility of fundamental constitutional change - not as an exclusive confirmation of approval of the "switch" party's own agenda.

The new government needs to be keenly aware that tactical voters are looking for them to deliver on their manifesto commitments - sooner rather than later.

RICHARD DENTON-WHITE

Co-Chair, Get Rid of Them (Grot)

London N16

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