I tell them “I’m voting Labour”
There was some celebration amongst the Labour Twitterati last Saturday evening / Sunday morning after the latest poll showed a narrowing of the Conservative lead.
Whilst Tories and the more sensible Labour people will point out that sometimes you get a rogue poll, and that one poll certainly is certainly no reliable indicator of election outcomes, it was at least encouraging to have even a rogue poll going more in Labour’s direction – and I’d have to say that this one felt more in tune with what I’ve encountered talking to non-political friends and colleagues at home and at work.
Some time ago I blogged about the way that the polls didn’t seem to be reflecting the mood which I was encountering (The bitterest Poll ?) – and I’m prompted once again to comment on opinions encountered in day to day life – but perhaps a bit more positively this time :
I’ve noticed in many conversations over the past months people throwing into conversations things like “Well when the Conservatives get in this will all change” or “Of course there’s no telling what a Tory government will do” – this from people who aren’t especially politically minded – but lead you to believe that much as they don’t particularly want it – the Consevative victory at the General Election is inevitable. My response, sadly was to shrug and sigh.
But since that last blog I’ve noticed a subtle difference. People haven’t been saying “When the Conservatives get in” they’re now saying “Of course we’ll probably have a Conservative government by then” – Probably – not definitely.
Which has prompted me to make a different response. Now if I hear something like that I challenge it – I say “Not if I have anything to do with it !” or “They’ll only be elected if we vote for them” and most of all I say “I’m voting Labour !”
The effect of this is quite dramatic. I find it gives the outsiders in the conversation the courage to speak up. Instead of just nodding and accepting the received wisdom, instead they express how they’re not sure about the conservatives, they discuss their worries about the election, and quite a lot of them – certainly more than you’d imagine from looking at opinion polls or reading the Sun - say “I’m voting Labour too !”.
So my thought for the day. If you get caught in a conversation with friends, or work colleagues, or even total strangers about politics and people make comments that suggests that the election is a foregone conclusion, – don’t accept it !
Challenge it – tell them it’s not a foregone conclusion. Tell them anyone can win the election.
Tell them that the election will only be a foregone conclusion if people don’t think about who they’re voting for.
Tell them every vote counts.
And tell them “I’m voting Labour !”
Because if you don’t tell them, who will ?