Tactical talk

I was rather surprised that your tactical voting guide (30 April) omitted Uxbridge, which could change from Tory to Labour if Liberal Democrat voters continue to vote tactically. At the last general election, the Tory majority was 724 votes, or 1.75 per cent, compared to a Liberal Democrat vote of 4,528, or 10.8 per cent. On that result, Labour will win Uxbridge if 16 per cent of those who voted Lib Dem in 1997 vote tactically in 2001. This makes Uxbridge the 11th most vulnerable Tory seat to tactical voting by Lib Dems. On the doorstep, many Lib Dems are now declaring their intention to vote Labour.

The by-election result in 1997 did not follow this pattern, but this was due to particular circumstances, not least the failure to shortlist the general election candidate. This time, Labour is united behind a locally selected candidate.

Dave Salisbury-Jones
Labour parliamentary candidate for Uxbridge

This article first appeared in the 07 May 2001 issue of the New Statesman, John Prescott: sinking fast