New Times,
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  1. Politics
2 May 2010

Clamour grows for tactical voting

And Labour hits out at the Guardian.

By James Macintyre

So, the newspapers are declaring their hand. Yesterday, the Guardian came out for the Lib Dems, to be followed today by its sister paper, the Observer. More predictably, the Times switched its support from New Labour to David Cameron’s Conservatives, while the rest of the papers fall along inevitable lines.

The only eye-catching editorial element in the right-wing press today is the way in which the Mail on Sunday‘s editorial backing the Tories is followed on the next page by an impassioned plea by its lead columnist, Peter Hitchens, for his readers to vote anything but.

Meanwhile, however, it’s well worth taking a look at the Independent on Sunday‘s editorial. This makes the powerful case for tactical voting — Labour and Lib Dem — to keep out the Tories. Some say such a call is cynical, but like the rest of us who have long called for electoral reform, the paper is in a position to endorse tactical voting to take some advantage from the skewed, deeply unfair voting system.

The call, which presumably may be followed by a similar one in the daily Independent, follows calls by Andrew Adonis in that paper and Douglas Alexander in the New Statesman for the Lib Dems to lend their vote to Labour in Labour-Tory marginals.

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As it happens, I just bumped into a senior Labour figure on the Tube and we got chatting about this. He said that the Guardian has “lost a lot of goodwill” among Labour supporters and activists for its position, but he fully understood that of the Independent on Sunday.

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