From the left of centre London Strategic Voter website some strong support.
The London-wide top-up seats
Again, we aren’t recommending tactical voting in this election, but if you
must, the key consideration in the vote for the London-wide top-up seats
is whether the party you are considering supporting is likely to clear the
5% hurdle to get one Assembly member elected. If it isn’t likely to, then
in tactical voting terms (your vote’s effectiveness in determining the
result), you have wasted your vote.
So which left of New Labour parties are likely to clear the 5% hurdle?
Polls are difficult to come by, as the mainstream media focuses solely on
the Mayoral race. At LSV our guess is that both the Lib Dems and the
Greens will clear the hurdle comfortably, but that Left List, Respect
(George Galloway) and Unity for Peace & Socialism will struggle to do so.
The Greens won 2 top up seats in 2004 (Darren Johnson and Jenny Jones) on
8.37% of the vote, down from 3 on 10.52% of the vote in 2000. The Greens
are going out and out to win 3 seats, which would put lovable Noel Lynch
back into the London Assembly. If they can win four, then this would put
Sian Berry into the Assembly.
The Lib Dems won 5 top-up seats on 16.5% of the vote in 2004, up from 4 on
14.05% in 2000. London Strategic Voter’s view is that the trade of two
fairly anonymous Lib Dem Assembly members for Noel Lynch and Sian Berry
would certainly be an excellent, as both would be excellent Assembly
members and would make an infinitely greater positive impact on the
Assembly than the LibDems.
Respect just missed out on a seat in 2004, getting 4.57% of the vote, just
0.43% short of the threshold. If Respect hadn’t split, then there would
have been an excellent chance of getting Lindsey German, their top of the
list candidate, elected. But now it is hard to see how a split vote, that
will leave both Left List and Respect (George Galloway) well short of the
5% threshold, can be avoided. In many ways this is a private battle
between the two halves of Respect to determine who has the most support
following the split. The manifesto policies of Left List and Respect (GG)
are pretty much the same as each other (whilst refreshingly different from
those of the other parties - underlining the daftness of splitting).
The prospects for Lindsey German and the Left List look bleak. Meanwhile,
Respect (George Galloway) have thrown their biggest gun, George Galloway
himself, into the fray. Can George get over the 5% threshold? Given his
huge - and richly deserved - popularity amongst the Muslim community in
London, and his very high recognition factor amongst all Londoners
(admittedly mostly as a tabloid hate figure, but increasingly as a “top
cat” Talk Radio phone-in host), it perhaps cannot be ruled out. Galloway
is asking Londoners the question, can you name a single London Assembly
member? And there is no doubt that they would be able to if he was
elected. As a former Parliamentarian of the Year, elected by other MPs
most of whom hate his views, George Galloway would bring a class of
heavyweight political talent, skill and rhetorical flourish to the task of
holding the Mayor to account that has never before been seen on the London
Is George Galloway worth voting for? Of course, theoretically, but the
problem is, how many Londoners know he is running for the Assembly, given
the media focus on the Mayoral race? In tactical terms, the problem for
London progressive voters is whether a vote for George Galloway would be a
wasted vote that could cost the Greens an extra seat on the Assembly.
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