To wonder if many voters know what they are actually voting for?

(50 Posts)
superstarheartbreaker Tue 09-Apr-13 22:59:13

How many of you read a political manifesto, how many vote for who your parents vote for and how many vote for a change? Just interested after all the Thatcher threads.
Just wondering if many voters are either Labour or conservative due to a tribal identity rather like following a football team? Before I get flamed I know that you are all intelligent adults capable of making up your own minds; I speak also for myself. I just vote with a gut feeling and an allegience to a vague ideology. Also a bit of a fence sitter having been involved in quite extreme green political views in my youth and realising that the middle way was more me. I wish I knew more about politics so I could make an informed decision rather than the vagueries and stereotypes.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 09-Apr-13 23:33:58

I read manifestos and make a decision on who to vote for at each election. I don't have any allegiance or loyalty to any party.

DH, on the other hand, pretty much listens to me give him a run down of what I have read and then votes for whoever I tell him I am voting for.

I vote for the candidate I like best. The fact that (s)he is aligned with a particular party is of course relevant, but not conclusive. That is how the Westminster system is designed to work. You can't, in fact, vote for a party.

NotTreadingGrapes Wed 10-Apr-13 06:52:54

Yes I do.

Thank you for your concern.

NotTreadingGrapes Wed 10-Apr-13 06:54:46

(I vote Labour, always have. My Dad votes Labour, my Mum Conservative, but she votes for our local Labour councillor because she is brilliant. Maternal grandparents were Conservative, Paternal Labour)

tiredemma Wed 10-Apr-13 06:55:38

More or less the same as CloudsandTrees- DP then votes for who I have told him to vote for.

NotTreadingGrapes Wed 10-Apr-13 06:55:50

I would never tactically vote, just can't bring myself to. And I wouldn't vote for Nick Clegg's lot if there was a gun held to my head.

NotTreadingGrapes Wed 10-Apr-13 06:56:39

I have moved dp from (almost) the far right to (almost) the far left.

My work is done. grin

HollyBerryBush Wed 10-Apr-13 08:05:02

I read all the principle manifesto highlights for a general election.

I read everything for London Assembly, Mayoral, local elections.

I don't always vote for the same 'party'.

And I certainly don't vote X on the grounds 'that's how I was brought up'. Although by and large that is the pattern.

When it gets close to election time and those funny little quizzes come out, it's quite strange how your politics deviate over time. You may think (as DH does) that he is a life long Labour supporter - but in reality he hasn't got a socialist bone in his body. I come from a strong conservative background, but my politics have become really quite fluffy liberal in recent years. Although I'd never waste a vote on Nick Clegg. grin

Also, in this country we vote for the constituency candidate NOT the party - but of course everyone gets hyped up by the main figures and the party and forgets how they should be voting.

HollyBerryBush,

I take it you're registered in Sheffield Hallam then.

Bad luck.

Scholes34 Wed 10-Apr-13 10:21:24

In local and general elections, I'm always interested to see where the candidate lives, ie if they live locally. It's nice to know if they might actually know the constituency.

MixedBerries Wed 10-Apr-13 11:41:37

I think that these days it's virtually impossible to know exactly what you're voting for as the parties minds change whimsically once they've been elected. For example, Nick Clegg and tutition fees. It feels like pot luck sometimes.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 10-Apr-13 12:02:31

I always read policies and manifestos. I do tend to vote for the party rather than the person though.

BreconBeBuggered Wed 10-Apr-13 12:04:16

Many years ago I agreed to stand as a candidate in the local council elections. The result was a foregone conclusion and I was only there to give people the choice of voting for that party, but nevertheless I went out knocking doors to find out what issues were bothering local people. Overwhelmingly they disapproved of the actions of their elected representatives and thought I should be responsible for changing things, but when asked about their voting intentions they planned to stick with the party they always voted for.

JollyPurpleGiant Wed 10-Apr-13 12:07:56

I have heard a lot of people say "I vote labour because my dad/husband/grandfather always voted labour"

I haven't heard anyone say this about the Tories, but I live in Scotland so Tory voters are a rare breed.

Archetype Wed 10-Apr-13 12:09:52

Don't have a clue, there for I don't vote. they should send out a big list of information before elections. id love to vote

badguider Wed 10-Apr-13 12:14:49

In a general election there's often a tension between who would make a good local MP and which party they represent in parliament.

Not to mention the whole 'tactical' thing where you are more interested in voting against somebody than for a particular person so you pick the one most likely to beat who you don't want.

And then there are safe seats where it makes no bloody difference, the person is so high profile they win by a crazy margin every year. (I've lived in the constituencies of a couple of these).

I agree that people are led by those around them somewhat. I'm from a really lefty background. My parents were part of the communist party as were my grandparents, and my other set of grandparents were big socialist union campaigners. That probably influences my vote directly and indirectly.

However DH and I usually get all the leaflets and other info we've seen together and discuss it. This does mean us seeking out parts of the manifesto etc I haven't voted Labour since the Iraq war and neither have my immediate family. Last time both DH and I went with Lib Dems, to our eternal shame.

Which brings me to my main point. No voters really know what they're voting for as one the candidate or party are in they are completely free to change policies and do whatever the hell they like.

AmberLeaf Wed 10-Apr-13 12:25:41

Don't have a clue, there for I don't vote. they should send out a big list of information before elections. id love to vote

You have an internet connection!

You can find out all you need to know online these days, arguments for and against all parties, biased and unbiased.

It's up to you to educate yourself.

ComposHat Wed 10-Apr-13 12:34:05

I have never and could bring myself to vote tory. Everything they stand for repulses me. Born to rule six toed ponyfuckers.

My instinct is to vote labour but am prepared to be convinced otherwise. I didn't vote labour for a period during the mid 2000s due to the Iraq war. I have voted SNP in Scottish parliament elections as Scottish Labour are a complacent joke but will vote Labour at the next general election.

BegoniaBampot Wed 10-Apr-13 12:38:10

I couldn't vote tory and as labour are the best alternative to keep the Tories out then I usually vote for them. come from a labour community so of course have been influenced but wouldn't just blindly vote because of that.

Abra1d Wed 10-Apr-13 12:38:41

'I have heard a lot of people say "I vote labour because my dad/husband/grandfather always voted labour"'

Tells you all you need to know about Labour voters. If you only vote for a party because your parents did you are being stupid.

motherinferior Wed 10-Apr-13 12:39:18

I think that's a bit mean to six-toed ponyfuckers, you know, ComposHat. Calling them all Tories and all.

Archetype, I think you'll find that the parties' manifestoes are quite widely available, and that indeed you'll have had leaflets from all of them through your door in any case.

BegoniaBampot Wed 10-Apr-13 12:40:29

and was going to vote libdem for our local elections until i noticed the candidate lived in a completely different town miles away.

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