Knowing that it was uncertain whether I’d be in Oxford or Loughborough on 12 December, I elected to arrange a postal vote. It turns out that I’ll be in Loughborough and will be getting the keys to a rental property the next day, so that was a sensible choice.
That means I’ve already had my ballot paper and, since I’ve got a busy few days ahead of me, I exercised what I considered my moral duty and got it completed and posted back this evening. Oxford East has been a pretty strong Labour seat since 1987 and Anneliese Dodds got a resounding victory when she took over from Andrew Smith in 2017 (about 65% of the vote from a 69% turnout – up even further on both counts). Technically she is actually a Labour and Co-operative Party candidate but, since they’ve had a strong electoral pact since 1927, that amounts to the same thing.
It’s a secret ballot, so I shan’t tell you where I put my cross. However, there are two parties that I hope get a real drubbing at the polls. I think they will here but that may not be the case nationally so a brief summary of identities and reasons is below:
- The Brexit Party: this is a one-issue party that is the current home of the cult of personality which clusters around Nigel Farage (look how UKIP has fallen into disarray since he moved on). I don’t see much evidence that the party has anything to offer the body politic beyond its views on Brexit if it does get members elected and this is, after all, a General Election and not a referendum.
- The Conservative Party: Boris Johnson alone is enough to give me a low opinion of a party that doesn’t seem to be much into conserving things any more. He has proven himself untrustworthy in public life, has no qualms about promises he is palpably unable to fulfill (does he remember that he said he’d rather be dead in the ditch than not leave the EU by 31 October just past?) and is morally questionable in his private life too. He (and Farage) couldn’t be bothered to show up for a recent TV debate, which shows a contempt for the public. I’m also disgusted by recent dirty tricks from the party as a whole, like trying to set up a site posing as an independent fact checking service.
Anyway, I’ve now revealed some of those I didn’t vote for but even if you disagree and would support either of those two parties, do please make your mark in this election. Worse than Brexit MPs or a Conservative victory is a country where a third of the electorate are so disengaged that they can’t even be bothered to have a say.