Adonis urges Lib Dem squeeze

By politics.co.uk staff

Labour took another step towards backing tactical voting today, as Andrew Adonis called on Liberal Democrat supporters to vote Labour to keep the Conservatives out.

In Labour-Tory marginals, the transport secretary argued in an article in the Independent newspaper, Labour should be supported because “a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote which helps the Tories against progressive policies”.

In Labour-Lib Dem marginals, Lord Adonis said Labour MPs were more likely to help keep the Tories out of government.

“The truth is that the Lib Dems, for all their local opportunism, have national policy that is similar to Labour’s,” he wrote.

“To avoid a Tory government after May 6th, it is vital to grasp now the fundamental Labour-Lib Dem identity of interest. This can best be served by Labour coming out of the election as strong as possible, able to form a government.”

Attitudes to tactical voting have changed within the Labour camp since Tony Blair’s 1997 victory.

That campaign saw the Labour leader expel activists who sought to persuade voters to back the Lib Dems in order to keep the Tories out.

Lord Adonis’ article stopped short of calling on Labour voters to back the Lib Dems.

He pointed out that the Lib Dems had “supported our investment in the public services, radical constitutional reform, equal rights, fair taxation, environmental protection and positive engagement in Europe”.

By highlighting the common ground on the centre-left between the two parties at the same time as highlighting the benefits of tactical voting, he will be increasing the likelihood of Labour voters abandoning their own party to keep the Tories out.