Backlash against tactical voting

By Ian Dunt

Leaders of all the main political parties have hit back at suggestions from senior Labour figures that the public should vote tactically tomorrow.

Gordon Brown flatly contradicted the views of several of his Cabinet members, including Welsh secretary Peter Hain and close ally Ed Balls when he said the best way of preventing a Tory victory was simply to vote Labour.

“I want the maximum Lab¬our votes,” he said.

“There is an anti-Tory majority in this country and I think the best way that we can protect fairness is by electing a majority Labour government.”

Nick Clegg told the Metro: “People shouldn’t vote because Peter Hain or Ed Balls or any other Labour politician desperately trying to save their skin tells you. Do not do what a politician tells you. Vote for what you believe in.”

Meanwhile, David Cameron again urged voters to vote Conservative as the best way of ensuring change.

The Conservative released a campaign video yesterday highlighting Labour’s record in office and saying a vote for the Lib Dems could result in another four years of Gordon Brown.

Former prime minister Tony Blair also rejected calls for tactical voting, urging voters to follow their instincts.

“It is simple,” he told the Guardian.

“Vote for what you believe in.

“If you think their polices are good, vote for them, but if you don’t, don’t. The Lib Dems are not going out to people and saying ‘vote Labour’ – they are trying to take seats off us.”