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Where is the Green vote ? March 27, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.

The general election is slowly but surely lumbering onto the horizon and it’ll be upon us before you can say “Brown envelopes in Manchester” … which brings me to the topic of the hustings – otherwise known as the politicians who call door to door, accompanied by “the local man”, with a view to securing your vote.

I am one of those people you could label a “swing voter”. I am undecided, both as to the party I am going to vote for and the persons themselves. But no politicians ever come near my house … except Sinn Féin and the Greens – neither of which are likely to make any impact in my constituency.

The Green vote always interests me as I would be a supporter of anyone who does anything to improve the environment. But, although the Green support is growing, it seems to me that on the day, not nearly as many people vote Green as thought they would or said they would. I’ve often heard the answer “Maybe I’ll vote Green” in answer to the “How are you going to vote ?” question. In my experience, if you haven’t made up your mind to vote Green before you go in, humming and hawing over the ballot paper on the day doesn’t bode well for whatever party.

I think that if everyone who thought they “might” vote Green (perhaps because they couldn’t make up their mind about anyone else and the Greens were an acceptable alternative) did actually vote for them, then they’d be laughing … so where are all the latent Green voters ? I think the party needs them now more than ever, if they are to perform well in the upcoming election. Take a look at their website – they’ve got some good policies outlined there but I remain to be convinced of their governing pedigree. So come on wannabe Green TDs – call to my door and swing me.

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1. SK - March 27, 2007

They are currently polling about 12-13% so they are not doing too bad. But I would say there is an large element of protest vote in that.

The nice thing about our system of course is that with the transferrable vote a party doesn’t need to have a load of people going into the polling booth thinking “I am going to vote for them”. If the voter is relatively well disposed to them then the transfers will add up.

This is how the Greens have done so well in the past. They get transfers from everywhere. The opposite is true with Sinn Fein. They have loads of first preferences, but beyond that most people are loathe to give them a transfer.

2. Rambling Man - March 28, 2007

do you think they’ll make any serious inroads though ? i think a lot of people (like me) would give them a first preference if they knocked on my door and did a bit of proper canvassing. i’m sick of getting free easter lillies and FG flyers.

3. (un)relaxeddad - March 28, 2007

It’s the freak factor that always stops me short of actually voting for the greens. For example, in the council elections it was the ‘…and legalise cannabis’ that snuck onto their manifesto – in a local council contest, I want to know who’s going to sort the parking zones out, not expand the already overly-plentiful local supply of drugs.

4. SK - March 29, 2007

I think they will do well in this election. But mostly as a protest vote. Just like Labour surprised themselves a few years ago or the PDs when they first appeared. And then people will be dissapointed in them and their vote will drop again.

Personally I won’t vote for them. Some of their policies are lunacy (see what I wrote about healthcare http://www.sliabh.net/?p=851). They need to grow up and ditch that sort of nonsense before I would view them as a serious choice for government.

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