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Letters / I will vote tactically

Robina Barton takes exception to the idea of tactical voting (Tactical voting is wrong: SN, 02/05/16). But this is something which is forced on the intelligent voter where they have to elect a constituency representative under the deeply flawed first-past-the-post electoral system, a system which the Tories and Labour have long clung to because it suited them.

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In Holyrood elections we have two votes, and voters can use their vote for the regional list MSPs to support the party of their choice and influence the overall balance of the parties at Holyrood.

But when it comes to the constituency vote, if their party is not really in the race, voting tactically is often the intelligent thing to do.

I have been a Liberal/Liberal Democrat for some 45 years. During the 17 years I lived in Shetland I had the privilege of helping to elect Liberal/Liberal Democrat MP/MSPs, but I now live in Edinburgh in the Edinburgh Central seat.

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So, on Thursday, while I will certainly vote for my own party on the regional list ballot, I will vote tactically for the Labour candidate in the constituency.

This is because my own party has no chance of winning the constituency while Labour’s Sarah Boyack has a chance of winning it back from the SNP.

I may not be 100 per cent happy with the current Labour Party, but they are an order of magnitude better than the illiberal nationalists, and it also helps that Sarah Boyack, when she held the seat up until the last election, was, like Tavish Scott in Shetland, an excellent and hard-working constituency representative.

Alistair Easton
Edinburgh

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