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"I've always been a lifelong (insert part of choice) voter....."

(102 Posts)
phoenix Tue 25-Apr-17 18:45:48

I have deliberately put this under the "Ask a gran" thread, rather than news & politics, just in case anyone thinks I've lost it.

I am intrigued by this, as in the lifelong thing etc. There was a chap interviewed on the radio the other evening, you know the sort of interview, this one went "I've always voted Labour, like my father and grandfather before me, don't think much of Corbyn, but I'll still be voting Labour"

Sorry, but why? Party's manifestos change, their attitude to some crucial issues change, their leadership changes, (not always for the better), so why not approach each election with an open mind, listen to the policies, think about their impact on you personally,your local area and perhaps the country as a whole, then decide who to vote for.

I would like to stress that I am NOT trying to be contentious, (as some may know I usually stick to "fluffy" posts about cats and underwear, not related of course blush) it really is a genuine question. And although the quote I used from the Radio mentioned Labour, my question applies to any habitual voting.

Just because something has always been done, does it have to continue? (children up chimneys comes to mind)

I look forward to reading any responses, although no doubt I will end up with the tin helmet behind the sofa..sad

gillybob Tue 25-Apr-17 18:54:13

There was a chap interviewed on the radio the other evening, you know the sort of interview, this one went "I've always voted Labour, like my father and grandfather before me, don't think much of Corbyn, but I'll still be voting Labour

It was probably my dad Phoenix he does nothing but moan about them (the LP) and can't stand JC but when push comes to shove........ he will probably still vote for them.

In my area (ex mining, seaside town, NE England) you simply HAVE to vote Labour. It's in the blood. The LP in my town have had a safe seat for over 70 years and need do nothing whatsoever for the area, but are still guaranteed to get in.

sunseeker Tue 25-Apr-17 18:57:25

This is a point I raised on one of the political threads, wondering why people say they are going to blindly vote for one political party just because they always have. As I said on that thread, I will wait until the manifestos come out and question any candidate or representative that appears on my doorstep BEFORE I decide how I will vote.

Ana Tue 25-Apr-17 19:00:23

Exactly sunseeker. And we don't need threads giving us info about the parties (from all sorts of unknown sources) until the actual manifestos are published.

gillybob Tue 25-Apr-17 19:01:29

Crazy isn't it?

Ilovecheese Tue 25-Apr-17 19:08:11

We don't have to read the info threads if we don't want to. Let's not shut down any debate, or be told what we should or should not post.

whitewave Tue 25-Apr-17 19:10:35

I shall annoy you further than ana and outline the manifestos but as I've said "nobody is insisting that you read them, or telling you what to think."

As far as the Op is concerned. I think that the sort of tribal voting you described phoenix was/is because that people felt that the political party for whom they have voted all their life represented their beliefs most closely. For example traditionally the Tories are most closely representing the wealthy, and big business with the tax breaks etc to match. Labour traditionally represents the worker and poorer members of society with policies that protect them from big business. Etc.

I think this is changing but it still does happen.

Eloethan Tue 25-Apr-17 19:22:39

There have been two examples of dyed-in-the-wool Labour voters. I am sure there voters with a similar mindset who support the Conservatives.

I have always voted Labour, even after I was disgusted by the invasion of Iraq. I'm still not sure if I was right to have done so but my reasoning was that Tony Blair didn't represent the whole of the party and even though the party backed his war I gave them the benefit of the doubt that they did so because they had been misled.

I wouldn't vote Labour if, at the time it was seeking election to office, it was putting forward policies that were so fundamentally different from what I believed in that I could not support it. I have considered voting Green but I am reluctant to do so with our present voting system.

I would never vote Conservative, not because of some sort of irrational dislike but, from what I have seen and read, they have almost always sought to maintain the status quo and, along with almost always opposing progressive social change, have encouraged and perpetuated a "divide and rule" mentality. I would never vote UKIP because I think it is at heart a racist party.

I think it is perfectly rational to avoid supporting parties whose basic ideology is very different from your own.

phoenix Tue 25-Apr-17 19:30:16

Sorry sunseeker, I didn't realise you had made the same point blush

Juliette Tue 25-Apr-17 19:50:01

gillybob has said it for me. The Stoke central by election proved it .
Massive vote to leave the European Union., come the by election everyone votes labour as usual. It's in the genes a bit like red hair. smile

Cherrytree59 Tue 25-Apr-17 19:51:27

Is it possible that some of the voters in the Copeland by- election in February changed their Life long voting habits??

Iam64 Tue 25-Apr-17 19:51:56

I'm with Nick - whoops I mean whitewave's analysis of the main reasons in the past, people stuck with one of the main three parties.
Tribal voting does seem to be decreasing but I wonder how much of that is linked to a general dissatisfaction with politics, rather than more significant shift in alliances.
I also believe most of us know broadly where we stand on higher taxes to fund good public services, lower taxes to give people choice about how they spend their own money. I may be out of sorts with the current Labour leadership and I find myself admiring Theresa May (I know, don't shoot me) but I can't imagine voting Tory because that party's belief systems don't sit easily with my own. It isn't tribal, its a broader ethical belief system.

Grannyknot Tue 25-Apr-17 19:53:41

Tribal voting is the reason why the ANC is still in power in South Africa despite all the harm that it has done to the country in recent years.

kittylester Tue 25-Apr-17 20:22:33

I heard a chap on 5live say that there was a family tradition of voting labour! shock

Juliette Tue 25-Apr-17 20:30:09

Cherrytree59 There's a difference between Stoke and Copeland in as much as Stoke had one of the biggest exit votes in the country and then had the opportunity to vote for Paul Nuttall leader of the party that instigated the leave campaign.
Some people voted who had never been in a polling station before, they didn't repeat it at the by election and labour were elected as usual albeit with a reduced majority.
I don't think Nuttall is standing anywhere in the upcoming election, if he couldn't win Stoke there was never going to be any hope for him. Thank God.

rosesarered Tue 25-Apr-17 20:38:49

It's a good point to raise Phoenix and I think that for some people, voting intentions are ingrained, almost passed from generation unto generation.
The Labour Party did used to represent the working man, but I believe that changed sometime in the 1960's with Harold Wilson's government.The working man himself has changed too! It's easy to be unthinking and slide into a way of voting that all around you do.The Conservatives are quite different nowadays, just like the Labour party, they have changed just as much.The Lib Dems have perhaps changed the least, but that's because they have never been in power( only briefly on coalition.)
Yes, look at the policies, but also look at the Leader, could this man or woman really do well on the world stage and represent the UK,do they have what it takes?

GrandmaMoira Tue 25-Apr-17 21:08:25

Phoenix, I do agree with you, though this election will be one of the most difficult to choose. The parties have changed enormously since I was young. The Conservatives are much more right wing and, under Corbyn, Labour is much more left wing. My long serving good MP is retiring and I don't yet know who the new candidate will be. The Lib Dems and Greens seem to have good policies but a vote for them could seem a wasted vote.

POGS Tue 25-Apr-17 21:25:01

We were a staunch Labour voting family.

Dad used to be a Union Rep / Works Convenor so wouldn't have a word said against the Trade Union Movement. My sister and I were dragged along to Union meetings and one day he came home from , I think, pretty sure, it was Blackpool, in the 1970's and said something like 'That's it I've finished with it all". It was the time of ' Red Robbo ' and British Leyland and he thought the Union Leaders were more interested in causing trouble and basically used the workers like sheep . He was at odds with the reason why he had joined the Trade Union Movement and simply walked away.

I have flip flopped between Labour, Conservative Labour and back to Conservative.

I mentioned on another thread how voting tribally, sticking with a party because 'it's what I do' can be turned round and that is one credit I will give to the SNP who obviously annihilated all the other parties.

varian Tue 25-Apr-17 21:34:23

That expression "wasted vote" has long been associated with Tory and Labour, having run out of other arguments, trying to persuade us that UK politics is still a two party race. It was true once, but not any more. If you like LibDem policies, vote for them.

phoenix Tue 25-Apr-17 21:52:01

Many thanks for the responses, they are appreciated and are going a long way to providing answers to my question. BTW kitty, your post up there echoed my own re the radio interview comment, which went quite a way to prompting my starting this thread.

Anniebach Tue 25-Apr-17 21:55:04

I know many families where voting a Tory is tradition

M0nica Tue 25-Apr-17 21:58:03

I have stuck to one party, but tribal loyalty doesn't come into it. My parents were horrified when they realised I had rebelled against their Conservativism and joined the Lib Dems.

I have never voted for either of the main parties, again not out of loyalty, there have been a number of occasions when I have come very close to voting for both Labour and Conservatives, but on each occasion the nature of the leader (Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher respectively) stopped me.

Now I would never vote Labour because since I got the vote in 1964 we have not had one economically and financially competent Labour government. Gordon Brown came so close to it, but even then he blew it in the end. I can not see myself voting Comservative because I can not support any party whose blind belief in market forces can make them so blind to its inhumanities.

So I am stuck, who else can I vote for? UKIP? Greens? The Greens do, or rather did have some attractions and I examined their policies in detail and I can remember getting into long detailed discussions on threads on their policies in the last election, but how ever kind they are to children and animals many of their policies are buffle headed.

phoenix Tue 25-Apr-17 22:00:40

Anniebach I did try to make the point in my OP that I wasn't making comment on any one party, it was just that the interview I heard involved someone who mentioned labour, the voting "habit" could apply to any party.

Failed again! confusedblush

phoenix Tue 25-Apr-17 22:18:08

P.S. The word in the title should have been "party" , not part!

paddyann Tue 25-Apr-17 23:07:21

In the west of Scotland the vote is often part of the religious divide,People who are Orange Order or Rangers fans would never vote for the SNP ...well most wouldn't.In fact I saw a post just today calling on all Rangers supporters to back the union by voting anyone but SNP they still think 1690 is more important than 2017.Its patently ridiculous ,having said thet so is the fact that a catholic cant be PM or married to a senior royal...but thats accepted without question .