I’m a voter in a safe seat, and feeling unloved

April 21, 2010

For the first time in my voting career, I am living in a safe seat — one where there’s precious little prospect of the constituency changing hands. And as someone who loves the cut and thrust of politics, of hearing ideas exchanged and debated, I can’t say it’s the best place to be.

For weeks now I have been hearing and writing about voters living in marginal constituencies being bombarded with leaflets and phone calls from eager parties. Hopeful parliamentary candidates appear on doorsteps; high streets and back roads are festooned with candidates’ posters; and party leaders even pop up in the front rooms and office canteens.

What have I had? Nothing. Not a leaflet through the door. Not a cheery face on the doorstep. There’s barely even a candidate’s poster board swaying in the breeze.

I live in the constituency of Cambridgeshire South, a seat currently held by Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. Web site Electoral Calculus currently predicts his chance of winning at 86.8 percent.

Just for the record, this blog is not a declaration of political allegiance or a complaint that the candidate/s I would like to see elected won’t get in. It’s more of a lament. I feel ignored. I feel unloved. I want candidates of all hues to materialise in my front garden and debate with me the pros and cons of deficit reduction, Big State vs Big Society, healthcare, education, immigration, even where they stand on bin collections. Anything.

But the silence is deafening. Parties are focusing their energies on the marginal constituencies that will swing the election and the attention lavished on them comes at the expense of safe seats like mine.*

Given that increasing numbers of people are voting for parties who will nevertheless have little representation in parliament, it does seem that electoral reform is imminent.

If that happens, at least those of us in safe seats might find ourselves getting a bit more love and affection. And everyone needs that now and again.

2 comments

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I’d rather they respected my rights to quiet enjoyment than that they pretended to love me for four weeks every five years.

Posted by IanKemmish | Report as abusive

This article reflects exactly how I feel. I’m very angry that our voting system gives us these situations, and even though I will probably always vote, I understand how people become disenchanted with the voting system, which I think is dangerous for democracy.

Posted by ribbit77 | Report as abusive