If blind elections happened tomorrow, with voters choosing policies rather than parties, the Green Party would win the highest percentage of the vote, a full six percentage points ahead of Labour.
This isn’t wishful thinking on some activist’s part: these are the results of over 460,000 surveys taken by voters across the UK on the Vote for Policies site hosted by They Work For You. Taking into account the major policy areas for each party, including Europe, migration, the economy and welfare provision, participants are asked to choose a single party for each set topic through its policies, rather than its personalities or party allegiance. These are then tallied, with the highest percentage – and therefore your ‘voting intention’ – given to the party with which your political views are most closely aligned.
According to Vote for Policies, when it comes to policies UKIP are only the fifth most popular party in the UK, behind the Liberal Democrats (16.88%) and the Conservatives (14.34%). The Greens would win 26.41% of the vote, ahead of Labour (20.12%). [source]
It turns out that I’m a Labourite when it comes to crime, healthcare provision and the environment, yet the Greens win when it comes to education, welfare, migration and, perhaps surprisingly, the economy. Even the Lib Dems, who I have sworn off voting for next time around for reneging on manifesto promises, convince me on Europe and democratic reform.
The results from those who have taken part in my constituency, the Labour stronghold of Lewisham Deptford, show that the most popular party out of the 1,443 voters who’ve taken part is the pesky tree-hugging Greens, with 34.40% of people polled siding with their manifesto priorities. Labour, polling at less than a quarter of the vote, should be quaking in their boots when election-time comes around.
In the 2010 General Election, the Greens took 6.72% of the vote in Lewisham Deptford. [source]
Realistically, this research is deeply flawed, and is about as likely to represent the eventual election result as Nigel Farage is likely to become our next Prime Minister. First Past the Post (Plurality Voting) tends to work against the smaller parties, and voters will no doubt vote tactically to keep the big parties in power, as they always have. Just as the Tories are hoping that the general election will work against UKIP, Labour and the Liberal Democrats will hope the timidity of the electorate will work against the Green Party. I have a suspicion that they may be right.
Take the test for yourself and see where your political allegiances really lie, and see the results in your constituency.
NB – This survey has not had its manifesto policies updated for the 2015 election, which means that, at the very least, the Liberal Democrat viewpoints are due substantial revision.