Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Election Blog: Office Politics

General Election fever has gripped the office over lunchtime with many of us using internet technology to tell us how we should vote based on policy preferences not personality (now there’s a thought!)

The website ‘’ is a handy little device which asks you a dozen or so questions and, based on your answers, tells you how to cast your vote and, crucially, that could include minority parties like the Greens and UKIP. Those in the office today have been advised to vote as follows (Note: this is not how we are necessarily going to vote which will remain an issue between ourselves and the ballot box):

Peter Hitchman – Labour , although apparently it’s tight with the LibDems, I feel a tactical vote coming on

Louise Fisher – Labour, although she was surprised to find out that our bathroom manufacturer, Triton, are building nuclear submarines (I think she’s confusing them with Trident)

Kelly Edmonds – Labour, and solidly so, she’s keeping the Red Flag Flying

Amy O’Toole – Labour, I was expecting our Shropshire lass to go Green or LibDem so bit of a shock there

Marie Beattie – Labour, despite numerous recent trips to Michelin star restaurants she's not turned her back on her roots

Morwenna Reilly – Labour, and was so appalled that she did it again and it was still Labour!

Tom Leatherbarrow – Green, far too much time spent talking with Worcester Bosch’s renewables chap

Jason Hartley – Conservative, one of Thatcher’s children clearly

Kirsty Henderson – Green, our most sustainable transport user firmly nails her colours to the mast

Nicola Weston – Labour, she wants to cut pension relief for high earners and give it to the poor, ahhhh bless!

Nicola Grant – Labour, and is now, apparently, even more confused

Melanie Palmer – Labour, and apparently she won’t be doing so in the real thing!

Alison Gill – LibDem or Labour, not very fiscally conservative from our financial controller

Julia Willoughby - Labour, but is apparently still deciding

Two points to make. Obviously this is a totally non-representative sample, but it is interesting how re-distributive we are in terms of taxation in the office bearing in mind that the average age in here today is probably late ‘20s / early ‘30s.

Secondly, it is heartening to see and hear people taking an interest in politics and the future of the country. Only a few weeks ago I was talking to a heavily pregnant client who had actually read all three main party manifestos. I suspect there are plenty of candidates who haven’t even done that!

Whoever said the country was apathetic about this election was almost certainly wrong.


  1. The speculation about a low voter turnout will surely prove to be just that. As someone who will happily admit to having little interest in politics in the past, I am now very much enjoying the fun and games of the last two months, but have also invested time in learning about each of the parties' policies.

    This election feels more relevant to me and the masses than any other in my lifetime (or it could just be because I'm getting old) and I am looking forward to casting my vote tomorrow.

    The above results reveal exactly what I suspected as I filled out my answers - that the survey is heavily weighted in favour of Labour's positive policies and leads you towards a specific outcome. Luckily my research into policies allowed me to break the mould.

    Would be interesting to know who my colleagues actually vote for and see how inaccurate the above predictions are. I expect the the % of correct predictions will be similar to Labour's share of the vote i.e. less than 30%!

  2. Agreed. I think weighting might be an issue with this website, but then again if that was the case would it have asked the question about Heathrow which I suspect threw me into Green.

    Re: turnout. I also expect high
    Re: Labour vote. Circa 28%, I think it's firmed up over the last few days.

    I'll stick my neck out. Tories might be a point or two shy of where the polls are saying. LibDems might be doing a bit better.

    But, ultimately who knows?