Goodwick woman's Facebook vote swap group could be answer for indecisive voters

First published in Election 2010 news

If you are still not sure which way you are going to cast your vote today (Thursday) a Goodwick woman's scheme could help you swap your vote.

Karen Chandler has set up the Facebook group Voting Buddies, described as ‘a dating agency for voting’.

The group links people who want to vote for the party of their choice but feel it would be wasted in their constituency, as there is a huge gap between the 2005 votes cast for their party and the sitting MP.

It currently has 672 members with 92 confirmed matches and many others made informally.

Voting buddies put a message on the Facebook group’s wall saying which party they would like to vote for and the vote they would register in exchange. They can then link with a voting buddy and confirm the vote swap through exchanged messages.

“The best way to describe how it works is to use me as an example,” said Karen. “But it would obviously work equally well with other political parties.

“I live in a constituency with a Conservative sitting MP with a small majority. In second place in 2005 was Labour.

“I’m a Lib Dem voter, but in my constituency the Lib Dems were significantly behind the other two parties in 2005.

“I would like to register a vote for the Lib Dems somewhere where it really counts.

“I need to find someone who wants to vote Labour and who lives in a constituency where the Lib Dems are a close second to the Tories and where Labour is way back in third. Then we swap; I vote Labour, she or he votes Lib Dem — and our votes really make a difference.

“All you need to do is find a constituency where your preferred party is running a close second, or defending a small majority. Then put a message on the wall describing your situation and asking for a swap,” said Karen.

“Of course it’s based on trust, but I think that’s a good thing. You can make your vote really count and take back control.”

Karen emphasised the group is not at all partisan, with swaps arranged for all the major political parties.

“Because of the group many people have chosen to vote who would not have done so otherwise,” she said.

“Many have said that, for the first time, they feel their vote counts.”

Karen plans to extend the scheme so that a fully functional vote swapping website will be in place in time for the next election.

For more information go to and search ‘voting buddies’.

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