I would prefer people to vote Green because they think the Greens are the best choice (or even just the least bad choice, really). We’ve got some good candidates and policies, and offer a more ethical alternative to the political establishment. However, at the European elections in the North West of England this week there’s another reason to vote Green - we’re battling for ‘last place’ with the BNP.
The simple explanation is that the top four parties will win seats in the European Parliament. The Labour, Conservative and Libdem parties dominate UK politics and even the recent expenses scandals are unlikely to change that much. It’s very likely that the Labour Party will lose some seats and the LibDems will gain some, but those top three places are going to be red, blue and yellow however the positions change. It’s the fourth place that’s interesting: the most likely winners are either the Greens or the BNP. It’s a sad fact that the North West has a worryingly high number of BNP supporters in some areas.
The Green Party and various allied anti-fascist groups are encouraging people to vote tactically, and to vote Green as a way of keeping the BNP out. This video does a good job of explaining the rather odd-looking way that seats are allocated, and encourages a vote for The Green Party as the best way to block the BNP.
My personal opinion is that tactical voting (and protest voting in general) is not good for democracy in the long term but I have to balance that with the damage to British society, and democracy, that the BNP openly propose. I think the real test is to ask that if the situation was reversed, and another Party - red, blue or yellow, was struggling for fourth place, would I vote for them in order to block the BNP? In this situation I think I would.