NOTA CAMPAIGN: 2017 General Election Strategy

NB: This is a hastily arrived at assessment of the state of play. More detail to follow!

So, the largely meaningless binary ‘choice’ season has been brought forward with Theresa May’s announcement of a snap general election on June 8th 2017. As with any election, this will inevitably lead to increased interest in our campaign to get a formal and binding None of the Above (NOTA) option on UK ballot papers. It therefore presents an opportunity to further establish the urgent need for electoral reform as a mainstream talking point in the coming weeks.

So here’s my initial strategy thoughts from a NOTA point of view. Clearly, the chances of getting NOTA on ballot papers by June are zero and we will need to take the fight to the next government. As I see it, with the First Past The Post system being what it is, there are only really four possible outcomes at the upcoming election with some more likely than others:

1: A Tory government, either with a majority or as a minority government – LIKELY
2: A Labour government, either with a majority or as a minority government – LESS LIKELY
3: A coalition government with the Tories in the driving seat – POSSIBLE
4: A coalition government with Labour in the driving seat – POSSIBLE

Neither an outright Tory government or a Labour government are likely to be open to the idea of introducing NOTA any time soon. Currently, the only pro-NOTA party in a position to possibly end up in power in some small way after June 8th is the Green party, who have an official policy to get a form of NOTA (RON – Re-Open Nominations) on ballot papers. Clearly, the Green’s are not in a position to win the election outright and form a government.

So from our point of view, the best possible strategy, it seems to me, would be to support the so-called ‘progressive alliance’ with a view to getting a ‘rainbow coalition’ government with the Greens and others in a position to influence the Jeremy Corbyn led Labour party.

With that in mind, I propose that NOTA UK and its supporters spend the coming days and weeks:

a) lobbying the Green party to bring their pro-NOTA policy to the forefront of their manifesto, rather than hide it in the shadows as they have up to now, in order to show that they mean business when it comes to electoral reform and representing the currently silent majority

b) lobby the Labour party to commit to the progressive alliance being put forward and

c) lobby all other parties that could possibly wind up in a ‘rainbow coalition’ government to publicly declare where they stand on the issue of NOTA and electoral reform in general.

As stated, this is a swiftly arrived at strategy for the benefit of those asking what our plans are. Much more detail and rationale to follow! Feel free to share.

NOTA UK is a volunteer run organisation, if you’d like to donate to our campaign you can do so via the paypal button at the top right of this page. For an overview of our campaign and its aims check out our explainer videos.

You can also support the campaign for formal, binding NOTA in the UK by following the links below and signing our petition:

NOTA UK website

Onwards & Upwards!

Jamie Stanley
Founder NOTA UK


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5 thoughts on “NOTA CAMPAIGN: 2017 General Election Strategy

  1. Pj April 20, 2017 at 13:55 Reply

    Hi Jamie
    Can you help?
    Is it possible for a NOTA candidate to stand in the GE ? I know you don’t have candidates but I was just wondering its time for a change?


    • theapathymyth April 20, 2017 at 18:56 Reply

      Hi Pj. It’s a common train of thought to want to put up NOTA candidates but in reality it always proves to be a bit of a red herring and a contradiction in terms. NOTA candidates / parties are by definition just another one of the above in practice, regardless of their good intentions, as they usually always have policy ideas beyond getting NOTA on ballot papers. This does nothing to promote our neutral, non-partisan campaign for a formal and binding NOTA option, it muddies the waters and makes it harder for us to be taken seriously. For this reason we don’t stand NOTA candidates and advise our supporters not to either and instead hope that they share our posts and videos to help us make the arguments and continue to take the campaign further into the mainstream.


  2. Boz May 18, 2017 at 15:34 Reply

    It is possible to stand as a NOTA by changing your name by deed poll to None of the Above. Some boxer bloke has done it already in an earlier election.


    • theapathymyth May 18, 2017 at 16:37 Reply

      But that isn’t standing as ‘a NOTA’. It’s standing as a candidate. A person. Another ‘one of the above’. It doesn’t matter what you call yourself or what your aims are. A formal, binding NOTA option is, by definition, a rejection of ALL candidates.

      This is why we are not a party and why we don’t stand candidates on a NOTA platform: it is a total contradiction in terms that muddies the waters and makes our aim of getting a bona fide NOTA option on ballot papers harder to explain to people. Much better to make the case for that only and fight for it, as we are doing.


      • Fartwangler May 19, 2017 at 22:41

        Voting is largely a waste of time, e-rating like X-factor via iphone now yer suppin diesel! Would get a massive turnout – only trouble is hackers would nobble yer scores.


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