- The upcoming UK general election could see unprecedented levels of tactical voting.
- Multiple websites and apps are being launched to guide people to vote in order to secure the government and Brexit outcome they want.
- British voters will go to the polls on December 12.
- Here’s how to vote tactically in your local area.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The United Kingdom will hold a general election on December 12 after Members of Parliament voted to pass legislation allowing a snap poll.
The outcome of the election could determine whether the UK will leave the European Union as well as who will govern the country for the next five years.
Johnson’s Conservative Party are the current favourites to win any contest, with polls giving them an average 10-point lead.
The Britain Elects poll tracker gives the Conservatives a lead of 10pts:
CON: 35.1% (+0.3)
LAB: 25.4% (-)
LDEM: 18.1% (-0.1)
BREX: 11.3% (-0.1)
GRN: 4.0% (-0.2)
Chgs. w/ last week. pic.twitter.com/fcvTl0024A
— Britain Elects (@britainelects) October 29, 2019
However, volatility among the electorate is at a historical high, with huge shifts in voting intention over the past year.
As a result, one polling expert, Chris Curtis from YouGov, told Business Insider this week that there were several reasons to believe that “tactical voting could be more effective” than in previous elections.
Most importantly there is now “very low partisan alignment” among British voters, meaning that the way people voted in the 2016 EU referendum is now a much bigger factor in deciding their vote, than which party they backed in the last general election.
According to one recent poll, around a quarter of voters plan to vote tactically in this election.
This means that the outcome of this election is far from certain and tactical voting could have a big impact on the result.
How to vote tactically for Remain or Leave in the general election
The major UK political parties go into the election with radically different positions on Brexit. In short:
- A vote for the Conservative party is a vote to take Britain out of the EU.
- A vote for the Labour Party is a vote to put any Brexit deal to a referendum, in which voters could vote to remain.
- A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit.
- A vote for the Brexit Party is a vote for a no-deal Brexit.
- A vote for the Green Party is a vote for a second referendum.
With the election set to take place before Britain is scheduled to leave the EU, that means there could be unprecedented amounts of tactical voting by voters on both sides of the Brexit divide.
Polling conducted by anti-Brexit groups this week found that if just 30% of Remainers vote tactically, there will be a majority for pro-Remain parties in the next parliament.
Campaigners are due to launch a series of websites and apps designed to help voters seeking to vote tactically in the upcoming election in order to get their desired Brexit outcome.
Here is our guide to voting tactically in the 2019 general election.
How to vote tactically in my area
The 2017 general election saw a swathe of websites launched to help voters decide which candidates were best-placed to stop their least favourite party from winning in their constituency.
Some of these websites were independent attempts to guide tactical voters, whereas others were set up by campaign groups with a view to influencing the outcome. The same will apply this year.
Here are the websites and guides which have already been launched, or planned, for the 2019 general election. The list will be updated as more emerge.
Tactical Voting websites:
- The tactical.vote website allows those people seeking to prevent a Conservative victory in the general election to see which party is best-placed to defeat the government in their local constituency. The website is based on historical election data rather than recent opinion polls, meaning it can only be a rough guide to the candidates best-placed to win each seat. It is also unclear who has designed the site.
- Turf out the Tories is, as the name suggests, another anti-Conservative party tactical voting site, based on past election results. It uses postal code data and encourages users to sign up to campaign for one of the non-governing parties.
- The Get Voting site is a tactical voting site designed by the anti-Brexit campaign group Best for Britain. The site has caused some controversy as it is based on their own extensive recent polling, rather than historical election results. This methodology appears to encourage people to vote for Lib Dems in some seats currently held by Labour, which may or may not be the best tactical decision for those seeking to stop Brexit.
- Remain United is another tactical voting site set up with a similar methodology to Best for Britain’s, but set up by the campaigner Gina Miller. It uses national polling by Comres and seeks to estimate what this polling would mean for the chances of various Remain-supporting candidates in every seat in the country. It then advises you on the anti-Brexit candidate with the best chance of winning.
- People’s Vote guide to tactical voting. The campaign for a second referendum has launched its own guide to voting tactically in order to ensure a fresh vote on the UK’s membership of the EU.