Your guide to tactical voting in the UK election | Crunched

Data and statistics journalists John Burn-Murdoch and Federica Cocco guide you through the practice of voting strategically and look at how effective it really is in blocking undesirable candidates from reaching parliament

Very good so we’ve got a general election and everyone is scrambling around looking at tactical voting i find it very confusing personally not convinced that it works right and i can see where you’re coming from because we’ve got different websites different sources making different recommendations so we today are going to talk about which of these you can really

Have more faith in which less does it work at all we’re going to be your tactical voting guides so i’ve been getting loads of text messages from friends or even colleagues have been asking me who to vote for i feel like i have so much power that i shouldn’t have and a lot of them in fact all of them live in marginal constituencies and what they’ve been doing

Is looking at 2017 results but then hearing different conflicting answers from these websites so really dug into this now why now why is tactical voting happening now it’s because the two major parties labour and the conservatives haven’t really been dominating the pose as much as they used to now we’ve looked at polling data in the last two years but we d we

Could go back quite a bit more in history and what we would see let’s say this is like 50% of the vote is that the conservatives have been jostling for the top position for a while more or less this is what’s been happening we have the conservatives at 42% in the most recent poll of polls and labour are at 29% the lib dems have sort of reemerged from obscurity

And are now at 14% not the green party is also protagonist is yeah the brexit party and they there are six six percent results in the european elections in may let’s put the snp in there oh gee cdsmp i think you should about four or they suggest under that so this is the political panorama it’s all split so it’s no surprise that people are so confused right

Because i guess you know back when we had a two-party system and it was fairly stable you could just look at the last result and say or probably something like that whereas now we’ve got areas where the lib dems have gone up at labour have gone down you could actually have a situation where let’s say you’re a remainer and your strategy is to you know minimize

The chance of the tories winning in your seat obviously what you want to do is vote for the party that is closest behind the tories in your seat now that may have been labour last time but if they’ve gone down a bit and the lib dems have gone up it may not be valid dance and so yeah as you say the issue is voters who are trying to vote tactically just don’t know

Where they thought should go so luckily for them there are those websites advising them right there are so last yeah very before i can just grab another shoot another thing that’s confusing give their names because they all sound the same work that whatever that so we have tactical dot vote tactical vote on different color on this one coat uk tactical – vote dot

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Coat uk guard get voting dog and finally on the remain side remain united so is this just a remaining thing to have two cavorting or budgeteers do it right right so you could be confused for thinking this is only remain us but we did find one pro sort of pro brexit i am tactical voting site which is called one uk dot org so yeah that one quite amusing because the

Results were something like 360 seats for the conservatives a hundred and sixty-four x’s and sixty-four you kept and one independent one labor so it was something like that it was very crazy i mean if everyone knows their advice and it’s plausible perhaps right right well that’s the thing i guess this is the point these are you know different sites all sorts of

Different numbers going on so it’s hard to know it’s hard to know where to look in which you should trust more or less than others i’m still very skeptical about this because i put in i tried to use one because my friend was asking me i let’s try this and it gave me completely contradictory results depending on which website i was using and also when i checked

With the 2017 results of her constituency it just it seemed like the result that it was giving me made no sense yeah and this is the point so some people have now made sort of meta tactical voting sites which collate all of their different recommendations and they find there are well over a hundred just on the remain side where different sites give different

Recommendations so shall we should we take a look we thought was particularly interesting right yeah so finchley in gold is green so this is in london and there’s a couple of interesting things about about this place and one is relatively large jewish population and it’s well known that labour has had some problems there with accusations of anti-semitism yeah

And then we have a former labour mp luciana berger who and is jewish mp and was born in london so so you think maybe dems have a challenge you would but again if you check the 2017 results what would you see so let’s have a look at this do you want to slap 2017 somewhere and i’ll put them next to that awesome that’s a general election so yeah 2017 these blocks

Are going to say that each of these big ones is 10% of the vote and the little ones are 5% so what we’re looking at there is the 2017 general election result officially in gold it’s green where the conservatives got about 47 percent of the votes labour would just be on 43 it’s clear hugely marginal marginal marginal constituency but very much a two-party race and

The lib dems only got six point six percent so anyone looking at those numbers would of course think ok if i want to prevent the government’s brexit deal going through then i’ve got a boat labor but let’s see what these different sites say so if we were to look at the remain united dog site so this is associated with junior villas organization you get something a

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Little bit different so this is the numbers i’m going to show you here and what they think voting intentions currently are in finchley in golders green and yes so they’ve done a big poll of about 6,000 people across the country and use that to make production projections for every seat and they reckon the conservatives so still ahead but on 42% down from 47 they

Reckon labour are on 29 and the lib dems on 28 so essentially neck-and-neck and you know you’re talking about a gap there of 13% between the top two which if these two you know coalesced could be could be over turnable so the question is 29-28 who do you vote for then we look at get voting dog so this is the site in association with best for britain and they go

Even further so in that situation we’ve got the conservatives on 40 on 36 sorry the lib dems on 26 and later on so that’s similar to remain united but an even larger poll so they pulled 46,000 people which meant now had enough to see what you see across the country not just in that constituency no that would be crazy but amazing and so two methods here which do a

Big poll these were carried out more recently so sort of october september october november time so much more up-to-date than 2017 and they have essentially labour and lib dems neck-and-neck and that’s not all if we can then look at the pollster servation and delta poll and each of these have been doing individual polls in the local area so looking at this i’m

Still very confused if i had a friend in that constituency obviously that’s not where i live but i will know i wouldn’t know what to advise right and and if we just add in the the most recent of all of those polls which is the delta port one i’ll just show you how the pictures may be changed even more so they have conservatives on 46 this is delta poll they’ve

Got the lib dems 32 and labor on 19 so yeah a little bit more clear-cut and then so they would now be saying this very much if you want to stop the tories getting into this seat you would vote lib down so yeah clear as mud you’ve and and if we look at where these are coming from so tactical dot vote and tactical vote okay at uk are basing their recommendations

Mainly on 2017 so tactical votes in finchley would tell you too that labor remain united and get voting dog would both tell you to vote lib dap so it’s it’s really not clear and yeah and in the end you might not be voting with your conscience you just have this one thing in mind and you’re being pulled in in different directions which is you know the results

That you want but also you’ve got to be thinking it’s almost like game theory is everyone else gonna be tactically voting as well and whose advice are they gonna follow and i find that even more confusing because we don’t actually know how many people are looking at tactical voting according to one poll is gonna be around 60% and another poll found just 6% and

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Obviously they phrase the question differently so that made a huge impact but on top of that there have been studies that show that actually tactical voting in 10% of cases i think can be very counterproductive it can it can sort of split the vote entirely exactly yeah because if you think about this case if one person is going to tactical not vote just because

Maybe that’s their top result on google and the other goes to one of the other sides then you’ve got two people who both think they’re voting to prevent the tories getting a majority but they end up voting for different parties and so the vote is even more split there are however like some substantial ways in which these sites are doing things differently so for

Me and you know we’re not going to say one of these sites is great and the others others are bad and that kind of thing but i think you can think about these sites differently so tactical vote and tactical vote cola uk are mainly basing their their recommendations on 2017 the get voting to organ remain united are basing theirs on these more up-to-date polls and

They are both going to be updating their recommendations with new polling data over the next couple of weeks so for me i would just say that if the data is recent and if the data is specialized for that local area such as the stuff from get voting and remain united that’s probably going to be give me the best idea of who my best choice i would also say check

The sample size in the survey to make sure that it’s the most accurate one exactly so if we look at the delta pollen servation local surveys they surveyed a few hundred voters and sure a constituency is smaller than the country so you don’t necessarily need to survey a thousand people but it means the error margins on these numbers are big so again if you’re

Trying to work out whose second and whose third and they’re close to one another it essentially means we don’t really know so what so you your friends have been texting you what advice have you’ve been giving them i’m gonna be a bit of a politician and sort of this question a little bit i sort of answered tactically as it were so in one case it was a marginal

Constituency but it was kind of there was a consensus across a different website and the 2017 results showed that there was a consensus there so that was really easy in the case where it was really difficult to make a decision i just sort of told my friends well check the candidates see what their policies are see what you care the most about you know this sort

Of old-school way of voting your direction yeah yeah yeah you could do both i suppose so yeah i guess you know good luck to all the tactical voters out there yeah see what happens on the night of december the 12th see who wins amongst news websites you

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Your guide to tactical voting in the UK election | Crunched By Financial Times

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