Saturday, November 02, 2019

Tactical Voting Confusion? General Election 2019

Will you vote for your first choice preferred Party at the upcoming election? A study by the Electoral Reform Society has found that 24% of voters plan to vote tactically i.e. for a less preferred party that they believe is more likely to win than their preferred party. We can expect Brexit to have an impact on voting choices as the election is being positioned by the Conservatives as a referendum on Brexit and we can expect some people to vote tactically for the Remain candidate most likely to beat a Conservative Party candidate in their constituency. Many sites and apps have been created to advise you on the best way to vote to stop the Conservatives. However, the advice from the these sites is not consistent which risks confusion.

The Tactical Vote 2019 website advises people in my constituency of Chichester to vote Labour to stop the Conservatives and Brexit.

However, the Best for Britain Get Voting site recommends you vote Liberal Democrat to have the best chance to stop the Conservatives.

The differences appear to be due to a difference in methodology. The Tactical Vote site uses data from the last election whereas the Get Voting site uses more recent polling data combined with multilevel regression and post stratification (MRP) to provide constituency level polling forecasts. The differences in advice may not matter so much in seats such as Chichester but they could well matter in seats such as Canterbury and Kensington where the two tactical advice sites recommend voting for different candidates. Tactical voting only works if there is a broad consensus on which candidate has the best chance of stopping the Party you oppose. At present there is confusion which will not help the pro-Remain tactical voter.