Nearly one-third of voters claim they will vote tactically at election, new poll finds

Posted On: 
3rd December 2019

Almost a third of voters plan to vote tactically at the general election, a new poll has found.

A poll suggests 30% of people will vote tactically in next week's election
PA Images

The Electoral Reform Society said the figures were a “damning indictment of Westminster’s anti-choice voting system”.

Research by BMG found 30% of people said they would be “voting for the best-positioned party/candidate to keep out another party/candidate that I dislike” on 12 December.

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This is up from 22% at the start of the election campaign, and 24% in an identical poll last week.

Only 51% of voters said they would pick “the candidate/party I most prefer, regardless of how likely they are to win”.

ERS chief executive Darren Hughes said: "That one in three feel they have to vote for a 'lesser evil' should sound alarm bells for our democracy.

“Given the number of contradictory tactical vote recommendations out there this election is looking like a lottery under Westminster's broken voting system - one where we all lose.

"It's time for a voting system where you don't have to second guess other voters but where seats match votes and these invidious decisions become a thing of the past.

“Voters want real choice and a strong voice - and the ability to vote with their hearts. That isn't such a radical idea.”

The findings came after pro-EU campaigners set up websites advising the public how to vote if they want to stop Brexit.

Joe Twyman, director for polling firm Deltapoll, said the tactical voting sites “have the potential to make a small impact in a small number of constituencies”.

Research by the pro-EU campaign group Best for Britain last week revealed just 117,000 voters in 57 constituencies have the chance to change the course of the election by voting tactically.

Their briefing suggests if they were to coalesce behind a single opposition candidate they could win seats which would otherwise go to the Tories and prevent Boris Johnson from winning a majority.