Is all the talk of tactical voting in the British general election just that – all talk? seanwhelanRTE takes a look at what the ramifications of a tactical vote could mean
There has been a lot of talk about tactical voting in the British general election - there are even apps and websites to help people vote tactically - but will they actually use them?
Or has Brexit become such a dominant issue in British politics that voters will consider using all kinds of means - including tactical voting - to ensure their side of the Brexit argument wins the election?
"Generally about 40% of voters are considering one or more of the other parties on their side, so Conservative voters are willing to consider the Brexit Party, and then Labour voters are willing to consider the Lib Dems, Greens.
It needs knowledge of the last election result - in particular, who finished second.
"Generally, fewer than 30% of voters can currently name the second place party in 2017, and that's going to make it very difficult, even if they want to tactically vote, to actually go through with it".
And that often means the winners get less than 50% of the vote. Which in turn means that a party can win a majority in parliament without getting anywhere near a majority of the votes cast.
Theresa May was heavily criticised for losing that majority in her 2017 snap election, designed to get a mandate for Brexit.
Yet they are suggesting a Conservative majority - and a big one in the case of the large scale MRP poll published ten days ago.
According to the pro-remain New European newspaper, a poll for anti-Brexit group Best for Britain suggests the Tories could win 345 seats, leading them to conclude that 35 seats hold the key to stopping a Conservative majority. And the group claims that a switch of fewer than 2,500 votes in each constituency would be enough to stop a Conservative candidate winning.
Another tactical voting site - Remain United - set up by anti-Brexit litigant Gina Miller, focuses on 36 seats, highlighting how tactical voting could unseat prominent Brexiteers like Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, and former leader Iain Duncan Smith.
For example, if you are in a constituency where the Conservative candidate won the seat with 40% of the vote, then clearly there is an anti-conservative majority in the constituency.
Using a tactic employed by Lib Dems across the country they are using bar charts to try and persuade anti-conservative voters that the Lib Dem candidate is the only one who has a chance of unseating the Conservative.
The website facilitates an informal "vote swap" pact between paired up voters in different constituencies.
The British Election Survey has been asking people about the sources of information they use to make election decisions.
The British electorate has become increasingly volatile in its behaviour.
In 2015 that figure had reached 43%. "If you look all the way back from 2010, 2015 to 2017, fewer than half of the voters voted for the same party every time in these elections" said Dr Mellon.
The switching that is going on now is between parties on the same side of the Brexit divide - Brexit Party voters moving to the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats moving to Labour and vice versa, depending on the constituency.
The Conservative’s hardball approach to the Brexit Party has paid off, with Nigel Farage withdrawing candidates in every constituency where the Tories hold a seat.
He said: "I was in Stoke two nights ago, where I'm from, as it happens (doing interviews for the Survey), and all three constituencies are a battleground. In the two constituencies where there was a Brexit party candidate I felt reasonably confident that Labour would probably just about hang on.
If that is true across the whole of the "Red Wall" of traditional Labour seats in the North of England, then the Brexit Party could be weakening rather than enhancing the prospects of a Conservative majority, and with it the prospects of Britain leaving the EU on 31 January.
Perhaps the ultimate tactical voting game has been one we cannot see, one that has already been played out over the past two years with a precisely targeted, but well hidden campaign to undermine the appeal of the Labour leader in naturally Labour voting areas.Read more: RTÉ News
seanwhelanRTE 'Tactical or Strategic' Voting isn't usually a good tactic as it relys heavily on Higher Voter turnout which depending on the Riding isn't Guarenteed. Remember Torys Always Vote & Always Vote Tory. So in many Areas this will B a huge factor. Try to narrow focus on close polls.
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