Your guide to tactical voting in the UK election | Crunched

Was that any 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 maybe 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 we 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 polls as much
as they used to. Now, we’ve looked at polling
data in the last two years but really we could go back
quite a bit more in history and what we would see –
let’s say this is like, 50 per cent 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 per cent in the most recent poll of polls and Labour
are at 29 per cent. The Lib Dems have sort of
re-emerged from obscurity and are now at 14 per cent. The Green party is also. …. is, yeah, the Brexit
party, and they have… They’re on six. …gone up to 6 per cent,
and they had some big results in the European
elections in May. So, let’s put the SNP in there. Apologies to the SNP. I think they’re around
about four, aren’t they? So just at that. This is a political panorama. It’s all split, so
it’s no surprise that people are so confused. Right, because I guess back
when we had a two-party system and it was fairly
stable you could just look at the last
result and say, oh, it will probably be
something like that. Whereas, now, if we’ve got areas
where the Lib Dems have gone up and Labour have gone down, you
could actually have a situation where… let’s say you were a
Remainer and your strategy is to minimise 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 now be the Lib Dems. And so, yes, as you
say the issue is, voters who are trying
to vote tactically just don’t know where
their vote should go. So, luckily for them there
are loads of websites advising them, right? There are. So let’s see if I can
just grab another sheet. Another thing that’s
confusing is their names, because they all sound the same. Whack that one over there. So, we have, – I’ll do a different colour and
this one –,, and finally,
on the Remain side, Is this just a Remainy thing? Tactical voting? Or Brexiteers do it
too, surely, right? Right. So you could be
confused for thinking this is only
Remainers, but we did find one pro, sort of pro-Brexit
tactical voting site, which is called So, there’s a lot going off. I found that one quite amusing
because the results were something like 360 seats for the
Conservatives, 160 for Brexit, then 60 for Ukip, but then
one Independent, one Labour. It was something like that. It was very crazy. I mean, if everyone
follows their advice then it’s plausible, perhaps. Or is it? That’s the thing, I
guess this is the point. These are different
sites, all sorts of different numbers going on. So it’s hard to know. It’s hard to know where to
look and which you should trust more or less than others. I’m still very sceptical
about this because I put in… I tried to use one… because
my friend was asking me and I thought, well, 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 seemed like the result that it was giving
me made no sense. Yeah, and this is the point. Some people have
now made a, sort of, meta-tactical
voting sites, which collates all of the
different recommendations and they find there
are well over 100, just on the Remain side, where
different sites give different recommendations. So, shall we take a look at one? Let’s look at one. Let’s look at Finchley,
which we thought was particularly
interesting, right? Yeah. Finchley and Golders Green. This is in London and there’s
a couple of interesting things about this place. One is a relatively large
Jewish population and, I think, it’s well known that Labour has
had some problems there with the accusations
of anti-Semitism. And then we have a former
Labour MP, Luciana Berger. Whose now running
for the Lib Dems. Whose now running for the
Lib Dems, and is a Jewish MP and was born in London. So, you’d think, maybe Lib
Dems have a chance here. You would, but… But 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. So, that’s the general election. Yeah. 2017. These blocks, we’re going to
say that each of these big ones is 10 per cent of the vote and
the little ones are 5 per cent. So what we’re looking at
there is 2017 general election result, Finchley
and Golders Green, where the Conservatives got
about 47 per cent of the vote. Labour would just be
under 43 per cent. It’s clearly a hugely
marginal constituency. Marginal constituency, but
very much a two-party race, and the Lib Dems only
got 6.6 per cent. So anyone looking at those
numbers would, of course, think, okay, if I want to
prevent the government’s Brexit deal going through then
I’ve got to vote Labour. But let’s see what these
different sites say. So, if we were to look at
the site, this is associated with… That’s this one? Gina Miller’s organisation. You get something a
little bit different. The numbers I’m
going to show you here are what they think
voting intentions currently are in Finchley and Golders Green. So this is based on polling? Yeah, they’ve done a big
poll of about 6,000 people across the country and
used to make projections for every seat, and they reckon
the Conservatives are still ahead, but on 42 per cent,
down from 47 per cent. They reckon Labour are 29 per
cent and the Lib Dems are on 28 per cent. So, essentially neck and neck. And, we’re talking
about a gap there of 13 per cent
between the top two, which, if these two coalesced,
could be overturnable. So the question is, 29
per cent, 28 per cent, who do you vote for? Then we look at 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 per cent, sorry. The Lib Dems on 26 per cent
and Labour on 25 per cent. What method is that based on? That’s similar to remainunited
but an even larger poll. They polled 46,000 people, which
meant they had enough to see what… That’s 46,000
across the country? Across the country. Not just in that constituency? Not just in that
constituency, no. That would be crazy. But, amazing. That would be the whole. Whole lot. So two methods here
which do a big poll, these were carried
out more recently. Sort of, 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. We can then look at the pollster
Survation and Deltapoll, 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 wouldn’t know… I wouldn’t know what to advise. Right. And if we just add in the most
recent of all of those polls, which is the Deltapoll one ,
I’ll just show you how then the picture may be
changed even more. They have Conservatives on 46
per cent – this is Deltapoll – they’ve got the Lib Dems 32 per
cent and Labour on 19 per cent. Ah. That’s a bit more
clear cut, I suppose. 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 Dem. So, yeah. Clear as mud. And if we look at where
these are coming from. So, and are basing their recommendations
mainly on 2017, so tacticalvote in Finchley
would tell you to vote Labour. Remainunited and would both tell you to vote Lib Dem. So it’s really not clear. And in the end you might not
be voting with your conscience. You just had this
one thing in mind and you’re being pulled
in different directions. Which is the result
that you want? But also, you’ve
got to be thinking – it’s almost like game theory
– is everyone else going to be tactically voting
as well and whose advice are they going to 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 it’s
going to be around 60 per cent and another poll
found just 6 per cent, and obviously they phrased
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 per cent 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 just because maybe that’s their
top result on Google, and the other goes to
one of the other sites, 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,
some substantial ways in which these sites are
doing things differently. So, for me – and
we’re not going to say one of these sites is great
and the others are bad and that kind of
thing – but I think you can think about
these sites differently. So, and are mainly basing their
recommendations on 2017. The
and remainunited 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’s recent and if the data is specialised
for that local area, such as the stuff from
getvoting and remainunited, that’s probably going to give
me the best idea of who my best choice is. And I would also say
check the sample size in the survey to make sure that
it’s the most accurate one. Exactly. If you look at the Deltapoll
and Survation local surveys, they surveyed a
few hundred voters. And sure, a constituency
is smaller than a country so you don’t necessarily
need to survey 1,000 people, but it means the error margins
on these numbers are big. So again, if you’re trying
to work out who’s second and who’s third and
they’re close to another, it essentially means
we don’t really know. So your friends have
been texting you. What advice have you
been giving them? I’m going to be a
bit of a politician and swerve this
question a little bit. I sort of answered
tactically, as it were. In one case it was a marginal
constituency, but it was… there was a consensus across
the different websites and the 2017 result 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 told my friend,
well, check the candidates. See what their policies are,
see what you care most about, the sort of old-school way
of voting in an election. Vote with your conscience. Yeah. So you could do both, I suppose. I guess, good luck to all the
tactical voters out there, and we’ll see what happens on
the night of December the 12th. Let’s see who wins
amongst these websites. Indeed.

About the author


  1. so if a tory brexiteer had the choice of voting for a labour or lib dem candidate because the tories had no chance of winning the seat, then they would vote labour because there was still a chance the country would vote leave in a 2nd referendum, whereas the lib dems just want to remain – am i right brexiteers?

  2. Why is this difficult? If you're a Leaver, vote Tory.

    If you're a Remainer vote Lib Dem unless they don't have a chance, in which case vote Labour and at least you might get a second referendum.

  3. <<——- So you want to stop Brexit? And you have the right to vote at the 2019 UK General Election? That means you might need to vote tactically to make sure pro-Brexit parties (essentially the Tories) do not win, and that pro-Remain parties do.

  4. The only tactics you need is don't put a X anywhere near a Labour candidate unless you want to turn the UK into a communist wasteland.

  5. If you want Boris Johnson's Brexit Withdrawal Agreement vote Tory. Otherwise, be you a Leaver or a Remainer, vote anything other than the Tories. A vote for the tories is a vote for the current agreement. That's it. Like it or lump it this election is a referendum on this agreement.

  6. Sorry, but the fact is that the Remain vote is split down the middle and the Leave vote isn't. Theoretically, the Tories could win all (ALL) the seats in parliament even if 66% voted against them.

  7. these tactical voting sites putting the lib dems anywhere near labour are completely off the mark – a vote for the lib dems is a vote for Boris!

  8. Anyone else wonder why the guy here encourages people to vote based on the polls even though they have been wrong for nearly a decade?

  9. Just dont vote tory. Please just dont. Whatever you think about corbyn or labour, not 5 more years of boris johnson and Tory austerity pls.

  10. FPP and no proportional representation, voter apathy- Democracy is non existent in the uk. 1/3 of the country choose the ruling party, and in the case of Tories, nearly that 1/3 don’t even get what they want.

  11. Its not confusing. You vote for the party most likely to win but preferable to the other one likely to win. Rather than who gets full support. It becomes nonsense when libdems say they are the tactical vote when they are almost tied with a 3rd place labour however.

  12. The various remain tactical voting sites need to come together, and make a collective recommendation. Currently, having all these different sites is a useless shambles.

    In areas where it is clear, vote for whoever has the best chance of beating the Tory scumbag.

  13. In answer to a lot of contributors on here. And it is strictly my view…

    If you really want to vote tactically but confused which party to support in your area use –

    select your area and vote for the shortest price remain party.

    In the example area used in the video you'll see LibDems are currently more of a threat to the Tories with Labour lagging behind.

    You could also use the information from the various polling websites and work out your own results by adding up all individual party figures and divide by the number of sources and vote for the party with the highest % that represents your view.

    I prefer the first method.

  14. I'm sorry but I'm sure you could have had a better crack at a video about tactical voting. Open the video with your best advice … 1 sentence or 2! Then have your long, rambling conversation and then finish up with a concise summary of your best advice! This video was of no help at all, yet it's 12 minutes long. Surely there is at least some useful advice you could share?!

  15. When Boris Johnson wins the election and we leave the European Union when a hard Brexit UK becomes Singapore upon Thames , that is when manufacturing will come to a close. Will Boris Johnson PM still be saying F business ? Quickly followed by reunification of Ireland, and Scotland will be a independent country. Never mind Boris Johnson won't be messing up his hair , he'll have very little left !

  16. This is the problem. Half the country may be united in terms of voting remain however it is impossible to organise such a large number of people. Therefore you get several fractions of remain, carrying out different polls (some more honest than others), meaning one remain organisation tells you a vote for x is remain whilst the another tell you a vote for y is remain. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

  17. Polls always underestimate the silent majority and they want to get on with it and get brexit done. The tories have already won

  18. That was a pretty convoluted way to get to the backward conclusion that you should somehow vote Lib Dem in a tight Tory/Labour marginal.

  19. The 2017 and 2015 G.E results are not useful guides as to what will happen now. The Euros and Locals were totally different as are most opinion polls. The 2010 G.E result is probably closer as to what will happen. In a particular seat, the party who has held it before may be a better sign as to who can win than the party who came second in 2017.

  20. I checked my remain voting marginal Lab-Tory constituency, all sites said to vote labour, so they seem to agree with mine at least

  21. Under First Past The Post, HOW you vote is virtually irrelevant/meaningless because it's already been factored into the electoral calculations of Labour and Conservative Party managers – it's WHERE you votes that really counts!

    Tactical voting is both necessary and it does works (just ask the electorate in Brecon & Radnorshire constituency), but its efficacy is largely determined by WHERE you are registered to vote. If you live in a very safe seat, hard luck because you'll already know who is going to be your next MP but you could consider vote swapping to make your vote more effective?

    The need to vote tactically would be eliminated by getting rid of First Past the Post so the real underlying problem here is the UK's busted flush, not fit for purpose, past its sell-by date voting system, so maybe in the longer term your best course of action will be to join the campaign for electoral reform?

    Having looked at several of these tactical voting sites, the most accurate is – Remain United and Best for Britain are obviously skewed towards definite Remain minded parties so where a potential conflict between Labour/LibDem, Labour/SNP, Labour/Plaid Cymru or even Labour/Green arises, they tend to offer the non-Labour alternative, even if most recent voting behaviour, ie. June 2017 General Election result, points to Labour as the obvious candidate for any tactical voter to opt for? for tactical voting info for vote swapping info for general information about voting systems

    Finally, in my opinion, the best voting system to replace First Past the Post would be Single Transferable Vote [STV] in Multi-Member Constituencies – of course there is no such thing as a perfect voting system but some are much better than others – STV has the most positive attributes and the least negative downsides. STV takes power and influence away from organised political parties and puts it in the hands of the only person who should matter in any public election – THE VOTER!!!


  23. You should have said who funds each of the tactical voting websites when introducing them. It is clear that they manipulate polling data to benefit their interests.


    🗳Best for Britain
    🗳Jon Worth
    🗳People’s Vote
    🗳Progressive Alliance
    🗳Unite to Remain – Heidi Allen
    🗳YouGov / Sunday Times

  25. How can anyone vote for the conservatives with the misinformation, lies and fake news they are spreading in this campaign? They should go to jail for what they are doing. Incredible that they are allowed to get away with it!! People who vote for them should be ashamed of themselves

  26. Will disabled people be voting Tory, re: DLA-PIP farce? You are fit to work because a pulse can be felt at this present time. What a bunch of turds.

  27. Even if I swap my vote with someone in another constituency it won’t count – I live in a Tory stronghold it’s been that way for decades

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