According to a survey commissioned by the Electoral Reform Society, around a quarter of voters plan to vote tactically in the forthcoming General Election. That is a lot of voters, although I would argue the number should be higher. This raises the obvious question, which is who should I vote for in my constituency?
For many it is a good question, because the current polls suggest that the result is not obvious. Take, for example, the seat of Kensington in London. If you look at the last election the answer seems obvious. In 2017 Labour just won with just over 42.2% of the vote, with the Conservatives on just under 42.2%. The LibDems got just over 12% and the Greens 2%. So if you are inclined to vote LibDem or Green it seems obvious to vote Labour.
There is a website that effectively tells you that. Tactical vote 2019 tells you who won your seat last time, and then tells you who to vote for to ensure the Tories do not win. This website is slightly more sophisticated in allowing you to enter your party preferences in rank order, but for Kensington, when I put in LibDem as first choice, it also tells you to vote Labour. There may be other sites I’m not aware of.
But there is a problem. The current polls are very different from 2017. Taking the latest poll tracker from the Guardian Labour now have 25% of the vote, down from 40% in 2017. The Liberal Democrats are now on 17%, which is over double their 2017 performance of 7.4%. Apply those differences to the Kensington vote and the LibDems have a very small lead over Labour, with the Tories winning comfortably.