One in five planning to vote ‘tactically’

New research for the Electoral Reform Society has revealed that one in five UK voters will be voting tactically in the General Election on 8 June.

The research, of just over 2,000 adults between 26-29 May, found that 20 per cent of respondents would be voting for a candidate or party best positioned to keep out someone they disliked - compared to 58 per cent saying they will be voting for the candidate or party they most prefer.

In the 2015 election, just nine per cent claimed they would be voting tactically.

Darren Hughes, deputy chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said: “It is frankly astonishing that a fifth of Brits feel unable to vote for their first choice party this election. That’s a huge proportion of people having to hold their nose and opt for a ‘lesser evil’ rather than who they actually support – and a significant and worrying rise on the last election.

First Past the Post leads people to try and second-guess how others will vote, rather than being able to simply back who they believe in. This whole situation turns elections into a gamble around splitting the vote and trying to predict who on the left/right is most likely to win. That isn’t a democratic election – it’s a lottery election.

"Under a fair and proportional voting system, people aren't forced to predict the winners or predict how others will vote when they cast their vote. A proportional system would allow citizens to rank their candidates, so that if their first choice didn't have enough support, their second choice would be counted instead. Rather than simply throwing people’s votes away because they haven’t been ‘tactical’ enough, it’s time for a system where every vote counts. No one should feel unable to vote for their favourite party – and this should be the last election where that’s the case.”

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