Leading pollster explains how effective tactical voting could be this General Election

8 December 2019, 09:24

This General Election, many websites have emerged that encourage tactical voting. But how effective will these efforts be?

Andrew Castle asked Peter Kellner, previous President of YouGov, whether people voting tactically in enough numbers to make a difference.

Kellner gave the example of 1997, when Tony Blair got a landslide, because the Conservatives lost "between 30 and 40 suits" because of tactical voting.

He said: "You don't need a huge number of tactical voters. You need three, four or five per cent of voters in the key seats making a tactical switch and that can have a big effect."

He added that tactical voting could move the Conservatives from having a clear majority to having a hung parliament and not being able to deliver Brexit.

He explained one issue with tactical voting in this General Election.

Leading pollster explains how effective tactical voting could be this General Election
Leading pollster explains how effective tactical voting could be this General Election. Picture: PA

He said: "I think Labour voters have no real difficulty voting Lib Dem with a local career choices of a Lib Dem versus Conservative outcome. For Lib Dems supporters, it's slightly more complex because overwhelmingly they want to stop Brexit. On the other hand, most of them don't like Jeremy Corbyn."

Andrew Castle asked how many seats are tactical voting seats across the country.

Kellner said it's almost like asking how long a piece of string is - but, according to The Observer, there are about 50 seats.

He continued: "If you live in one of those 50 and if you want to stop Brexit, it's worth thinking hard about whether you support the party you're normally likely to support or whether you might on this occasion vote a different way in order to defeat Brexit."

Andrew Castle then asked about the potential of a surge in Labour support.

Kellner said: "The movements this time have been nothing like as big anyway, as they were two years ago."

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