Vote-swapping explained after caller told Shelagh Fogarty about his voting pact

6 December 2019, 16:34 | Updated: 6 December 2019, 16:43

Is it right to vote-swap? Matthew Thompson explains the positives and pitfalls of the pact after this caller told Shelagh Fogarty about his online agreement to switch.

Guy from Wandsworth is a strong Remainer and identifies most with the Lib Dems; he's swapped his Labour vote in London for a Lib Dem vote in a seat in Sussex.

"I joined a Facebook group in the seats concerned, I popped up a post saying I'm a voter in x would any Labour voters like to swap with me and found a lady," he said, "we both hopefully get a really good result from our votes."

Shelagh asked if this was a relative stranger that might go away and vote the way she wants.

Guy agreed that the only way you can check is by agreeing to go to the ballot box at exactly the same time and sending pictures to each other but that's illegal.

"I just don't think there's any incentive for her to be dishonest, and there's no incentive for me to be dishonest either," Guy said, "so our interests are aligned."

There are two different types of vote swaps, he said: "One where you both materially gain something, one where perhaps one gains more than the other. But if their interests are aligned everyone should be happy."

Vote-swapping is when two people from different constituencies make a pact to vote for each other's chosen party as it will be more impactful than voting for their preference in their own area.

But is it right?

Matthew Thompson explains the positives and pitfalls of the pact.