General election news: What difference will tactical voting make on December 12?

Voters are heading to the poll in just over a week to decide what they believe the future of Britain’s political sphere should look like. Despite being the clear frontrunner in the election polls so far, according to a recent poll, Boris Johnson could be deprived of a House of Commons majority if just 117,000 votes tactically.

The polls come as Hugh Grant called on voters in St Ives, Cornwall, constituencies to vote for the Lib Dems.

The Bridget Jones star tweeted: “It Labour/Green vote for LibDem in St Ives we can stop Boris Johnson and the Tories”.

His post also showed a YouGov estimate, showing the Liberal Democrats would be a close second behind the Conservative Party.

Former Labour Party Prime Minister Tony Blair also recently hit headlines speaking out in support of tactical voting.


  • Hugh Grant in ‘dramatic’ plea urging Britons to vote tactically

He urged voters around the country to vote tactically to prevent both Labour and Conservatives getting a majority.

Mr Blair said: “The truth is: the public aren’t convinced either main party deserve to win this election outright.

“They’re peddling two sets of fantasies; and both, as majority governments, post a risk it would be unwise for the country to take.”

He added: “Britain is home to a unique political experience.

“We are testing, hopefully not to destruction, whether it is possible for a major developed nation to turn its politics into chaos and survive without serious economic and social damage to its essential fabric.”

What is tactical voting?

Tactical voting happens when a voter abandons the party or candidate they prefer, in lieu of voting for one with a better chance of winning locally.

Simply put, it means individuals vote how they would not normally to stop an undesired candidate from winning.

With the First Past The Post electoral system, many people live constituencies where the party they prefer has a small chance of winning.

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  • Gina Miller caught out after plea to Brits ‘who want a say’ to vote

According to the Best For Britain survey, the Conservative Party is currently on course to win up to 366 seats on polling day.

The seat-by-seat analysis of 39,476 British adults was conducted from October 15 to November 24 by Focaldata.

After the 2017 election, 174 MPs were elected with less than half the vote and in 2015, it was 334 MPs out of 650.

In those constituencies, the MP could have been beaten by backing another second-placed party.

In surveys after recent elections, roughly one in 10 voters claim to have voted tactically.

According to a recent poll from BMG, as many as 24 percent of voters are intending to vote tactically in the forthcoming election.

This is a four percentage point increase since 2017.

Remainers are more likely to vote tactically according to the poll at 28 percent, compared to Leavers at 22 percent.

But how should you vote for what you want?

What would happen if everybody voted tactically?

If every Leave supporter in Leave target seats voted tactically, there could be a swing of 53 seats.

However, the same would also apply to Remainers.

If every Remainer in Remainer seats across the UK voted tactically, roughly 55 seats could be vulnerable to switching to a Remain MP.

In total 542 seats would be left completely unaffected by tactical voting.

You can find out how to vote tactically in your area here.

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