A guide to tactical voting for pragmatists

“I want to vote Green, but it might let the Tories/Lib Dems in.” – a common refrain for anyone who spends long round the Green Party. I used to hear simmilar round the Liberal Democrats, and I’m sure some UKIP supporters hear the same thing.This is very seldom the case as our First Past the Post system has many issues.

In March 2015, the Electoral Reform Society declared the results of 364 of the 650 (56%) seats being contested. Their equivalent prediction in 2010 was 99.5% accurate (they  can’t predict personal scandals in the run up to the election). It’s unusually low this year due to the unprecidented rise of the SNP.

So where does tactical voting make sense? And in specific where will voting Green give the Tories a chance of getting in? To find out, we’re going to look at the Labour Party’s own numbers, as leaked to Buzzfeed last month.

The Labour Party themselves have identified 12 key seats they might not win because of the Green Party. Note that this is internal Labour Party information. They are politicians and what they will tell you on the doorstep is different. The Labour Party absolutely does not want there to be a party to their left.

Top of the list? Brighton Pavillion. The seat with an existing Green MP. Yes, Labour aren’t going to win Brighton Pavillion thanks to the Greens. But there is more chance Ed Milliband will support a Tory government than Caroline Lucas will.

Second on the list? Bristol West. That is a seat the Labour Party thinks the Green Party might prevent them winning. But again, like Brighton Pavillion, this is because they are worried about a Green MP. As can be seen below, at the most recent local elections, the Green Party had a higher vote share. The solution is simple for anyone in Bristol West. If you are worried about the Lib Dems getting in and want to vote tactically in Bristol West, Vote Green. (For the record there has been no polling in Bristol West)

Third on the list? Norwich South. The second seat on the Green’s target list. There has only been one single poll in Norwich South. The results? Labour in first, Green in second. The Lib Dems are going down like Jacques Cousteau and polled at 12%. Labour are worried that they might lose Norwich South – but they are worried they might lose it to the Green Party. If you live in Norwich South the choice is between Labour and Green – vote for whoever you want to win.

This leaves a total of nine seats on the Labour Party’s own list where they are actually worried about Green voters losing them the seat.

By the Labour Party’s own numbers this leaves the following nine seats where they are worried about losing thanks to the Green Party and not to the Green Party.

  • Brighton Kemptown
  • Bristol North West
  • Cambridge
  • Cardiff North
  • Colne Valley
  • Hove
  • Leeds North West
  • Norwich North
  • Stroud

If you feel you need to vote tactically in one of these constiuencies, vote with your conscience (many of my friends voted Lib Dem in 2010 to keep the Tories out). If you do not live in one of these nine constituencies, the Labour Party’s own internal numbers say you are not in a seat where voting Green where you are a potential Green or potential Labour voter is likely to lose them the seat (other than to the Green Party).


1 thought on “A guide to tactical voting for pragmatists

  1. The last sentence of the last paragraph makes absolutely no sense. Could someone please look at it and clarify (it seems pretty important as this is the crux of the whole article…)

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