New data shows tactical voting key to a Tory-free decade

New data reveals millions are ready to vote tactically to deliver a change of Government at the next election and could be the key to keeping the Conservative Party out of power for the next decade.

  • New Best for Britain research finds 13 million Brits ready to vote tactically and identifies 510 ‘tactical voting seats’ key to keeping Tories out of Number 10 for a decade
  • Prime Minister, Chancellor, Truss, Gove, Patel and Braverman all vulnerable to tactical voting as 70 of 98 seats predicted to be won by Conservatives now marginal
  • But, Conservatives are trailing Labour, Lib Dems or SNP by less than 5% in 89 seats, and could win them all unless tactical voters get it right in those areas
  • will inform voters on who is best placed to beat incumbent Conservative MPs and keep Tories out of power

Last weekend, the massive Best for Britain MRP poll suggested Sunak’s Conservatives were on course for their worst ever defeat at a General Election, projecting a total seat haul of just 98 with high profile Cabinet casualties across the country. Now, new data shows that 13 million Brits across the country are ready to vote tactically to ensure that change at the next election.

In a poll of more than 15,000 people for Best for Britain, undertaken by Survation, showed 41% of respondents said they would consider voting tactically to secure a change of Government. Tactical voting for change was the most popular choice in 510 (80%) constituencies across Britain including 255 of the 372 won by the Conservative Party in 2019. A mere 12% of those asked in this public opinion poll said they would vote tactically to save the current government, with this answer being the most popular option in no constituencies.

And these findings could be crucial. Despite cataclysmic projections, the high number of marginal and ultra-marginal seats means the Tories could claw back a further 89 seats by increasing their vote share 5% or less. In these seats the Conservatives are hot on the heels of Labour (82 seats), Lib Dem (6 seats) and SNP (1 seat).

Best for Britain analysis suggests tactical voting in these knife-edge seats can prevent the Tories securing a platform of 187 seats from which they could more realistically regain power within five years. Last week an unnamed Tory MP was quoted as saying “you hope that you’re going to have 200-plus MPs, not 150 or lower, because then you’re out for ten years.”

Tactical voting could be the difference between deliverance or defeat for previously untouchable Tories including Jeremy Hunt, Oliver Dowden and Michael Gove. Of the 98 seats the Conservatives are predicted to win, they lead 70 of them with majorities of less than 5%.

In the seat of Richmond and Northallerton where the Prime Minister holds a wafer-thin 2% poll lead, things could not be closer with exactly the same number of respondents saying they would vote tactically to save or scrap his administration (37.1%).

Crucially, tactical voting could also see the defenestration of hard-right figures preparing to take control of the Conservative Party in opposition. They include Suella Braverman, Priti Patel and Liz Truss who this week was photographed celebrating the birthday of Nigel Farage. Kemi Badenoch’s poll lead, only slightly above being marginal but well within the realms of being a ‘swing’ seat (7.9%) , would also be vulnerable.

The findings highlight the importance of providing accurate information to voters in Tory-facing seats about who is best placed to challenge the Conservative candidate, with previous studies indicating that two thirds of people cannot name the second place party in their constituency. With new constituency boundaries now in place, awareness of who is second will likely be even lower.

Encouragingly, the appetite for tactical voting to remove the Government is much greater among Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green voters (54%-60%) , compared to the number of Conservative and Reform UK voters prepared to vote tactically to keep the Government (30% and 10% respectively).

Naomi Smith, CEO of Best for Britain and founder of tactical voting site said,

“After 14 years of falling living standards, failing public services and unending crises, people are ready to serve this government the kind of earth-shattering defeat that will see them out of power for a decade.

“With polls likely to tighten when an election is called, tactical voting holds the key to making this a reality and ensuring voters have the information they need to do so will be crucial.”


The poll of 15,029 adults and MRP analysis for Best for Britain was conducted by Survation between 8th March and 22nd March 2024. Data tables are available.

What is MRP? 

Multilevel regression and poststratification (MRP) is a way of producing estimates of opinion and attitudes for small defined geographic areas. It works by combining information from large national samples (for example tens of thousands of respondents) with ONS and census data. Survation have published a full explanation on their website about what MRP is and how it works.

What is tactical voting?

Tactical voting means voting for a party which isn’t your first choice. It is a way of using your vote strategically, so that your least-preferred party is prevented from winning. We've put together a list of more answers to common tactical voting questions.

For example, your preferred party may be Labour, but the Liberal Democrats may have a better chance of beating your least-preferred party (the Conservatives), so you vote Lib Dem.

When will the next general election be?

Read our FAQ to find out when the next UK general election will be, as well as answers to every other question you have about how quickly we can get a change of Government.