October 30, 2019 3:38 PM

Tactical voting could swing over 80 seats and prevent Tory majority

Best for Britain have today (30 October) launched a tactical voting tool, GetVoting.org predicting that if just 30% of pro-Remain voters use their vote tactically it would prevent the Conservative Party from winning a majority at the upcoming election.

The tool is based on a never before seen seat-by-seat analysis of 46,000 British people carried out by Best for Britain over September and October.

The analysis, which predicts the number of seats that will be won by each party under different tactical voting scenarios, revealed that it would take just 30% of pro-Remain voters to use their vote tactically for parties in favour of a Final Say or stopping Brexit to win a majority in Parliament.

Under this scenario, a coalition of Labour, Lib Dems, SNP, Green and Plaid Cymru would hold a parliamentary majority of 4 seats. If 40% of pro-Remain voters use their vote tactically, the coalition would return a majority of 36 seats.

The importance of tactical voting at the upcoming election was demonstrated as that very same coalition could hold as few as 268 seats combined if voters are ineffectually split between them. This scenario would see the Conservative Party win 364 seats and a majority in Parliament. 

The results of the analysis were unveiled at a press conference this morning in Westminster. Speakers at the event included former Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Vince Cable, Independent MP Dominic Grieve, Labour MP Anna McMorrin and Best for Britain CEO Naomi Smith. 

The voting tool went live last night within hours of the vote for a general election and can be found at getvoting.org

Commenting, Best for Britain CEO Naomi Smith said:

“99 per cent of polls this year have shown that the country is in favour of remaining in the European Union.

“However, through our first-past-the-post electoral system, we could still end up with a pro-Brexit majority in the House of Commons, elected on a minority of the vote share.

“We can’t change this system, but we can change how we vote, and we’ve found that four out of five voters are up for this.

"That’s why Best for Britain has commissioned the biggest tactical voting machine in the country and the results are clear. If we want to stop the disaster that is Brexit, we must vote tactically in the next general election.”

Commenting, Best for Britain supporter Dominic Grieve said:

“This General Election was called to let the British people decide on one issue: Brexit. 

“The variance in the potential results shown by Best for Britain’s polling demonstrates how tactical voting on that one issue will be the biggest deciding factor in the outcome of the December vote.”

Voting intentions

Key findings*:

  • IF no tactical voting occurs, the Conservatives will win 364 seats, Labour would win 189 seats, Lib Dems would win 23 seats, Plaid would win 3 seats and the Greens would win 1 seat (Conservative majority of 44)
  • IF Remain voters use their vote tactically, however, this will change. We predict that it would take only 30% of pro-Remain voters to use their vote tactically for pro-Remain parties to swing the election and deprive Boris Johnson of a majority
  • Under this scenario, the Conservatives would win 308 seats, Labour would win 233 seats, Lib Dems would win 34 seats, Plaid would win 4 and the Greens would win 1 seat (pro-Remain majority of 4)
  • IF 40% of pro-Remain voters use their vote tactically, the Conservatives would win 276 seats, Labour would win 255 seats, Lib Dems would win 44 seats, Plaid would win 4 seats and the Greens would win 1 seat (pro-Remain majority of 36)


*Our data predicts the SNP to win 52 seats

Methodology

This study was carried out for HOPE not hate and Best for Britain by Focaldata, a polling agency that specialises in understanding niche audiences using a technique called MRP (multi-level regression with poststratification) to estimate opinion to each Constituency in the UK.

Focaldata collected vote intention data from 46,000 respondents between September and October 2019 from numerous panel companies including YouGov which were commissioned by HOPE not hate and Best for Britain.

What is MRP?

The MRP (multi-level regression with poststratification) polling method has two main elements. The first is to use a survey to build a multi-level regression model that predicts opinion (or any quantity of interest) from certain variables, normally demographics. The second is to weight (post-stratify) your results by the relevant population frequency, to get population level (or constituency level) estimates. At the end of this process you get more accurate, more granular estimates of public opinion than traditional polling.

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