LONDON — Eleven per cent of British voters intend to vote tactically when they go to the polls on June 8, according to a Business Insider / GfK poll.
The tactical vote could be particularly important in this election because the Conservatives appear to be coasting to a landslide victory. As voters for other parties know they will not win this one, they are more incentivised than usual to maximise the power of their vote by casting it for a non-preferred party which has a greater chance against the Tories, especially in marginal seats.
The survey, of 1,952 adults between May 3 and May 14, suggests that much of the Liberal Democrats’ erstwhile support may be evaporating into tactical votes. The poll shows 23% of Lib Dem voters intend to vote for a party that is not their top choice. Overall, the poll shows the Lib Dems on 7%, unchanged since a previous comparable poll taken in March.
Q. Thinking about how you will vote at the upcoming General Election, which of the following statements best describes you? (among all indicating they will vote)
- I am voting for the party that is my preferred choice: 71%
- I am voting for a party that is not my preferred choice to stop another party winning: 11%
- Neither: 8%
- Don’t know: 9%
There is little difference between Remain and Leave voters on this issue. Even though Remain voters should — on paper — be more motivated to vote tactically against the government, it is the Leave voters who are marginally more likely to vote to protect their victory. Eleven per cent of Remainers say they are voting tactically against 12% of Leave voters.
YouGov research published this week showed that 68% of Brits wanted Prime Minister Theresa May to get on with delivering Brexit, including 23% who voted Remain in the June referendum. This suggests that “the 48%” is merely an electioneering slogan and in reality currently doesn’t exist, hence why so few people who voted Remain plan to vote next month.
Of course, the much bigger trend in this survey shows that most people — 71% — are voting for the party they want, and that will help Prime Minister Theresa May. The overall results of the Business Insider / GfK voter intention poll show:
- Conservatives 48% (+7)
- Labour 28% (no change)
- UKIP 5% (-7)
- Lib Dem 7% (no change)
- Green 3% (-3)
- Other 8% (+2)
With the Tory margin over Labour at 20 percentage points, it looks unlikely that tactical voters will be able to prevent a Conservative victory.
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