The tactical voters trying to swing the election result


Becky Snowden is determined to thwart Theresa May’s plans.

The 28-year-old marketing executive, from West Yorkshire, is mounting a huge effort to convince people to vote tactically on June 8 and deny the current prime minister the landslide victory she craves.

Her guide, advising voters on the candidate best placed to beat the Tories in every constituency in the country, was shared thousands of times on social media before being relaunched as a website,

“You don’t simply just go to the polls and just pick someone because you think, ‘I prefer their policies’ – you have to look and see whether they have a chance,” she tells ITV News.

“If they don’t, then who’s the next best? Is there someone else who does have a chance that you do agree with? Then vote for them. Otherwise, your vote is completely wasted and there isn’t much point in placing a vote if it isn’t going to count.”

Tactical voting is fast becoming the political buzzwords of the campaign.

Predictions of a convincing Conservative victory along with the looming Brexit negotiations have cajoled campaigners like Mrs Snowden and Gina Miller into action.

Ms Miller, the businesswoman who took on the government over Article 50 and won, is pledging to “build the biggest tactical voting effort in UK history” by spearheading a drive to support candidates opposed to a hard Brexit.

Even Tony Blair, the former Labour prime minister, is calling on people to consider voting strategically to block “Brexit at all costs”.

Their efforts have convinced Simon Icke of the need to jump on the tactical voting bandwagon -although he is seeking a very different outcome.

He wants a hard Brexit and is urging all Ukip and Leave-backing Labour supporters to “forget tribal party loyalties” and switch their allegiance to the Conservatives.

He is using social media and radio appearances, to try and unite all Leave voters around Theresa May to give her the mandate to silence what he calls the “chaotic alliance of bitter remainers” that he believes want to undermine the referendum result.

“She [Theresa May] is the only person who can deliver what they voted for,” he says.”She is the only person with the strong convictions to deliver a full Brexit.”

“My campaign was mainly to highlight to voters that tactical voting can work both ways and to remind the silent majority of Leave supporters to use their vote to make sure Brexit is delivered.”

He adds: “The so-called tactical voting alliance, tactical2017 and others, will see tactical voting on June 8 but not in the way they hoped.”

The tactical voting chatter has led some parties to consider collaborating in order to defeat a common enemy.

Figures from the Green Party, Labour and the Liberal Democrats have championed the concept of a “progressive alliance” to take on the Tories, although Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron have dismissed Caroline Lucas’ call for a formal pact.

Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the political spectrum, Ukip has quietly stood aside in certain eats where there is a risk that a Brexit-backing candidate would be defeated by a Remain supporter.

So will these political manoeuvrings and tactical voting efforts make any difference? Potentially they will, says ITV News election analyst Jane Greening.

“Tactical voting could be important in very, very close races in marginal constituencies,”she says.

Ms Greening admits ,however, that its potential wider impact is almost impossible to ascertain due to the current volatility of the polls.

Whatever the result on June 8, Ms Snowden hopes her efforts will spark a fresh debate about reforming Britain’s voting system.

“The system we have now, with first past the post, it’s not fair,” she says.

“Unfortunately we don’t have time [to change the system] before the next election, the best thing now is to try and play the system.”


World News


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