Record-breaking numbers plan to vote for 'lesser evil' in December's General Election, research shows

Almost a third of voters will vote “tactically” for someone other than their first choice in next week’s General Election, according to research for the Electoral Reform Society.

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 7:48 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 11:29 am
Almost one in three third of voters will vote 'tactically' for someone other than their first choice next Thursday, a shock new poll for the Electoral Reform Society shows. Picture: PA.

Thirty per cent of around 1,500 adults polled pledged to vote for ”the best-positioned party/candidate to keep out another party/candidate that I dislike” on Thursday, December 12.

Little more than half (51%) said they plan to vote for the “candidate/party I most prefer, regardless of how likely they are to win”, while 19% of those questioned for the research admitted that they did not know who to vote for.

Campaigners say the survey, which was carried out by BMG Research in the last week of November, and its results are a “damning indictment of Westminster’s anti-choice voting system”.

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The Electoral Reform Society is calling for a switch from first-past-the-post results to a more proportional system.

Darren Hughes, the Society’s chief executive, said: "That one in three feel they have to vote for a 'lesser evil' should sound alarm bells for our democracy.

“Given the number of contradictory tactical vote recommendations out there this election is looking like a lottery under Westminster's broken voting system - one where we all lose.

"It's time for a voting system where you don't have to second guess other voters but where seats match votes and these invidious decisions become a thing of the past.

“Voters want real choice and a strong voice - and the ability to vote with their hearts. That isn't such a radical idea.”