Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Beware of dodgy tactical voting sites

Since the announcement of the December General Election yesterday there has already been a proliferation of different tactical voting websites, but you have to be extremely careful with them.

One of the major problems is that some of them, especially the supposedly Remain-focused "Best For Britain" Get Voting site, are clearly hyper-partisan party political propaganda outfits disguising themselves as 'useful advice'.

In several marginal Tory/Labour constituencies this dreadfully partisan site is advising people to vote for the Lib-Dems, despite the fact they got less than 5% of the vote last time around.

This outrageous Get Voting site is recommending the Lib-Dems in a whopping 99 seats where they trailed the incumbent by over 25,000 at the last election!

To put this absolute insanity in perspective the biggest swing of the 2017 was a swing of just over 15,000 in Gordon, north East Scotland.

What this "Best For Britain" Lib-Dem front operation is advocating is trying to achieve 99 record-breaking mega swings simultaneously.

After years of contemptuously dismissing Leave voters as total idiots who believe in unicorns, these Lib-Dem Remain Ultras are actively advising people to waste away their votes on an absolutely ludicrous unicorn hunt!

Ever since the Liberals morphed into the Lib-Dems in 1988 do you know how many times they've come from 3rd place in the previous election to win a parliamentary seat?

Twice in seven general elections!

And this reckless Lib-Dem front operation is actively advising people up and down the country to waste the chance of defeating the Tory in Labour/Tory marginals in order to chase the unicorn of a massive, unprecedented swing to the Lib-Dems.

Instead of advising people to back the Labour candidate on the basis of Labour's pledge to hold a final say referendum, they're advising people to split the anti-Tory vote, and let a hard-right pro-Brexit Tory sneak through to claim the seat, in the hope that the Lib-Dems pick up a few more seats in the Tory Brexit landslide they're trying to engineer!

The site is so brazenly biased that it's pushing people to vote Lib-Dem in 175 seats in which they're not the sitting MP, but just one Brexit-sceptic Labour challenger!

It's clearly all about boosting the Lib-Dems at the expense of getting the hard-right Tories out of power and their calamitous Brexit shambles off the table.

Aside from the problem of giving indescribably terrible advice, (seemingly motivated by blind Lib-Dem tribalism), there are several other tactical voting sites out there that are brazenly fishing for personal data and donations. Some of which contain absolutely no information about who is behind the site, what figures they used to base their advice on, how they paid for the site to be built, what they're doing with the personal data they're harvesting, or how they intend to spend the money they're raising in donations.

I can understand the temptation of tactical voting sites, after all, it's calming to be told what the right thing is to do. But beware, because every single tactical voting site is pushing some kind of agenda (be it pro-Brexit, anti-Brexit, anti-Tory, pro-LibDem, pro-Labour, whatever ...).

If you do feel the need to visit any of these sites, make sure you engage your critical thinking skills. Look at your constituency results in the last general election and compare it with their advice (are they advising you to vote for ridiculous unicorns?). Look into who is behind the site and where they get their money (do they even say?). Try to identify what their political bias is (they all have one, or several).Be careful with your personal data (especially if they don't explain exactly what they intend to use it for).

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juliad said...

"But beware, because every single tactical voting site is pushing some kind of agenda" - erm of course. Isn't the clue in the name "tactical"? People with agendas are looking for advise on how to achieve that agenda. The Best For Britain site includes in its FAQs - "How do we intend to stop Brexit?". That's the whole point of the site. The FAQs also include info on the research methodology used, and how they're funded.

Anonymous said...

By voting LibDem in seats where they cannot win you let the Tories through. Is that their Agenda.

Calum Law said...

Thanks for the info - and it's not exactly surprising. However, there's no getting away from it AAV: this is a Brexit election (with a side order of social justice). People want to vote tactically to stop Johnson's hard Brexit and get the Tories out into the bargain. It's alarming that these sites are over-pushing for the Lib Dems, true, but the solution is not to decry tactical voting (which holds the key to getting the Tories out) but to use your influence to encourage the parties themselves - along with the tactical voting sites - to cooperate.

Mr. Magoo said...

At the end of the day, either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn will be the prime minister after this election. It's difficult to predict the results of a FPTP election, but at the last one the Tories recieved 42.5% of the vote, and Labour 40% - so, if Labour had won just 5% more votes, they almost definitely would have won a majority.

Labour are promising to negotiate a deal that protects jobs and then put it to a "people's vote"; therefore, you should only vote for the Tories if you want a WTO-Brexit (plus an FTA with the USA), and for the Fib-Dems if you are a neo-liberal Remainer (but in both those cases you need your head examined).

A hell of a lot of people living in Tory-Fib-Dem marginals voted Labour 2 years ago (rightfully rejecting neo-liberalism), thereby turning them into Tory-Labour marginals.

Paul P said...

Best for Britain are using the same kind of polling that in 2017 predicted the Cons would lose their majority and Labour's shock gains in Kensington and Canterbury. They are advising people to vote Labour in about 70% of their recommendations. You are shooting the messenger

Unknown said...

He doesn't decry tactical voting (see the last paragraph). He calls out fake sites posing as tactical voting that are actually designed to con you into voting against your interests.

Unknown said...

No hes not. He didnt say ignore tactical voting sites, he said consider who the messenger is before following them.

Pete said...

This one is based on the 2017 results, I haven't found anything wrong with it.

Unknown said...

2017 results do not predict 2019 results. You need to sample voters to figure out the trends. I can see the 2017 results on Wikipedia without any tactical voting site. Take
Based on the previous result, it looks like you need to vote for Labor but obviously you need to vote for LibDems. They have a high profile candidate who will attract Tory remainers.

Another important factor is that the 2017 elections were unusual. Labor got 40% of the vote, which would give a majority in a typical election but not the last time. They are polling at 25% now and they would be lucky to get 28%. According to John Curtice the 2019 election will produce a record high number of MP-s outside of the two big parties.

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