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Plans are afoot to launch the UK’s biggest ever tactical voting project ahead of the next General Election after a mega-poll of thousands of voters showed Labour’s lead is now vulnerable.
New modelling for the campaign group Best for Britain published today suggests Labour could win 470 seats at the next election – a 140+ seat majority. However, Labour’s haul could fall to 316 seats if Reform UK steps aside in key Tory target constituencies, and if current ‘Don’t Know’ voters swing largely behind the Conservatives – as polls suggest could be the case. Such an outcome would take Labour’s lead down to just 30 seats over the Conservatives if an election were held tomorrow.
The findings were launched at an event in Westminster featuring presenter and campaigner Carol Vorderman, leading pollster Professor Sir John Curtice, More in Common’s Luke Tryll and Best for Britain’s CEO Naomi Smith.
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UKIP and the Brexit Party have stood aside for the Conservatives in the past. In a bid to boost Boris Johnson in 2019, the Brexit Party stood down in the 317 seats the Tories won in the 2017 election, saying it would put its “total effort” into the seats held by Labour.
Brexit Party successor Reform UK, led by millionaire right-winger Richard Tice, could follow suit, potentially in exchange for concessions from Rishi Sunak’s party.
Following the success of grassroots campaign Stop the Tories – a tactical voting effort in May’s local elections in England – Best for Britain is now planning the biggest ever push to encourage people to vote for the party that is best placed to beat the Conservatives next year.
It will be launched around six months before next year’s General Election. Best for Britain ran tactical voting advice in 2017 and twice in 2019 for the national elections. But next year the group aims to step its work up a gear.
Byline Times understands the new site will feature data on how much NHS waiting lists have risen under the Tories, changes in crime and poverty for every seat. Almost every seat will have a tactical voting recommendation, except a couple of SNP/Labour marginals in Scotland.
HMRC contributed enormously to the rise in fraud after the then Chancellor approved tens of billions to be spent on pandemic support schemes
“Margins are Narrowing”
Carol Vorderman told journalists on Wednesday morning: “Labour may want to interpret what’s been said today as a landslide victory [being] definite. It isn’t. The margins are narrowing. And that’s why I believe that tactical voting is going to play a huge part in the next election”.
She added that tactical voting “should not be needed”.
“I believe every voter should count. But every voter doesn’t count in the first past the post system that we have in this country today. We’re the only ones in Europe, other than Belarus, who have this system.”
Vorderman backed the Stop the Tories voting site before May’s local elections. “There was nothing in the general media about it. It was all over social media. And half a million people accessed that site within five days leading up to the local election. That’s significant.”
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Addressing journalists in the room, she said: “You weren’t talking about it,” adding: “The capacity for social media to influence change has grown significantly since Brexit”.
She noted that if Reform UK considers standing down at the next election for the Conservatives, it gives leader Richard Tice “immense” negotiating power.
“If Reform UK doesn’t stand down in [swing] seats, then these people according to the prediction would lose their seats: Penny Mordaunt, Lee Anderson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson.”
She added: “I’m targeting not 129 seats for the Conservative party – I’d prefer they only had 70 to 80 Members of Parliament after the next election, but we can all live in hope.”
Naomi Smith, chief executive of the progressive campaign group, said: “In 2019, our data was showing that if there was a general election, Boris Johnson would get an 81 seat majority”. In the end, the Conservatives won an 80 seat majority.
“People are going to need to vote tactically, and that tactical voting advice needs to be based on evidence from current data, not on who won at the last election – because the boundaries have changed. Every leader has changed as well.
“We do want people to vote tactically and Best for Britain will unleash a very powerful tactical vote website in the run up to the election.”
The polling was a representative MRP poll of 10,140 voters conducted between 20th April and 9th May, by FocalData.
Josiah Mortimer is Chief Reporter for Byline Times. Do you have a story that needs highlighting? Get in touch by emailing email@example.com