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Anti-Conservative Tactical Voting Website for General Election Crashes Due to ‘Extremely High Demand’

The guide is designed to oust the Conservatives from Government – but smaller parties have questioned some of the recommendations

Both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss could lose their seats in the general election if enough voters vote tactically. Photo: Associated Press / AlamyPhoto: PA Images / Alamy

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Pro-European campaign group Best for Britain has published its tactical voting recommendations for the July 4th general election, advising voters in 451 constituencies across the UK on how to cast their ballots to deliver the heaviest electoral blow to the Conservative Government.

The recommendations, released on the group’s GetVoting.org website, call for voters to back Labour candidates in 370 seats, the Liberal Democrats in 69, and the Green Party in three. 

BfB also backs a Scottish National Party vote in seven seats in Scotland, and Plaid Cymru in two constituencies in Wales, to have the best chance of changing the Government. 

In the remaining 181 seats, Best for Britain is not making a recommendation, saying the opposition lead is large enough that “people trying to stop the Tories can vote with their hearts.”

The recomendations site crashed shortly after launching due to “extremely high demand,” according to a BfB spokesperson but is currently available again.

Best for Britain CEO Naomi Smith emphasized the group’s distaste for tactical voting at a press conference unveiling the recommendations. “We really, really hate tactical voting,” Smith said, adding: “We think people should be able to vote for who they believe in. But until the voting system changes, tactical voting will continue to be a feature.”

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The group says its advice is based on the latest Survation MRP polling, as well as local insights and expert analysis, with the aim of keeping the Conservatives out of power for the next decade and preventing the hard-right Reform UK party led by Nigel Farage from gaining a foothold in Parliament. 

Best for Britain’s own polling indicates as many as 13 million voters are prepared to vote tactically, in other words: backing a party that isn’t necessarily their first choice, with the primary intent of keeping out the Conservatives.

However, the recommendations have drawn criticism from some quarters, including for recommending a Labour vote in Bristol Central over Green candidate and party co-leader Carla Denyer. The seat is a two-way Labour/Green toss-up with almost no chance of going Conservative. 

One reader blasted it as: “Typical [First Past the Post]-sustaining nonsense from Best for Labour,” though the group backs a shift to proportional representaion. 

Another voter questioned the group’s backing for pro-independence parties the SNP and Plaid Cymru, writing: “How can an organisation called Best of Britain endorse nationalist parties and expect to be taken seriously?”

Others argued voters should ignore websites like GetVoting.org entirely and make their own determinations. “Here’s a radical idea,” opined one Twitter user. “Stop [listening] to Tactical Voting websites and Carol Vorderman and do your own research…Vote in the interests of the most vulnerable person you know, OR who’s most likely to beat the candidate you hate most.”

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On X, Tom Hatfield wrote: “It seems [Best for Britain] are trying to protect Thangam Debbonaire by pretending the Tories might win a Lab/Green marginal” of Bristol Central. Another user, Theo Elliott, dubbed the recommendation: “Absolute nonsense”, saying: “The Tories won’t win there. There is no need for tactical voting. Bristol friends should feel free to vote Green without worry.”

At the 2019 general election, GetVoting.org says it reached 4.5 million people and helped 800,000 vote tactically, boosting the vote share of opposition candidates by at least 10% in 19 constituencies. The site boasts it was 97% accurate in its recommendations.

A sample of Bet for Britain’s new tactical voting recommendations

Zack Polanski, Green Party Deputy Leader told Byline Times: “We’re pleased that Best for Britain recognises that in seats like North Herefordshire and Waveney Valley it is The Green Party holding the flame for progressive politics and are best placed to beat The Conservatives. There are however other seats like Brighton Pavilion and Bristol Central where Greens are on course to win by beating Labour. 

“We think that a group of Green MPs elected can make the inevitable Labour landslide Government bolder and better. We can push them to scrap the two-child benefit cap, to properly invest in the NHS and stand up for peace and justice abroad.”

In a statement to journalists, a BfB spokesperson said tactical voting was needed as “Labour’s [circa 20-point] lead is, in part, built on people who are voting tactically.”

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“Our polling shows that a fifth of people who say they are voting Labour and a third of those saying they will vote Lib Dem are doing so tactically. Telling these people they needn’t bother will eat into this lead. 

“The damage of 14 years of mismanagement by this Government will take years to repair. Significant improvements like democratic reforms, fixing the Brexit deal and meaningful climate action could take even longer. For this reason, it is important that this Government is dealt a massive blow at the election to reduce the chance of them securing power again after five years. Tactical voting can ensure they return the smallest number of MPs possible,” they added.

The organisation says tactical voting can help “remove populism” from UK politics, claiming the current Conservative Party is “almost unrecognisable” from the one that took office in 2010.

“Similar to the Republicans in the USA, populists within the Conservative Party will seek to further radicalise their policy platform even in opposition, moving it further to the right and focused on both increasing divisions in the UK and removing democratic safeguards. Tactical voting can remove people like this from positions of influence within the parliamentary Conservative party,” the BfB spokesperson said. 

The group’s mass-polling analysis shows that many high-profile right-wing Conservatives could be at risk “if people vote tactically”, including Jacob Rees Mogg, Suella Braverman and Liz Truss. It could also prevent Nigel Farage gaining a foothold in Parliament in Clacton, with the group recommending a Labour vote there. The Conservatives are currently polling a close second in the seat to Reform UK but BfB believes Labour can win. 

Best for Britain has not made a recommendation in Islington North, where former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is standing as an independent candidate. 

You can view the recommendation and reasoning for your seat here, if the website is live again. There are a number of other anti-Conservative tactical voting sites too including Stop The Tories, backed by presenter Carol Vorderman.

This piece has been amended to correct the initial statement that BfB was providing voting recommendations in 452 seats. It is actually 451.


Best for Britain’s tactical voting recommendations for England and Wales

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