⚠️ This is Version 8 of this post, re-written to make it all clearer to read. For the sake of transparency the older Version 3, Version 4Version 5 and Version 6 of the post can be found here. NOTE the major Best for Britain data update 27 November is now FULLY INCORPORATED HERE! ⚠️

⚠️ The content from this guide has been turned into its own micro-site – tacticalvoting.jonworth.eu – with more than 150 videos to explain tactical voting! ⚠️

 

So you want to stop Brexit? And you have the right to vote at the 2019 UK General Election?

That means you might need to vote tactically to make sure pro-Brexit parties (essentially the Tories) do not win, and that pro-Remain parties do. The problem: which pro-Remain party is best placed to win in the constituency where you live? (Labour is not strictly speaking a Remain party, but is committed to a 2nd Referendum – that ought to be enough for our purposes)

⚠️ NOTE THAT THE DATA IN THIS POST IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE! PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THIS AGAIN BEFORE YOU VOTE! ALSO REMEMBER THAT IF YOU REGISTERED FOR A POSTAL VOTE AND DID NOT CAST IT YOU CAN STILL VOTE AT A POLLING STATION ON 12 DECEMBER – TAKE YOUR BALLOT PAPER WITH YOU! ⚠️

Anyway let’s start.

In which constituency are you entitled to vote? For overseas voters this is the last place you lived when in the UK. Put the postcode in this form, hit search, and a new window will popup where you find out your constituency name from the House of Commons Website:

Postcode:

 

There are, at the time of writing, 5 online tools that try to help you work out how to vote tactically. These are:

  1. Get Voting by the pro-EU organisation Best for Britain (their methodology explained) – 🆕 Data update 27 November!
  2. Remain United by the pro-EU campaigner Gina Miller (their methodology explained)
  3. Tactical Vote by Becky Snowden and others (their FAQ)
  4. tactical.vote by the Vote Tools Collective, inc. Zoe Gardner, Luke Cooper and Mary Kaldor (their accuracy examined)
  5. People’s Vote Tactical Vote Tool by People’s Vote

The problem is that the outcomes from each of these sites – due to the methodology each deploys – can vary quite a lot. So here is a guide through it. Note that I am not going to go into detail about the pros and cons of each tool. In most cases most tools do a good job, and that is enough for this analysis.

🆕 Swap My Vote will help those who live in safe seats make their vote count elsewhere! Once you have read this guide do check it out! 🆕

 

Where to start

tactical.vote has a handy table on its website that compares how all 5 sites suggest pro-Remain voters should vote in each constituency. Put your constituency name from the step above in there and see what you get. 🚨 NOTE I am only linking to this because it is the best overview! I do not recommend ANY voting tool over any other! 🚨

 

Scotland and Northern Ireland

The way the tactical voting sites work for Scotland and for Northern Ireland is different than for England and Wales. If you live in Scotland please skip to the Scotland Category, and for Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Category. There are 59 constituencies in Scotland, and 18 in Northern Ireland.

Category 1 in England and Wales: the easy cases where the sites agree

⚠️ If you live in Ashfield, Brackley and Broughton, Ceredigion, Don Valley, Eddisbury, Colchester, Harborough, North East Somerset, South East Cornwall, Southport, Watford, York Outer, please skip to Category 3 in England and Wales below! If you live in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Hertsmere, North West Hampshire or Tatton please skip to Category 2 below. Otherwise read on! ⚠️

 

If there is a tick in the right column of the table – like this:

Or like this:

then you are on safe ground – you know how to vote tactically with a considerable degree of certainty.

Two sorts of seats show up like in this category: competitive or marginal seats where tactical voting will work, and safe seats where tactical voting is unlikely to work, but the recommendation for which Remain party is strongest is clear.

If your seat is one of these you can relax. How you need to act here is clear!

Better news still: this category covers 506 of the 573 seats in England and Wales! After Best for Britain’s 27 November data update 69 more seats have been added to this category! Hooray!

 

But what if you are in one of the constituencies where there is no consensus between the voting tools?

 

Category 2 in England and Wales: the safe seats where voting tools differ, or I interpret things differently

It might be all very well to vote tactically for the hell of it, but let’s not waste too much time with the seats that are not going to change hands anyway. Here the Remain United tool is the most handy – where that site makes no recommendation it is because the seat is safe, for whoever holds it. The data for the Remain United tool can be downloaded at the bottom of the page here.

Example: you live in Rutland and Melton. It is a Conservative safe seat. Whether you vote Labour (as tactical.vote recommends) or Lib Dem (as Get Voting recommends) does not make much odds. The Tories are going to win, whether you like it or not.

Of the seats where the five voting tools differ in their recommendations, I at this stage eliminate the safe seats where tactical voting is unlikely to work. That eliminates a further 21 of the 573 seats in England and Wales. (53 seats have been moved from this category back into Category 1 after Best for Britain’s 27 November data update!)

Of these 21 there are 12 where the Tories are going to win anyway – sorry. So free choice. These are:
Arundel and South Downs
Bosworth
Brentwood and Ongar
Bridgwater and West Somerset
Huntingdon
Ludlow
Orpington
Penrith and The Border
Rutland and Melton
Suffolk Coastal
Wealden
West Worcestershire

There is 1 that is solid-ish Tory, but Labour can come a clear second – so if you want guidance then go for Labour here:
Tatton *

A further 8 are safe-ish Tory, but if you want guidance then Lib Dem in these ones:
Berwick-upon-Tweed *
Hertsmere *
North West Hampshire *
Central Devon
Kenilworth and Southam
Reigate
Salisbury
Tunbridge Wells

* – these 4 seats are I think judged wrongly by some of the tools, so these are my own recommendations

 

⚠️ Not ALL Tory safe seats are in this list. Tory safe seats where the voting tools agree as to who is best placed in second will fall into the Category 1 above! ⚠️

 

Category 3 in England and Wales: cases that need closer examination

So these are the ones you have been waiting for. There are – in my view – 46 of the 573 seats where a judgment as to how to vote tactically is a bit more complex, but even here clarity is emerging. (16 seats have been moved from this category back into Category 1 after Best for Britain’s 27 November data update!)

⚠️ Please do not just bemoan this complexity! There are very good reasons why making a call in each of these cases is hard. Politics is not a simple game! ⚠️

These are the 46 seats:

Ashfield, Beaconsfield, Bermondsey and Old Southwark, Brackley and Broughton, Broxtowe, Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, Ceredigion, Chelmsford, Chelsea and Fulham, Chorley, Cities of London and Westminster, Colchester, Don Valley, East Devon, Eddisbury, Epsom and Ewell, Esher and Walton, Finchley and Golders Green, Harborough, Henley, Hitchin and Harpenden, Horsham, Isle of Wight, Kensington, Luton South, Maidstone and The Weald, Mid Sussex, Newton Abbot, North East Somerset, North Somerset, Sheffield Hallam, Solihull, South East Cambridgeshire, South East Cornwall, South West Hertfordshire, Southport, St Austell and Newquay, Tewkesbury, Torridge and West Devon, Wantage, Watford, Wimbledon, Woking, Ynys Môn, York Outer

If you live in one of these seats, read on. And read carefully.

 

(i) Free choice between Remain Parties seats (4 seats)

Bermondsey and Old Southwark, Cambridge, Ceredigion, Sheffield Hallam

These seats are remarkably rare in England and Wales, with two or more Remain parties vying for victory and the Conservatives far enough back to not be able to win. In each of these three cases make your own call between Lib Dems, Labour or Plaid Cymru (in Ceredigion).

 

(ii) Unusual Seats (6 seats)

Ashfield, Brackley and Broughton, Chorley, Don Valley, Finchley and Golders Green, Ynys Môn

There is no way to look at these other than examine the individual circumstances.

Ashfield at first glance looks like a solid Labour hold. But on further analysis it is a really unusual case. 70.5% voted Leave. The Ashfield Independents won 9% of the vote in 2017, and have strengthened considerably in Ashfield District Council. One of their main characters – Jason Zadrozny – is running. He’s an ex-Lib Dem who voted Leave in the Referendum. Labour incumbent Gloria Di Piero is standing down, complicating matters still further. Keep an eye on this one! Recommendation: Labour, because the Ashfield Independents cannot be trusted on Brexit issues.

Brackley and Broughton (recent results here) is the seat held by Labour MP Graham Stringer, one of only two prominent Labour EU-sceptics standing again. Recommendation: even though Stringer cannot be trusted on Brexit, a Labour MP here nevertheless reduces the chances of a Tory majority and Prime Minister. Recommendation: Labour

Chorley (recent results here) is the seat of the new Speaker, Lindsay Hoyle. Won by Labour since 1997, the seat will be easily won by Hoyle as Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems will not put up candidates. That the Speaker’s seat is not contested is a democratic anomaly – bad luck, people of Chorley. Recommendation: none.

Don Valley (recent results here) is held by Labour MP Caroline Flint, and she is running again. Under normal circumstances it would make sense to vote for Flint here, as the Tories are in second place. However she is the most hard-core pro-Brexit Labour MP in the running – the only one of the 6 Labour MPs to vote against the Letwin Amendment to stave off No Deal Brexit who is running again (the other 5 are retiring). Recommendation: it’s like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. Recommendation: vote Labour. While Flint cannot be trusted on Brexit, one more Labour MP and one fewer Conservative is marginal progress.

Finchley and Golders Green (recent results here) was a Tory-Labour marginal in 2017, but has become the symbol case about Labour’s anti semitism problem. Ex-Labour MP Luciana Berger is running here for the Liberal Democrats, and other Remain parties are standing down for her (Unite to Remain alliance). While the methodology of constituency polls might be open to question, Survation ran such a poll here putting Berger clearly ahead. Recommendation: the nature of the constituency and Berger’s standing means vote Lib Dem here.

Ynys Môn (recent results here) is a new entry as People’s Vote tool suggests voting Plaid Cymru (also Unite to Remain candidate) here, while it is a Labour seat currently. In 2017 Tories and Plaid Cymru were more or less tied for second. Meanwhile the Conservative candidate has had to stand down due to the expenses scandal. Recommendation: Plaid Cymru. Unite to Remain candidate, and Plaid Cymru have been very close to winning this before. Although held by Labour now I think this one is going to go for Plaid Cymru this time.

 

(iii) Seats with prominent independents and/or incumbents running (6 seats)

Beaconsfield, Broxtowe, East Devon, Eddisbury, Luton South, South West Hertfordshire

Beaconsfield (recent results here) was won by Brexit rebel Tory Dominic Grieve in 2017, and he is now standing as an independent. The Liberal Democrats are not standing, having decided to back Grieve. Labour was in 2nd place in 2017, and is running. Recommendation: Grieve is among the handful of MPs who has done the most to prevent Brexit happening. From an ethical point of view he has to be backed.

Broxtowe (recent results here) was won by Anna Soubry as a Conservative in 2017, and she is standing as an independent this time. The Lib Dems are not running. However unlike Beaconsfield, this has been a Tory-Labour marginal, and Labour stands a solid chance of winning. Recommendation: Labour. Sorry Soubry, but we need to be hard nosed here. This was a two-way Labour-Tory marginal, and better a Labour candidate wins it than a Tory does, and I cannot see how the independent can win here.

East Devon (recent results here) is a rather different case. Claire Wright has contested the last two elections here as an independent, and secured 35% of the vote in 2017. She is committed to Remain. Recommendation: Claire Wright (Independent).

Eddisbury (recent results here) is slightly different in that ex-Tory incumbent Antoinette Sandbach is running as a Lib Dem here, but the situation she faces is hard – the Liberal Democrats only did well in 2010 here, Remain United sees this as a Tory safe seat, and the seat voted 52.2% Leave. Recommendation: I cannot see how Labour can win this, but if Sandbach can bring enough ex-Tories with her maybe she can run the Conservatives close. Vote Lib Dem.

Luton South (recent results here) was won by Gavin Shuker for Labour in 2017, and he subsequently – via Change UK – ended up as an independent. The Liberal Democrats have stood down here, and are endorsing Shuker. The Tories were in second place in 2015 and 2017, and held the seat until 1997. Recommendation: Labour. The Lib Dems have had no strength here, and I cannot see how Shuker can make up the shortfall.

South West Hertfordshire (recent results here) was David Gauke’s seat, won by him as a Conservative in 2017. We now know he is running as an Independent here, and he is now committed to a 2nd Brexit Referendum. However at the time of writing it is not known if the Liberal Democrats will stand aside for him (as they have in Beaconsfield and Broxtowe). Recommendation: this was a safe Tory seat. Gauke might bring some support with him, and other parties are miles behind. Back Gauke.

 

(iv) Three way marginals or competitive seats with Conservative incumbents, Labour 2nd in 2017 (27 seats)

All of the following seats have Conservative incumbents, Labour in second place in 2017, and Lib Dems 3rd in 2017. However they vary considerably in terms of location (and tradition of voting Lib Dem or not), percentage of the vote for Leave, and urban or rural. Polling by Survation in Esher and Walton and Wokingham (clear Lib Dems in 2nd there though!) show affluent outer suburban London leaning Lib Dem.

The question in seats like this is whether the Liberal Democrats are well enough placed to make the jump past Labour

Chelmsford (recent results here) 50.7% Leave (Chelmsford has not had a Lib Dem MP in recent times, but the Liberal Democrats surged here in the 2019 local elections), Chelsea and Fulham (recent results here) 29.1% Leave, Cities of London and Westminster (recent results here) 28.1% Leave,  Epsom and Ewell (recent results here) 47.8% Leave (Lib Dems solid in 2nd earlier in the 2000s, demographically similar to other neighbouring constituencies), Esher and Walton (recent results here) 41.6% Leave, Henley (recent results here) 43.1% Leave, Hitchin and Harpenden (recent results here) 39.3% Leave, Horsham (recent results here) 49.5% Leave, Maidstone and The Weald (recent results here) 56.0% Leave (Lib Dems did not tank here even in 2015 and 2017, no Labour support really), Mid Sussex (recent results here) 46.4% Leave, Newton Abbot (recent results here) 56.0% Leave, North East Somerset (recent results here) 51.6% Leave, North Somerset (recent results here) 47.6% Leave, South East Cambridgeshire (recent results here) 45.3% Leave, South East Cornwall (recent results here) 55.1% Leave, Solihull (recent results here), 54.2% Leave (is judged to be a safe seat by Remain United, but I was urged to reconsider it. The seat has had Lib Dem MPs in the past, and due to the demography that looks to be a good call again),  St Austell and Newquay (recent results here) 64.1% Leave, Tewkesbury (recent results here) 53.6% Leave (some latent Lib Dem support, but still looks very solid for the Tories), Torridge and West Devon (recent results here) 57.2% Leave (has been a Lib Dem seat), Wantage (recent results here), 46.5% Leave (looking at the demography and local party activity it make sense to vote Lib Dem here), Wimbledon (recent results here), 27.3% Leave (although Labour came second here in 2017, the Liberal Democrats have an advantage in picking up disgruntled Tories and have made some local council gains. The new People’s Vote tool also backs this up), Woking (recent results here) 44.3% Leave.

 

NEW – Changed Recommendation in V8!
Now all 5 tactical voting sites are recommending Labour in these five constituencies. I do not want to make extra confusion. So I switch to Labour for my recommendation here!
Colchester
(recent results here) 51.5% Leave (there have been Lib Dem MPs in the past, while the council gains in 2019 were more moderate than in Chelmsford), Harborough (recent results here) 52.4% Leave (this one is likely to stay Tory, but the recent results show enduring Lib Dem support, even though the 2015 and 2017 elections that were bad for the Lib Dems. Council elections much better for Lib Dems than Labour), Southport (recent results here) 46.3% Leave,Watford(recent results here), 51.2% Leave (Richard Harrington, the moderate Conservative, is standing down. Labour did very well here in 2017, but that looks like an exception when viewed against historical results – Lib Dems control Watford Council, and had strength here before 2015 and 2017 elections), York Outer (recent results here) 44.7% Leave (complex three way marginal, but strong Lib Dem results in local elections, and a solid local campaign, mean this one is a better bet for the Liberal Democrats).

 

(v) Other three way marginals (3 seats)

In two seats where the voting tools differ, the 2017 result was Tory, Labour, Green

Bury St Edmunds (recent results here) 54.0% Leave, Isle of Wight (recent results here) 61.9% Leave.

In Bury St Edmunds clearly Labour has a better chance – vote Labour. In Isle or Wight vote Green (Unite to Remain Alliance).

 

In one seat where the voting tools differ, Labour won in 2017, with the Tories second and Lib Dems third

Kensington (recent results here) 31.2% Leave

Recommendation: Lib Dem. Sorry Labour, but I have to be hard nosed here – based on the polling and the demographics this one is more likely to go Lib Dem.

 

Conclusions – England and Wales

At the time of writing, all five tactical voting tools make the same recommendation in 437 of the 573 seats in England and Wales. If you live in one of those seats, trust the recommendation.

If you live in one of the 74 of the 573 seats that are likely Tory safe seats you are probably safe to vote with your heart, knowing anyone defeating the Tories there is one hell of a long shot. If you still need guidance there, tactical.vote will lean more heavily on the 2017 General Election result to tell you what to do, and Get Voting will align more closely with opinion polls, with Remain United somewhere in the middle.

If you live in one of the 46 of the 573 seats that are complex cases and where the voting tools differ or new data indicates errors, read the advice above.

  • In 4 (Bermondsey and Old Southwark, Cambridge, Ceredigion, Sheffield Hallam) it’s a free choice between Labour and the Liberal Democrats (or Plaid Cymru in Ceredigion), without any real danger.
  • I view 1 as a special case (Chorley).
  • In 3 (Beaconsfield, East Devon, South West Hertfordshire) vote Independent.
  • In a further 30 24 (Chelmsford, Chelsea and Fulham, Cities of London and Westminster, Colchester, Eddisbury, Epsom and Ewell, Esher and Walton, Finchley and Golders Green, Harborough, Henley, Hitchin and Harpenden, Horsham, Kensington, Maidstone and The Weald, Mid Sussex, Newton Abbot, North East Somerset, North Somerset, South East Cambridgeshire, South East Cornwall, Solihull, Southport, St Austell and Newquay, Tewkesbury, Torridge and West Devon, Wantage, Watford, Wimbledon, Woking, York Outer) vote Lib Dem.
  • In 6 12 (Ashfield, Brackley and Broughton, Broxtowe, Bury St Edmunds, Don Valley, Luton South) vote Labour. UPDATE V8:  Colchester, Harborough, Southport, Watford, York Outer now changed from Lib Dem TO Labour recommendations.
  • In 1 (Isle of Wight) vote Green.
  • In 1 (Ynys Môn) vote Plaid Cymru.

 

Category: Scotland (59 seats)

How the tactical voting sites deal with Scottish seats is different than for English and Welsh seats. People’s Vote (the fourth column) and Get Voting (the fifth column) in the comparison table do not make recommendations for Scottish seats. So if you live in Scotland and the table shows results like this it is nevertheless clear what to do:

The SNP holds 35 of the 59 Scottish seats (full list here) – if you back Remain, vote for the SNP in any of those 35 seats.

In the 24 seats not held by the SNP, the split is as follows:

13 seats – all of these are currently Tory held, with the SNP in 2nd place. Recommendation: SNP.
Aberdeen South, Angus, Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, Banff and Buchan, Berwickshire, Roxborough and Selkirk, Dumfries and Galloway, Dunfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, East Renfrewshire, Gordon, Moray, Ochil and South Perthshire, Stirling, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

5 seats – currently held by Labour in each case, with SNP second, where the Conservatives cannot win. Vote with your ideology here.
Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, Glasgow North East, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, Midlothian, Rutherglen and Hamilton West

4 seats – held by the Liberal Democrats, with Labour or the SNP placed second, no chance for Conservatives. Likewise vote as you see fit here.
Orkney & Shetland, East Dunbartonshire, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, Edinburgh West

Only two seats need more care:
Edinburgh South (clear Labour recommendation, because Tories are in third only just behind SNP – recent results here). East Lothian (recent results here) is a tricky Scottish three way marginal. It was a Labour gain from the SNP in 2017, but the Tory vote also went up in 2017, placing the Tories in third just behind the SNP. The 2015 SNP result here looks like the outlier, not least because at the 2014 independence referendum East Lothian voted more than 60% against independence (results here). Recommendation: vote Labour.

Conclusions – Scotland
Vote SNP in 48 seats. In 5 seats it’s a free choice between Labour and SNP. In 4 seats free choice between Lib Dems, Labour and SNP. In only two seats is it more complicated – vote Labour in Edinburgh South and East Lothian.

 

Category: Northern Ireland (18 seats)

The main issue of discussion here is if the UUP is an adequate choice for Remain voters. People’s Vote thinks it is. I take the opposite view, meaning there are only 3 Remain parties to recommend in Northern Ireland. These are:

12 seats – Sinn Féin
Belfast North, Belfast West, Belfast West, East Londonderry, Fermanagh, Foyle, Mid Ulster, Newry & Armagh, Sinn Fein, South Down, Upper Bann, West Tyrone

7 seats – Alliance Party
Belfast East, North Down, Lagan Valley, Strangford, North Antrim, East Antrim, South Antrim

1 seat – SDLP
Belfast South, Foyle, South Down

If you take the view that UUP is adequately pro Remain, then vote for them in Lagan Valley and South Antrim. A vote for the SDLP in Foyle or South Down is not a danger, in that the DUP cannot win, but I am not making calls between Remain parties if a Remain party is currently in the lead. 🆕 For Foyle, SDLP (who do take Westminster seats) have a chance, while Sinn Féin better in South Down (debate here).

 

Overall Conclusions

Now all 650 seats (every seat in the whole of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) have been assessed!

As some of this data might change between now and the election, please do check back here before you cast your ballot.

But what matters is how many people vote tactically. How to do so in each constituency is now quite clear!

 

Notes and Updates

Note: data for this blog post was initially gathered 11 and 12 November 2019. Update 5 is from 21 November 2019. If you find an error please point it out to be in the comments, or contact me. Any changes to this blog post will be added, and the original text will be left present for comparison. Leave percentages from Chris Hanretty’s data – table here. I am not affiliated to any of the organisations making any of these voting tools. I voted Remain and would vote Remain in any subsequent referendum, and when I still lived in the UK was a member of the Labour Party. Today I am a member of the German Grüne but that does not shape these recommendations – recommendations are purely based on keeping pro-Brexit candidates out.

Updates since V1
People’s Vote tool added
– I was informed some of the sites explained the situation in Brecon & Radnorshire and Morley and Outwood wrongly. Having checked the recommendations for both of these, I am reassured the recommendations are right – so those constituencies both stay in the first category
– Seats in category 1 reduced by 1 (Ashfield), and in category 2 by 2 (Chelmsford and Truro & Falmouth), hence 3 more in Category 3
– Explanation for South West Herfordshire amended now Gauke is running
– Rushcliffe moved from no recommendation to Labour
– Colchester moved from Labour to no recommendation
– South West Hertfordshire moved from no recommendation to Independent
– Sheffield Hallam moved from Lib Dem to free choice Lab/Lib
– Chelmsford and Truro & Falmouth moved to no recommendation
– Ashfield recategorised and now Labour recommendation
– Wantage moved from no recommendation to Lib Dem
– Wimbledon moved from no recommendation to Lib Dem

Updates in V2
– People’s Vote tool now fully integrated
– now a recommendation given for Buckingham and Don Valley
– Burton and Christchurch moved from Category 2 to Category 1
– Castle Point, Central Devon, Derbyshire Dales, East Yorkshire, Mid Worcestershire, South Holland and the Deepings moved from Category 1 to Category 2
– Ynys Mon moved from Category 1 to Category 3
– Solihull moved from Category 2 to Category 3
– Changed recommendation in Category 3 for Altrincham and Sale West (was Lib Dem, now Labour)

Updates in V3
– diagram added!

Updates in V4
– Hexham and Tewkesbury added to Category 3
– Post rewritten to eliminate “New” tags
– Filton and Bradley Stoke, Hexham moved to Labour
– Tewkesbury moved to Lib Dem
– Chelmsford and Colchester moved to Lib Dem
– Added East Lothian to Category 3, recommendation Labour

Updates in V5
– major changes to the structure of the post, separating out Scotland and Northern Ireland
– Remain United recategorised a dozen seats as not safe, these have been assessed in category 3
– Isle of Wight moved to Green recommendation (was tbc)
– Harborough moved to tbc (was considered safe before)

Updates in V6
– Swap My Vote added
– Broxtowe, Hendon, Luton South, Putney, Truro & Falmouth recommended Labour
– Harborough, Kensington, Watford, York Outer recommended Lib Dem
– Ynys Mon recommended Plaid Cymru
– some rewriting of Category 2 in light of Remain United changes to its recommendations

Updates in V7
– new Best for Britain data incorporated
– major changes to the numbers of seats in each category! Category 1 up from 437 to 506, category 2 down from 74 to 21, category 3 down from 62 to 46
– Altrincham and Sale West, Basingstoke, Buckingham, Croydon South, Daventry, Derbyshire Dales, Elmet and Rothwell, Filton and Bradley Stoke, Haltemprice and Howden, Hemel Hempstead, Hendon, Hexham, Macclesfield, Putney, Rushcliffe, The Wrekin, Truro and Falmouth all moved to Category 1! Now clarity here!

 

Useful feedback:

Hendon more Labour?


Or more like Finchley and Golders Green?

Wimbledon more Lib Dem?
I have also been passed info anonymously that the Lib Dems have been doing OK in council by-elections in Wimbledon…

Is Chelmsford so safe?


Local council results 2019 lean to the Lib Dems

Seems the data for Truro and Falmouth is off


And the 2017 result confirms this. I will add this to the next update!

Is the Altrincham call right?

Morley and Outwood is not so safe – will be re-assessed at the next update!

Should I even have made a judgment for Sheffield Hallam?

Handy local lib dem knowledge

Ashfield is really complex – see the recent results, and the success of the Ashfield Independents!

A question has been raised about the Brecon & Radnorshire Data

Harrogate

93 Comments

  1. Weybridge voter

    Couldn’t find Runnymede and Weybridge (Philip Hammond’s former seat) on the list anywhere – I suspect it’s ‘safe Tory, free choice’ – but just checking!

  2. Laurence Cox

    Jon,

    One point about postal voting, if you do take your postal vote to the polling station on 12th you have to take the whole pack completed just as if you were going to post it.

    The Electoral Commission’s advice is:
    Returning your postal vote

    When you’re ready to return your postal vote, take it to the postbox yourself.

    If you can’t post it yourself, you can either ask someone you know and trust to post it for you, or you can contact your local authority to ask if they can collect it from you.

    Avoid asking a candidate or party worker to post it for you.

    Your postal vote needs to be with your local authority by 10pm on polling day to be counted.

    If you can’t post your postal vote pack in time, you can take it your polling station or to your local authority on polling day.

    https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/voting-person-post-or-proxy/voting-post

    If you have a postal vote you cannot vote in a polling station instead and you cannot just hand in the postal ballot paper alone at the polling station, because that messes up the checking that there were not more ballot papers returned than were issued.

  3. Any thoughts on North West Cambridgeshire?

  4. Anoniem

    small inconsistency: In Northern Ireland for south down the text says “For Foyle, SDLP (who do take Westminster seats) have a chance, while Sinn Féin better in South Down” but in the list right above it, South Down is still crossed out for Sinn Fein and listed under SDLP

  5. Re: Kensington: Currently no tactical voting tool recommends LibDems. It’s either abstain or Labour. I know there’s the constituency poll, but if you recommend a party that no tool recommends, then it needs a bit more justification why. Or we’ll just have to live with the fact that the Tories will get this one.

  6. Hi Jon,

    Thanks for the great work – a very interesting read. Also a Putney voter like a couple of your previous commentators.
    The Lib Dems have recently stated publically that they could prop up a Johnson administration in the event of a hung parliament in return for a referendum with Johnson’s deal vs remain on the ballot. This is noteworthy because they have categorically ruled out working with Labour if Jeremy Corbyn remains as leader (if Labour is the largest party in the event of a hung parliament it seems unlikely that Corbyn would step down) and they have historically already shown they are willing to deal with the Tories.

    There is an online ‘TheNewEuropean’ article entitled ‘liberal democrat doesn’t rule out tory coalition’ referencing the deputy Lib Dem leady Ed Davey from last week that I’m sure you’re aware of, as evidence to back up the above claim.

    Given this information, what are your thoughts/recommendations for a wavering voter who is strongly pro-remain and is concerned that if they vote Lib Dem they could inadvertently facilitate a hung parliament in which the Lib Dems prop up the Tories which would then lead to a referendum where Johnson’s deal is on the table vs remain. The best case scenario is that the Lib Dems even manage to extract a second referendum, however, there is a strong possibility a newly reformed Johnson Government would simply try to run down the 12 month transition clock by failing to present a Free Trade Agreement to Parliament in 2020, and then we would face leaving on a version of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

    If Labour’s manifesto is to be believed they would offer a referendum with a so called Norway style ‘soft Brexit’ (single market & customs union) vs remain. Given there is no guarantee of remain winning in any second referendum, how do you compare the two options – Labour’s soft Brexit deal vs Johnson’s deal from someone with a pro-EU perspective, and how does that translate to a recommendation for who to vote for in the upcoming election in Putney, and other similar marginal seats where the remain vote is split between Labour-Lib Dems-Greens?

    Regards,

    Dan

    • I disagree. For the Lib Dems to back the Tories in a coalition would require their members to back it. And I cannot see members doing that. And the Tories don’t want that either.

      • Interesting. So is it safe to assume from your comment you think the Lib Dems are therefore more likely to go into coalition with Labour then? I really haven’t got that sense from what Swinson and others have been saying. Of course, it’s possible that they are currently aiming most of their fire at Corbyn/Labour simply because their best chance in gaining seats lies in peeling off moderate Tories (as you know there are way more Lib Dem – Tory marginals than there are Lib Dem – Labour marginals) and that they will be open to a coalition with Labour once the dust of a hung parliament has settled.

        It’s a real rock and a hard place scenario – as the way I see it the problem for the Lib Dems is that a coalition with Labour would then make them potentially as unpopular with their target ‘soft Tory’ audience in a future election as they have already become to the Labour youth student demographic after their tuition fees climb-down and reversal (not to mention enabling austerity), as they would then be seen to be enabling a socialist Government.

        Since Labour repositioned itself in adopting a people’s vote they have effectively stolen the rug from under the Lib Dems feet. It would seem that radicalising their position by calling to revoke article 50 has simply alienated them with large swathes of both the leave and remain sides of the population – as their declining vote share in many of the national polls over the past two weeks has shown.

        Given that Umunna has come out a couple of days ago and stated they have scaled back their ambitions ( Swinson et al previous stating a Lib Dem majority was possible), then the most logical advice for a tactical voter wishing to achieve the stated aim of stopping Brexit would be to vote Lib Dem in all Lib Dem – Tory marginals, and vote Labour in all Labour – Tory marginals. Any other advice simply risks splitting the remain vote…

  7. Adam Sanyo

    Great work, thanks for sharing all these details with the wider public.
    Can I just ask if you know where to find the latest Best for Britain seat by seat predictions? I found their first published list (which was before Brexit Party candidates resigned from the race), but I would like to check their most recent one (published on 27th November).

  8. Anoniem

    Man, I’m sure your intentions were all good at some point, but you’re recommending libdems for kensington, when bestforbritain constituency polling shows labour in the lead. For a lot of these seats were at last parliamentary elections labour was second with thousands of votes more than the libdems you only seem to recommend libdems based on the European/local elections. But those elections took place at a time when the libdems still favoured a people’s vote, and labour was still undecided. Now actually labour is the one supporting a people’s vote and the libdems are not anymore… Jo Swinson is dropping in the polls and libdems have had all these scandals with fake newspaper headlines and fake bargraphs.

    Also Cities of London and Westminster, most recent election 14.000 labour 4.000 libdems TEN THOUSAND VOTES DIFFERENCE, also libdem candidate there is Chuka Umunna, who really has a horrible public image as someone terribly unprincipled, turning in the wind with every blow. There’s still tweets up from him saying the libdems can never be trusted.

    Come on man, update this or take it down, you’re splitting the remain vote this way.

    • B4B’s MRP modelling shows Labour leading. But a constituency *poll* shows the opposite.

      As for Chuka and Cities of London – there too a constituency poll has Lib Dem leading.

  9. I’d flag North East Fife as not being as straightforward as the sites make it appear – tactical.vote and Remain United both agree on SNP, however it was a safe Lib Dem seat for decades (and Conservative before that) and the SNP only took it by 2 votes last time. Both parties are fighting very hard locally. I’d suggest consideration should be given to moving it to ‘vote as you see fit’ between Lib Dem and SNP?

  10. Hi Jon,

    Thanks for the great work – a very interesting read. Also a Putney voter like a couple of your previous commentators.
    The Lib Dems have recently stated publically that they could prop up a Johnson administration in the event of a hung parliament in return for a referendum with Johnson’s deal vs remain on the ballot. This is noteworthy because they have categorically ruled out working with Labour if Jeremy Corbyn remains as leader (if Labour is the largest party in the event of a hung parliament it seems unlikely that Corbyn would step down) and they have historically have already shown they are willing to deal with the Tories.

    https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/liberal-democrat-deputy-leader-doesn-t-rule-out-tory-coalition-1-6386523

    Given this information, what are your thoughts/recommendations for a wavering voter who is strongly pro-remain and is concerned that if they vote Lib Dem they could inadvertently facilitate a hung parliament in which the Lib Dems prop up the Tories which would then lead to a referendum where Johnson’s deal is on the table vs remain.

    If Labour are to be believed they would offer a referendum with a so called Norway style ‘soft Brexit’ (single market & customs union) vs remain. Given there is no guarantee of remain winning in any second referendum, how do you compare the two options – Labour’s soft Brexit deal vs Johnson’s deal from someone with a pro-EU perspective, and how does that translate to a recommendation for who to vote for in the upcoming election in Putney, and other similar marginals where the remain vote is split between Labour-Lib Dems-Greens?

    Regards,
    Dan

    • Another Putney Voter

      Dan_B – I’m not Jon obviously and I can’t reply on his behalf on the vote recommendation side, but on the “leave deal” side and as a Remainer who has done a lot of reading around the different types of Leave deal possible, for work as well as for my own interest, I can certainly say that if Remain lost a second referendum and we HAD to leave the EU I would have absolutely no hesitation in preferring a Norway style leave deal to Johnson’s leave deal. The two deals are chalk and cheese – Johnson is promising not only to leave the Single Market and Customs Union but to diverge heavily from EU rules, whereas a Labour Norway type deal would leave us in (or very close to) both the EU Customs Union and the Single Market – which is actually a bigger deal for our 80% services based economy than remaining in the Customs Union. Many huge UK service industries (financial and insurance services, professional services where qualifications and practices/regulations need to be mutually recognised/standardised, transport and aviation, academic research, amongst others) rely for smooth operation and trade with the other EU countries on being a member of the single market and its regulatory and legal framework, and coming out of the SM can mean instantly (overnight, in a no-deal scenario) being legally prevented from providing those services in another EU country, with obvious consequences for the profitability and viability of companies providing those services and the jobs of those employed in them. However in a Norway type deal where the UK remains in or very closely aligned to the single market, it would at least leave these parts of the economy relatively unscathed.

      Similarly it is actually membership of the single market via e.g. rules of origin, rules of ownership, agrifood standards etc. that makes things such as the JIT supply lines in the automotive and aviation industries and the free movement of animals and animal products across borders function properly. Yes it really needs both customs union and single market membership to make goods trade truly frictionless but it would probably make it a lot easier to strike a deal on customs (even outside *the* EU customs union) to ensure frictionless trade and borders if the leaving country agreed to abide by Single Market rules. Additionally it is being part of the SM which sets standards on e.g. environmental, social and workers’ rights rules which Corbyn absolutely wants to retain and Johnson, despite his protestations to the contrary, clearly wants to diverge from – given that a fair number of his current cabinet either belonged to the now defunct Atlantic Bridge Organisation or wrote the libertarian tract Britainnia Unchained it is clear that the direction of travel of his government would be very much about moving the UK towards alignment with US standards and practices in the economy, welfare, employment and environmental/food/farming standards, not EU ones, basically meaning a very low tax, low-to-non-existent welfare, privatised everything (including healthcare if they can get away with it) unfettered free market state. Frankly, in my opinion, that is even more of a radical change to the UK’s economy and state than Corbyn’s plans for mass nationalisation, expansion of workers’ rights and much higher taxation/spending – which is in fact not that unusual a model in other European countries such as the Scandinavian countries and even Germany I believe. In my opinion trying to make the sorts of radical post-Brexit changes the Tories really want to make, in the timescale they seem to want to do it, is absolutely not in the national interest given the complexity and potential economic, social and constitutional consequences of ripping the country out of the EU regulatory sphere after 45 years of continuous integration and harmonisation.

      My guess (although Corbyn has not articulated it explicitly) is that if Labour truly expects to get a Brexit deal with that sort of close relationship to the SM and CU in just 3 months they would HAVE to go for as close to an off-the-shelf EEA membership deal as possible, if not actual full EEA membership, plus at least temporary membership of *the* EU customs union (not *a* customs union) as this could be agreed by the EU very quickly, the international treaties are already in place and (assuming the other EEA members did not veto it – which is not impossible!) could be entered into very quickly should a Labour referendum vote for this Leave deal rather than Remain.

  11. Kirsty

    What’s your recommendation for Chichester? You mention it as a special case but then don’t expand further. Keen to know your thoughts.

  12. Really surprised to see Croydon South isn’t listed as a safe Tory seat all the day long. And then equally surprised to see Labour being positioned as the challenger.

    Labour hold three wards at council level from the Waddon estate (the councillors are long standing and active) but I can’t see Corbyn or his economics playing well in the south of the borough for a candidate parachuted in from out of the area. The Lib Dem candidate is local and should have seen a boost in appeal to the centrists but suspect their ground effort might be diluted in favour of the more competitive neighbouring seats.

    I’d be astonished if this is anything other than Chris Philp at a canter.

  13. Pseudologist

    Re Epsom & Ewell; not convinced by the recommendation to vote Lib Dem, my feeling is that they’ll come 4th!

    The four candidates that stood in 2017 are all standing again. Last time the Tories picked up 60% of the vote, Labour 25%, LD 12.5% and Green 2%.

    In last year’s borough council elections, Labour took 3 seats, LD 2 and Tories 1. The Residents Associations took the remaining 32 seats.

    While the incumbent Chris Grayling has done his best over the last term to make himself unelectable (Epsom was heavily affected by the Southern Rail fiasco) the size of his majority would normally make his re-election a shoo-in. However, very unusually, a RA councillor has put themselves forward as a candidate on a Remain ticket and I would except them, rather than the LD, to pick up most of the disaffected Tory votes.

    So with the Tory vote potentially heavily split with the RA (and others who will refuse to vote for either Grayling or a non-Tory) a non-Tory Remainer swing behind Labour would seem to be the best chance of a ‘second referendum’.

    • Nicholas Dean

      Absolutely I would vote Lib Dem on a Remain ticket in Epsom and Ewell but I’m voting Labour as I think they are best placed to challenge Grayling.

  14. Edinburgh voter

    Great article! Scotland is going to be interesting. I think there are other seats in Scotland (e.g. all of the Glasgow seats, Edinburgh East/North & Leith, most of the Central Belt) where the Tories have no chance of winning, that you could move to “vote with your ideology” alongside the current Labour-held seats. In all of those it is safe to vote Labour if you would rather have a Labour government that doesn’t rely on a deal with the SNP and/or you’re against independence.

  15. YorkOuterRemainer

    In York Outer I’ve seen a lot of Lib Dem signs up on roadsides, even in student areas where the Lib dems have been resented for the 2010-2015 coalition. Very little noticable labour stuff on show, so if people vote according to who’s been the more visible party Lib dems might be better off in York Outer. Inner is Labour safe.

    • YorkOuterRemainer

      Me again, just seen change in getvoting.orgs recommendation and all the sites now say labout, they also say that even in these circumstances the tories win by a landslide almost as large as their ability to lie. No clue which way to vote now. Just want the tories GONE! EVERYWHERE! and JAILED! too for their abysmal conduct in the last several years. Waiting for updates here to see what happens and planning to fill in postal vote pretty soon.

  16. Daniel Neofetou

    I think it is absolutely absurd that you are equivocating over Luton South. Labour won by over 14,000 votes last time and Lib Dems have never got much of a look in. The vast majority of Labour voters will not be particularly loyal to Shuker or even know who he is. Obviously the only option there is Labour.

    • “I think it is absolutely absurd that you are equivocating over Luton South.”

      Jeez, thanks for that.

      I am damned whatever I do here. See comments about Broxtowe which is not so different, where a question hangs over whether an independent can bring people from her former party.

  17. Nick Palmer

    Some thoughts on Portsmouth North after 6 hours canvassing for Labour this week and a couple of weeks back. This was initially seen as a 3-way marginal due to an early poll, but seems to be evolving into a Lab-Con battle – I spoke to 8 normal LibDem voters who are now tactically supporting the Labour MP, and just two normal Labour voters who are anti-Corbyn and peeling off, one to the Tories and one to spoiled paper. Labour posters outnumber the others by roughly 4:1 in Southsea, which is a LibDem-held ward at borough level. This is all a bit anecdotal, but the main threat seems to be the Tories, and it’s the sort of seat where tactical voting will be decisive. (It’s in your first category, but 2 of the 5 linked tactical voting sites say Labour while 3 are undecided.)

    • Claire C

      Don’t you mean Portsmouth South? Southsea is in Portsmouth South which is a 3-way marginal.

    • Harriet

      Portsmouth South definitely unclear – sites providing recommendation clearly going by last result but MRP sites indicating neck and neck all 3 parties. Incumbent labour is dedicated remainer but historically area is lib dem (until scandal of Hancock) and tories resurgent. This is one where a recommendation is needed to prevent tories slipping ahead while we’re not looking…as much as it pains me probably Labour is right answer but would be good if LDs would make a move to enable that.

      • The latest YouGov MRP poll yesterday suggests that Labour is now slightly ahead of the Tories and well ahead of the LibDems here, bearing out my subjective impression, so Labour does seem the best tactical choice. Compass lists the seat as one of the potential “tragedies” if the pro-Remain vote splits badly, but conversely it ought to be a hold if a reasonable number of LibDems lend support as the Tories are not much more than a third of the electorate.

  18. George Rosenberg

    Although so I note that you feel you cannot predict an outcome if there is some tactical voting I wonder whether you could do so making some reasonable assumptions.

    Of course he should be at the very conservative end. If you first take those constituencies where there is a clear choice and limit yourself to those, then assume that say 30% of of Romain voters will be be interested enough to to vote tactically,then assume that it is more likely that labour voters will choose to vote lib Dem then the other way round and that it is more likely that conservative remainers would choose lib Dem than labour the must be some electorates which it is possible to call as as being likely to be affected by a tactical vote. Add those to the constituencies which are are certain remain constituencies and you have a total.

    You are definitely better at this than I am am.not do you think I have the germ of an idea?

    an analysis like this, if it showed some prospect of overcoming the huge Tory lead in the polls would encourage intelligent tactical voting.

  19. Pingback: Confusion reigns when it comes to tactical voting this UK election – politics-99.com

  20. Michael Kessler

    What a sad state of affairs. Whilst being a staunch remainer, I will never, ever, put a cross on my ballot sheet for this particular Labour party. It’s going to be a wasted vote I’m afraid 🙁

  21. Anonymous

    I think that you are wrong about Sinn Féin. As they do not use their seats, you effectively vote Abstain rather than Remain or Leave if you vote for them.

    If you have a choice between Abstain or Leave, then Abstain means that both sides need half a seat less to get a majority, while Leave means that the Leave side gets one seat closer to majority. Clearly voting Abstain is better for Remain supporters, and voting Leave is better for Leave supporters.

    If you have a choice between Abstain or Remain, then Abstain still means that both sides need half a seat less to get a majority, while Remain means that the Remain side gets one seat closer to majority. Here it’s better to vote Abstain if you wish to leave, while you should vote Remain if you wish to remain.

  22. Fox Vicsson

    Colchester.
    I’ve not been out canvassing in this election, but I was knocking on doors a moderate amount for the May and June elections, when I met a lot of people who said they’d vote LibDem in those elections but would vote Labour in a GE.
    Labour would need a 5.3% swing to win here, LibDems would need a massive 14.5% swing.
    I just can’t believe they’ll achieve that, with a new, less well-known candidate.
    2019 local election results for the whole borough must not be confused with percentages achieved within the parliamentary seat, which were higher for Labour and lower for Conservatives than in the rural areas of the borough. Votes for independent candidates and tactical voting (for LibDems and for Greens) must also be taken into account.

  23. Jon,
    I think your comments on Caroline Flint, Labour candidate for the Don Valley constituency were very slanted against her. She is one of the few Labour MPs who respected the decision of her constituents to leave the EU and she voted accordingly and with the spirit of the Labour manifesto. It is others who did not respect the wishes of their constituents
    I am not a supporter of the Labour Party but I respect the outstanding integrity of this lady.
    Were I one of her constituents, I would be proud to have her as my MP
    Vote for honesty

    • I disagree with this very strongly. Backing Brexit did not mean backing *any* Brexit and without proper scrutiny in the Commons. She went further than any other Labour MP on this. The way that people like Onn and Snell behaved was more sensible.

  24. “many (ex) Tory Remain voters might not be able to bring themselves to vote for Corbyn. However, that means there is a serious danger of splitting the Remain vote”

    This seems to be a common problem. In my view the majority of disaffected (ex) Tory voters wishing to vote tactically will be very reluctant to vote Labour but may be willing to vote Lib Dem (if they are the only other party with any chance of winning the seat). So the Lib Dems might get many extra votes but whether it’s enough to unseat a Tory, especially if the Remain vote is split, is anybody’s guess. The whole thing is a farce and makes a mockery of democracy. If only we had proportional representation so all our votes counted!

    • Another Putney Voter

      Thanks Steve this is exactly my concern in Putney especially as it is one of the seats where the Brexit Party has stood down to help get a Tory voted in, there is no Remain Alliance pact here, plus it is losing Justine Greening who at least was a Tory prepared to defy her party leadership (before she lost the whip) to vote against Brexit, which one assumes the new Tory candidate isn’t (although he has conspicuously omitted any reference to Brexit from his campaign literature).

      All three non-Tory candidates (Labour, Lib Dem and Green) have made it clear they are 100% Remainers (including the Labour candidate who has signed the “Labour Remain” pledge to campaign and vote for Remain in Labour’s referendum) but that means the Remain vote is now split 3 ways (albeit in practice I think it is between Labour and Lib Dems – but the Greens could e.g. take votes from Labour?).

      The biggest issue is that historically Putney has been a straight fight between Tory and Labour – unlike many constituencies in SW London, the Lib Dems have always been a distant third in both general and local elections here: Putney is a very mixed constituency demographically where there are pockets of strong support for both main parties, for example (mostly Tory and very affluent) West Putney vs the (mostly Labour) Alton estate in Roehampton – so if you only use that data it should have been an obvious tactical vote for Labour (even if you hate Corbyn); however in the recent EU elections analysis has shown that for the borough of Wandsworth (which contains Putney) the Lib Dems were miles ahead of both the Tories and Labour probably due to Remainers making a protest vote about Brexit against both the main parties (as Labour was still much more equivocal about supporting a 2nd ref in May). Add to that the strong showing for the Lib Dems where recent local polling has been done in nearby constituencies with similar histories and demographics (e.g. Wimbledon and Kensington) and it’s obvious why this one is such a tough call!

      In my opinion it’s the balance between a) how many Tory Remainers who can’t stomach Corbyn will vote Lib Dem, b) how many will hold their noses and vote for Labour anyway as they are now committed to a 2nd ref, and c) how many Labour Leavers will vote Tory as they want Brexit more than anything else, which will determine whether we get a Tory Brexiter MP on 13th December – and it’s very hard to decide how to vote tactically to avoid that without any local polling to guide us.

      I really don’t know why this hasn’t been commissioned at least by one of the parties (Labour or Lib Dem) in with a chance in Putney given how close it seems to be!

      • Another Putney Voter

        A quick update on Putney – on a local web site (http://www.putneysw15.com/default.asp?section=info&page=conelection005.htm) which specifically asked all the candidates about Brexit (amongst other things), the Tory candidate admitted voting Remain in the referendum but confirmed he would vote for Johnson’s deal, and specifically avoided any mention of a referendum. So we now have definite confirmation of his pro-Brexit stance. All others made it clear they would vote to remain in a 2nd ref.

      • Another Putney Voter

        Sorry small correction to the above – I can’t see an edit button on these posts!

        The Tory candidate did mention a referendum but implied he did not want one.

  25. Very helpful overview, thanks. Two initial suggestions for updates.

    It looks like Remain United have now barged into the safe seats after all.

    I was looking for Cambridge and Bermondsey & Old Southwark within Category 3 but could not see them (yet?). Those ought to sit with Sheffield Hallam in the ‘vote either way’ – right?

  26. Tone Grina

    Can I ask for the rationale for voting Lib Dem in Wimbledon? In the last election Labour massively increased their share of the vote with an unknown (last minute) candidate. Since then, a strong local candidate was voted in. The Lib Dems came a distant third. I don’t see how the Lib Dems can win in this constituency.

    • I see 2017 as an outlier – look at the polling now, and also data from local elections, and I do not think Labour can repeat 2017 there.

  27. I’m confused about Cambridge. I guess it has recently changed from being simple to being complicated. Can you help?

  28. Exasperated in Putney

    Thanks Jon. Outstanding work.
    I’m in Putney and tearing my hair out over what to do. Like you, I really can’t make a call on this one. I naturally gravitate towards Labour but just want to stop it going to the Tories (not Justine Greening this time around) and am very happy to support the Lib Dems if that will do the trick. At the minute, the polling I’ve seen is split between who out of Labour and Lib Dems is doing better but it’s infuriating that, between them, they’re picking up close to 60% of the vote but we’ll probably end up with a Tory on 38%. Both Labour and Lib Dem candidates are strongly vocal People’s Vote supporters, so nothing to choose between them on that front. If you have any hints in your next update, we’re desperate for them here. We could end up with the horror show of a Tory who is committed to Johnson’s “deal” picking up one of the strongest remain constituencies in the country.

    • This is really one of the very, very hardest to call 😢

      I can’t help you right now (18 November) – but if there is some more data I will happily try to make a recommendation!

    • Another Putney Voter

      Another exasperated of Putney here. I am a very strong Remainer and really would not want to see a Tory – who I note has not put one single word about Brexit into his campaign literature, and is conspicuously avoiding the subject when campaigning, but who I believe is a Brexiter and must have signed up to vote for Johnson’s deal – get in in a constituency that voted 70+ % to Remain. I want someone who will represent that majority Remain viewpoint in Parliament and will vote tactically to do so, but currently it is impossible to tell who to vote for in order not to split the Remain vote.

      I am really surprised that there has been no constituency level polling in Putney given its difficulty. Interestingly there has been some in neighbouring Wimbledon which has a similar demographic and similarly at the last election had Labour second to the Tories, but a recent poll has shown the Lib Dems are now the challengers and only 2 percentage points behind. I would not be surprised to see something similar in Putney where many (ex) Tory Remain voters might not be able to bring themselves to vote for Corbyn. However that means there is a serious danger of splitting the Remain vote, and that is something I really do NOT want to see, so as per the above post PLEASE let us know if your advice updates.

    • Wimbledon Voter

      One slightly weird thing you could do is drive/walk/cycle/bus around the constituency and count the number of posters for each party. If one side is clearly ahead it ought to be a good proxy for the result. Give it a week though, as it is probably still a touch early for posters. Roehampton will be different to West Hill though, so you have to choose a route covering different areas.

      • Posters don’t vote. And i many places they do not provide any sort of guide as to what will happen on polling day. In my experience even posters on garden stakes and o trees do not confirm the voting intention of a household. And window posters, particularly for one party in my direct experience, that you might think are a stronger guide, are no such thing. I have seen level pegging or small differences either way on a poster game and a 30,000+ majority. Have also seen poster domination and a 30,000 majority. And also fairly light poster display and you’ve guessed it a 30,000 majority. These are three continguous seats in one northern city.

    • Steve Hardwick

      Do you have all this in a spreadsheet please?
      Preferably, on 12th December, including your commentary so I can appreciate the results as they come in.

  29. I don’t like your recommendation of Caroline Flint for Don Valley. As you note she’s a mega-hard Brexiteer and there is a remain-united candidate standing there. It’s really important that remainers there stand up and send her a message that she might win on the backs of the labour vote, but she is not supporting the will of the people. She actually rebelled and voted for no deal over revocation of article 50 so there’s absolutely no guarantee that she will support a second referendum or in fact be bettter than her tory opponent.

    • I am sorry, but there is not a hope that the Remain candidate will live there. You have to hold your nose and vote for Caroline Flint.

  30. Russell

    Looks like you have some Data for Kensington http://www.deltapoll.co.uk/polls/kensington

    The main poll has LD and Labour within MoE but the tactical voting questions look pretty compelling to me- LD can beat Conservatives, Labour can’t.

  31. Michael

    Those wishing to undemocratically scupper the referendum result should simply vote Tory

    Boris after all has no intention of delivering BrExit and is simply pushing May’s Surrender deal through for the FOURTH TIME !

    It leaves us in the EU to all intents and purposes, under their cointrol and under the jurisdiction of the ECJ.
    It is BRINO. Remainers would be daft not to vote for Boris. You are guaranteed to Remain that way

  32. Nicola Barnes

    Hertford and Stortford has always been a Conservative safe seat since the borders were redrawn by Thatcher in the ear!y 80’s.
    However the incumbent MP (Mark Prisk, a one nation Tory) is retiring and the local Conservative party were forced to choose their new candidate from a shortlist of hard-brexit supporting Boris Johnson fans by the party HQ. Local rumours suggest that not everyone in the local party were entirely happy about this.
    Looking at the results so far this century we see that the Liberal Democrats finished 3rd behind the Conservatives and Labour on all but two occasions. In 2015 UKIP finished 3rd beating the LibDems into 4th place. In 2010 Andrew Lewin finished 2nd beating Labour into 3rd. Lewin was a local from Bishop’s Stortford whereas the Labour candidate at that time was from Walthamstow. Lewin has since changed parties to Labour, heading the Remain Labour pressure group.
    Of the four announced candidates for Hertford and Stortford the Green Party Candidate is the most Local as she grew up in Bishop’s Stortford, the Labour candidate lives just outside of Bishop’s Stortford, the Conservative candidate is from south Essex over 35miles from the constituency and the LibDem candidate seems to be from Bath as far as I can tell.
    While the odds are certainly in the Conservatives favour here there is an outside chance that an upset could happen. Based upon past performance and trends I think that if the LibDems had selected a candidate from the local area I would have given them a chance here but as they picked someone from the opposite side of the country I would have to advocate for Labour.
    The Labour candidate is fairly local, he is an ardent remainer (having signed the Labour Remain pledge) in an area that was 50% remain at the time of the referendum and is closer to 60% now, past history suggests that Labour has more General Election support and a blue rosette may not carry the number of automatic support it used to.
    Personally I wish the Green Party had a greater showing here but the best they have ever managed is 4.8% of the vote.
    I may just be dreaming that the Tories can be beaten here but I won’t give up hope until the result is declared therefore I will be voting Labour here unless someone can produce a reputable local general election poll that says someone else will poll better.

  33. Paul Norris

    Interesting that the various sites come down in Plaid for Ceredigion. It was Liberal for a long while and has recently swapped between LibDem and Plaid, with a margin of 104 for Plaid’s Ben Lake in 2017. I’d put it in the same class as Sheffield Hallam.

    • Thank you! Will amend accordingly at the next update of the post!

      • I thought the two parties mentioned here were in an alliance? Feels strange that incumbency pulls no rank on this one, even if it was won by quite a narrow margin.

  34. Martin M

    Can I make a recommendation regarding Tewkesbury. Currently showing as a safe Conservative seat with no agreement between voting tools on who to vote for. Breaking down the electoral history though, I think a strong case can be made for the Liberal Democrats given the recently improved standing compared with 2015 & 2017.

    My rationale would be as follows. The seat has generally had a comfortable Tory margin for years with Labour and Lib Dem interchanging between second and third place. The 2017 Labour ‘surge’ only gave them an extra 4,700 or so votes – 22,500 short of what they needed to win. However, a much closer scenario occurred in 2010 when the Lib Dem candidate grabbed an extra 7,000 votes to come within 6,300 of the Tories. On top of that, in 2015 and 2017, the Lib Dem vote didn’t entirely collapse there – it just fell back to its pre-2010 level so there is a solid local block of Lib Dem support.

    Obviously the Conservatives have a comfortable majority there but a strong local Lib Dem campaign seems more likely to give them a run for their money.

    • Thanks. I will move Tewkesbury over for the next update. Sounds rather similar to the situation in Solihull.

      • Strange. You are being asked to simultaneously consider recent voting (in non comparable contests from my point of view), to ignore 2015 and 2017, and to strongly consider 2010. This one is a stretch however you cut it but recommending the party in third and some way back based on 2010 before they enabled a Tory govt is just a bit weird. Perhaps you should ask pundits going forward to identify any party membership Nd any current role in the local seat they are commenting upon.

        I am ling time Labour Party member and some timr councillor, until May this year, I appreciate the effort and analysis and see your results as generally respectable, but I’m worried that that good work will be undone by paying too much attention to closet partisans.

      • Eh? I think you are overdoing it there. I am willing to consider Tewkesbury, and not view it as a safe seat. I have NOT yet at the time of writing fully considered it. Oh, as for Altrincham, were you not the (not so closet) partisan telling me I had that one wrong? 🤔

  35. Peter Wilkinson

    Some thoughts on both Hendon and Finchley and Golders Green – but a declaration of interest first. I have been a member of Chipping Barnet Labour Party for over 40 years and, for several years in the early 1990s, was its treasurer at a time when Ross Houston (selected as Labour candidate for Finchley & GG just over two weeks ago) was its chair. I am, however, writing this entirely in a personal capacity.

    One factor to allow for is that Labour antisemitism is not a new issue in either constituency – not because there is a high incidence of antisemitism in the local Labour parties (if anything, very much the reverse) but because the local Conservatives have consistently been pushing the idea of the Labour Party nationally being antisemitic since at least Ed Miliband’s criticisms of the 2014 Israeli attacks on Gaza. One effect is that most of the undoubtedly sizeable Jewish Remainer vote is likely to have voted Conservative in 2017, even where it was voting Labour up to 2010. In turn, this means that, before taking tactical considerations into account, the Liberal Democrats are likely to find rather more 2017 Conservative voters and somewhat fewer 2017 Labour voters prepared to vote for them this time than they might do in other parts of the country.

    However, there are differences between the constituencies that also have to be allowed for. On 2011 census figures, Finchley and Golders Green was 21% Jewish and 28% BAME; Hendon was 17% Jewish and 40% BAME. In the 2016 referendum, according to Hanretty, Finchley & GG was about 69% Remain, while Hendon was “only” about 59% Remain. The Hanretty figures for this year’s Euro elections showed Finchley & GG as 34% LibDem, 15% Labour, 12% Green and 8% ChUK; and Hendon as 24% LibDem, 22% Labour, 8% Green and 7% ChUK.

    On this basis, I feel fairly certain that the best tactical voting choice in Hendon will be for Labour – while the Liberal Democrats are likely to see a definite increase in their vote, they are still unlikely to get above third position if current national polling figures are anywhere near right.

    So far as Finchley and Golders Green is concerned, the Survation poll, as well as the methodological questions usually raised, had at least one rather unobvious flaw. The poll was conducted using named candidates as part of the prompt, at a time when Labour did not have a candidate in place. Survation therefore chose to use the name of Labour’s 2017 candidate, Jeremy Newmark, in the prompt. However, while Newmark is Jewish, he has had quite a lot of unfavourable coverage in the Jewish Chronicle in connection with maladministration allegations relating to a Jewish community organisation – rightly or wrongly, use of his name in the Survation poll is likely to have depressed the Labour figures. The new Labour candidate, Ross Houston, while not Jewish, is likely not to get the same reaction – he has been distinctly critical about the weakness of Labour’s response to cases of antisemitism, is firmly pro-Remain and has been a local councillor in the constituency for over a dozen years.

    In my opinion, the Survation poll in Finchley and Golders Green almost certainly overstated the LibDem position and understated the Labour position. My feeling is that, in the absence of tactical voting, the LibDems are coming from far enough behind that Labour would probably have a somewhat more likely chance of beating the Tories in Finchley & GG. However, there are probably more possible LibDem voters not prepared to vote Labour than Labour voters not prepared to vote LibDem – so that may alter the calculation.

  36. Sale West voter

    I’m not convinced that Lib Dem is the right recommendation for Altrincham and Sale West. I think in this constituency the specific individuals standing for Labour and the Lib Dems will be a significant factor.

    The Labour candidate is well known locally: he is the leader of Trafford council, he was the 2017 candidate, and he has lived in Sale all his life. He is popular locally and is a strong campaigner: in the last two years he has led the successful campaign to turn Trafford council from a Tory majority to a Labour majority council, and he made big cuts to the Tory majority in the 2017 election. He is also a committed Remainer, which is a good match for the constituency.

    Conversely, the Lib Dem candidate has no connection to the area, and has been parachuted in very recently. The one thing she has done since arriving which has made the news is to complain about the fact that she won’t get a loss of office payment if she loses here. Other things that people who are following politics more closely may know about include: the “funny tinge” comment, the racist husband, support of fracking… none of it is very attractive, and my impression is that she is not going down at all well locally.

    Given the above, and the fact that Labour had more than 5x the votes the Lib Dems had in 2017, I would be very surprised if the Lib Dems can overtake Labour here.

    Disclaimer 1: I live in the north of the constituency, which I would say has more of a Great Manchester feel; I might have a different impression of how the candidates are getting on if I lived down at the southern edge on the border with Cheshire.

    Disclaimer 2: I am a Labour party member. However, I’ve tried to put this aside in my assessment of how things stand here. I would happily vote tactically for a Lib Dem if (a) I believed they were most likely to beat Graham Brady, and (b) we had a candidate I could respect. Indeed, I used to vote Lib Dem tactically when I lived in Oxford West and Abingdon.

  37. Jason Cook

    Thanks for this excellent work.

    The polls are moving somewhat. Since 29th Oct, on average and across all pollsters, Labour have gained 4% and LibDems have lost 2%. Is this scale of movement likely to alter any of your recommendations? If not, what scale of movement will?

  38. NickPalmer

    Very interesting, thanks! I know a good deal about Broxtowe (as the MP 1997-2010),. I’ll try to be objective! In Broxtowe, my understanding is that it’s coming down to yet another Con/Lab fight, with Anna Soubry suffering from lack of organisation and data (who voted what last time?) – in theory the LibDems are backing her, but their activists have fought her for years and are quietly going to other places like neighbouring Ashfield. I expect her to get something like 8-10%, drawn from all sides, and it’s hard to judge where most will come from. But the anti-Brexit vote should clearly be Labour and the pro-Brexit vote should equally clearly be Tory.

  39. Michael Huet

    Sorry to be lazy, but assuming your recommendations were followed, what is the final make up of parliament?

    • I don’t know, and cannot know. Because to know needs a figure on how many people vote tactically – and I cannot begin to calculate that. Sorry!

  40. Mr Rob Kinnon-Brettle

    I would be interested to know what you recommend for “Labour fortress” seats like Blackley and Broughton which have a hard-line pro-Brexit Labour MP. Also West Lancashire would come into this category.

    • Agh, I thought Stringer was standing down for some reason, but seems he is not. I suppose he has to commit to the party line backing a 2nd Referendum. Rosie Cooper is, on Brexit matters, slightly less bad. I suppose in both it is best to vote for both of them, so as to stop Tories winning in each.

  41. Horatio Mortimer

    In Buckingham where there is no General Election data, it might be useful to note the Euro election results mapped on to the constituency by Chris Hanretty. https://medium.com/@chrishanretty/ep2019-results-mapped-onto-westminster-constituencies-8a2a6ed14146

    BRX 34%
    CHUK 5%
    CON 13%
    GRN 13%
    LAB 3%
    LD 30%
    UKIP 2%
    Other 1%

  42. In a Politically Restricted Role

    Incredible piece of work Jon. Hugely valuable.

    I am mostly struck by being resigned to 86 seats being sewn up before a vote is cast. Obviously it’s a damning indictment against FPTP but underlines the lack of serious will amongst the opposition parties to get the country out of its tailspin. We have a situation where the governing party can walk 86 seats despite pretty much any assessment of past, or future, plans being embarrassing. And that’s probably been made even easier by Farage’s capitulation.

    But, as people try to weigh up where best to vote tactically it seems like disaffected Conservatives voters are being glossed over. I think that’s part of the methodology driving some sites towards Lib Dems even where Labour lie second? And that’s presumably why Remain United is steering clear of the debate.

    Nevertheless, could someone take these ‘safe’ seats a bit more seriously? Remain United’s numbers have 21 seats where the LAB+LD+GRN vote shares equal or exceed CONs (Aylesbury, Basingstoke, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Chelmsford, Croydon South, Devon Central, Devon West and Torridge, Epsom and Ewell, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire North East, Hexham, Huntingdon, Maidstone and The Weald, Norfolk South, Reigate, Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, Solihull, Somerset North, Sussex Mid,
    Tunbridge Wells, Weston-Super-Mare).

    Obviously BXP leaving the field in those seats has an impact but it cuts both ways – well, I’d hope it would also give moderate Conservative voters second thoughts. And when they look elsewhere everything I’ve seen suggests it’s not going to be in Corbyn’s direction. Labour failing to acknowledge Corbyn’s limited appeal amongst many who have a history of voting Conservative is a problem. The LDs aren’t blameless in their rhetoric but Swinson swings against Corbyn because it’s necessary to present clear water between her party and him in order to appeal to exactly those disaffected Conservative voters who are not going to vote Labour, regardless of who came second in 2017. That Labour activists go on the offensive in retaliation is understandable but also sadly short sighted.

    It is asking an awful lot to field a single candidate (and the optics of ‘collusion’ might not be worth it in terms of wider fall out) but equally they’re only a handful of seats. And if you put those seats under pressure would anything else start to unravel in terms of that solid Tory base?

    It’s so depressing that given the situation it’s people like you and the other tactical voting sites having to coach and guide us rather than the parties behaving like adults to step out of each other’s way.

    I look forward to your future updates as we go through all the fun of the next four weeks.

  43. What do you think about vote swapping? http://www.swapmyvote.uk

  44. Rebecca Taylor

    Hi Jon,

    Firstly, thanks for this gargantuan effort! I will pass on to friends who want to vote tactically in their seat but are confused by conflicting advice.

    In relation to the comment about Sheffield Hallam; a cursory glance should tell you that the seat isn’t really a Lib/Lab marginal. It was a Tory seat, which the LibDems gained in 1997 and held until 2015. Labour were traditionally 3rd placed; the first time they managed 2nd was in 2015. It was a bit of a fluke that Labour won in 2017 (you’d have expected 2015 to have been their best shot) and an unusual mix of factors were in play including soft Tory voters who simply didn’t believe Labour could win. Labour cannot win the seat now. Every psephologist and every bookie has it down as a LibDem gain.

  45. Sandra_T

    Thanks for understanding that for some of our constituencies the predictions are not clear cut at all.

  46. Chris Paul

    The Altrincham comments collected are right. Your opt for Lb Dems here was bizarre. Labour are a strong second and the Lib Dems a very distant third. You should change that recommendation to Labour.

  47. Hi York Outer you need to look at the 2019 council elections in which the Lib dems won all but one of the wards that make up York Outer. that’s why the Greens stood down for them there – and the Green Party has done very well in York as well, winning multiple council seats in York central in 2019. York is now a Lib dem / Green council.

    In the Euros Labour only got 6k votes vs 16k Lib dems, 11k Greens.
    https://www.york.gov.uk/EPEResults

  48. Ma Shumba

    Filton & Sadly Broke: IDK if this data point helps, or if you already took it into account, but this constituency (my sister’s) includes UWE — perhaps the student vote will have an effect here?

    (PS: None of the fields are marked * in my browser, but apparently some of them are actually required?)

  49. Wimbledon Voter

    Based on the deliveries received so far, Wimbledon definitely looks like a Lib Dem target with a locally high profile candidate (took Mayor of London to court and won to stop police station closing). I don’t think this should be a surprise – in demographic and “feel” it is more like Kingston and Twickenham than Croydon or Mitcham. Plus, the recent Cannon Hill local by-election had the Lib Dems come from third to first.

  50. Gareth

    Great work – some thoughts on one of your final 13.
    Full disclosure – I’m a Labour member in the seat, but judging on the data in Rushcliffe, where in 2017 Labour got 22,213 and the Lib Dems 2,759 (a Labour gain of 11.8%), should really point toward voters favouring Labour over the LDs? The local candidate for Labour has already confirmed she would campaign for Remain in Labour’s confirmatory referendum already promised as part of the Party’s manifesto.

    This was Ken Clarke’s seat (local 49year veteran MP and Europhile) the Conservatives have selected Ruth Edwards who is pro-Brexit (“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservatives will get Brexit done and respect the referendum” in her literature). Rushcliffe voted 40,522 – 29,888 in favour of REMAIN.

    The Lib Dems are standing as a Unite to Remain candidate after the Greens stood their candidate down – I think a fact check of the two manifestos (LD and Lab) on their green credentials would also be interesting for the 1,626 Green voters from last time (not far behind the Lib Dems!) on their choice here too.

    For me, Labour is the better option as there is the least distance to travel to beat the Tories in the seat. Interested to hear your thoughts, Jon – and feel free to check my figures.

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