Exeter, Devon UK • Jun 15, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home General Election What is strategic voting?

What is strategic voting?

Cora Jamieson explains the process of strategic voting, ahead of the July General Election.
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Considering the recently announced general election but amidst rising discontent with conventional British party politics, the concept of ‘strategic voting’ has risen to the forefront of local politics up and down the country. 

The focus fire for this UK General Election is on The Conservative Party, headed by Rishi Sunak since 2022, and the ruling party in Parliament since 2010. Fourteen years of Conservative rule, marked- according to opposing parties-by successive crises such as Brexit, the Covid 19 pandemic and the recent cost of living crisis, which have left many voters feeling left behind and frustrated by the current government. 

The aim of strategic voting is to get the second most popular party in a specific local area into government at the expense of the current most popular, due to the perceived failings of said political party.

The aim of strategic voting is to get the second most popular party in a specific local area into government at the expense of the current most popular, due to the perceived failings of said political party. Where this differs from simply voting for the major opposition party is that levels of party support vary wildly from region to region within the UK. For example, where Labour may be a viable opposition candidate in Falmouth, they are much less likely to succeed in more affluent areas such as Berkshire, where the Liberal Democrats are seen in a much more favourable light. 

Ultimately, the limitations of the current first-past-the-post system mean that strategic voting is here to stay, much to the detriment of the system. This means that a voter’s trust in an MP only extends as far as the political party they represent on a national scale, rather than being founded on their ability and history within a local area. 

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