Close
Date TimeOctober 27, 2019
VoiceIt’s often been claimed that Westminster’s winner-takes-all voting system delivers strong and stable government. But instead, it could be set to deliver a “hold your nose” election – with so-called tactical voting far beyond the scale seen in 2017.  
Why Were Heading For A Hold Your Nose Election
New polling by BMG Research for the Electoral Reform Society has found that nearly a quarter of voters are planning to vote tactically in the next general election.
The analysis found that 24% of people won’t vote for their preferred candidate or party, instead turning to a party or candidate to keep out someone they dislike more.
Based on 2017 general election turnout, this could equate to almost eight million votes cast for candidates who were not the voters preferred choice but just the “least worst” option on polling day.
When the same question was asked before the 2017 general election, 20% of people said they’d opt for someone who their first choice wasn’t and now, with nearly a quarter of voters feeling that they can’t vote for the party of their choice it’s becoming clearer than ever that time is running out for Westminster’s broken voting system.
We can’t keep relying on a broken set-up that not only creates warped results but warps how people choose to vote in the first place.Related... Voters Will Have To Produce ID Before Casting Their Ballot, Government To Announce For too long, First Past the Post has skewed our elections beyond recognition, piling up wasted votes and forcing people to make tactical choices at the ballot box. Unlike proportional elections for Holyrood, Scottish councils or the Welsh Assembly, at Westminster people feel deprived of voting for the party that most accurately represents their views.
ERS analysis of the 2017 election found that millions of people’s votes were thrown on the electoral scrapheap. 68% of votes had no impact on the result. That’s 22 million votes going to waste.
Amid that sea of wasted votes, it’s the tiny ripples that make the difference. Just 0.0016% of voters choosing differently would have given the Conservatives a majority, while the election saw rise in very marginal seats: eleven seats were won by fewer than 100 votes.
If we had a fair, proportional voting system – as in most of the developed world – you could, shockingly, vote for who you actually support, and if your first choice doesn’t stand a chance, your second choice is counted instead.
The next election could be the most volatile in years. Current polls put Labour and the Conservatives on a combined vote share of around 60% – around 10 points less than the lowest ever joint result in a general election. Voters are keen to ‘shop around’ more than ever – but the current system means a diverse and shifting public are having to work around a broken two-party system that could prevent millions for voting for the candidate in which they really believe.
This week Canada’s election (under the same voting system) has resulted in a hung parliament (familiar!), with the Liberals likely to rely on the pro-PR NDP and Green parties. A shift to fair votes there would leave Westminster’s broken set-up even more isolated.
It’s long past time our politics moved into the 21st century. We need to move towards a means of electing our MPs where all voices are heard and where people don’t feel forced to hold their nose at the ballot box to game the system.
Our politics is changing, breaking away from the traditional binary divides. Our voting system should move with it.
Willie Sullivan is senior director for campaigns at the Electoral Reform Society Related... Here's Why Boris Johnson Wants A General Election Before Christmas – And What Jeremy Corbyn Thinks About It Snap Election Could Be Before December 12, Jeremy Corbyn Suggests No.10 Plays Down Threat To Go On Strike If MPs Refuse An Election

Related Stories
Philip Hammond Says He Will Not Back Election As Brexit Crisis LoomsPhilip Hammond Says He Will Not Back Election As Brexit Crisis Looms
Mueller Was Seeking FBI Director Job When He Met with Trump in 2017: ReportMueller Was Seeking FBI Director Job When He Met with Trump in 2017: Report
Steph McGovern Designed Her Own ‘Girly Swot’ Jumper For Have I Got News For You - And Now You Can Own OneSteph McGovern Designed Her Own ‘Girly Swot’ Jumper For Have I Got News For You - And Now You Can Own One
Chris Williamson Loses High Court Battle To Be Reinstated To Labour PartyChris Williamson Loses High Court Battle To Be Reinstated To Labour Party
Second whistleblower comes forward in Trump impeachment inquiry as Republican unease growsSecond whistleblower comes forward in Trump impeachment inquiry as Republican unease grows
Graham Asks Giuliani to Testify in New GOP-Led Probe on UkraineGraham Asks Giuliani to Testify in New GOP-Led Probe on Ukraine
Johnson Stumbles in Bid for Brexit Deal as EU Demands AnswersJohnson Stumbles in Bid for Brexit Deal as EU Demands Answers
Why The Third Man is an essential primer for no-deal BrexitWhy The Third Man is an essential primer for no-deal Brexit
Elton John Defends Ellen DeGeneres’ Friendship With George W. Bush Amid Twitter BacklashElton John Defends Ellen DeGeneres’ Friendship With George W. Bush Amid Twitter Backlash
The Donald Trump Impeachment Story Is Simple. Here’s What You Need To KnowThe Donald Trump Impeachment Story Is Simple. Here’s What You Need To Know
Latest News
Orville Peck: ‘I grew up feeling alienated – so I became a cowboy’Orville Peck: ‘I grew up feeling alienated – so I became a cowboy’
Eric Cantona: ‘Big democracies are, in a way, dictatorships’Eric Cantona: ‘Big democracies are, in a way, dictatorships’
The Spin | Sweet peas, ships and now spiders: the wider world inspired by cricketThe Spin | Sweet peas, ships and now spiders: the wider world inspired by cricket
David Squires on … new ideas for football TV seriesDavid Squires on … new ideas for football TV series
Rory McIlroy happy to let rivals contest Race to Dubai battleRory McIlroy happy to let rivals contest Race to Dubai battle
Luis Enrique makes Spain return as Roberto Moreno walks away in tearsLuis Enrique makes Spain return as Roberto Moreno walks away in tears
Garnet Hathaway ejected for spitting as Capitals and Ducks brawlGarnet Hathaway ejected for spitting as Capitals and Ducks brawl
Philip Rivers intercepted four times as Chiefs beat Chargers in Mexico CityPhilip Rivers intercepted four times as Chiefs beat Chargers in Mexico City
Olympic committees deal with Airbnb angers Paris authoritiesOlympic committee's deal with Airbnb angers Paris authorities
Wijnaldum on racism in football: What can you do as a player? Its a problem in society – videoWijnaldum on racism in football: 'What can you do as a player? It's a problem in society' – video
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Boris-JohnsonBoris Johnson
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Theresa-MayTheresa May
Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Related Stories
Philip Hammond Says He Will Not Back Election As Brexit Crisis LoomsPhilip Hammond Says He Will Not Back Election As Brexit Crisis Looms
Mueller Was Seeking FBI Director Job When He Met with Trump in 2017: ReportMueller Was Seeking FBI Director Job When He Met with Trump in 2017: Report
Steph McGovern Designed Her Own ‘Girly Swot’ Jumper For Have I Got News For You - And Now You Can Own OneSteph McGovern Designed Her Own ‘Girly Swot’ Jumper For Have I Got News For You - And Now You Can Own One
Chris Williamson Loses High Court Battle To Be Reinstated To Labour PartyChris Williamson Loses High Court Battle To Be Reinstated To Labour Party
Second whistleblower comes forward in Trump impeachment inquiry as Republican unease growsSecond whistleblower comes forward in Trump impeachment inquiry as Republican unease grows
Graham Asks Giuliani to Testify in New GOP-Led Probe on UkraineGraham Asks Giuliani to Testify in New GOP-Led Probe on Ukraine
Johnson Stumbles in Bid for Brexit Deal as EU Demands AnswersJohnson Stumbles in Bid for Brexit Deal as EU Demands Answers
Why The Third Man is an essential primer for no-deal BrexitWhy The Third Man is an essential primer for no-deal Brexit
Elton John Defends Ellen DeGeneres’ Friendship With George W. Bush Amid Twitter BacklashElton John Defends Ellen DeGeneres’ Friendship With George W. Bush Amid Twitter Backlash
The Donald Trump Impeachment Story Is Simple. Here’s What You Need To KnowThe Donald Trump Impeachment Story Is Simple. Here’s What You Need To Know
Latest News
Orville Peck: ‘I grew up feeling alienated – so I became a cowboy’Orville Peck: ‘I grew up feeling alienated – so I became a cowboy’
Eric Cantona: ‘Big democracies are, in a way, dictatorships’Eric Cantona: ‘Big democracies are, in a way, dictatorships’
The Spin | Sweet peas, ships and now spiders: the wider world inspired by cricketThe Spin | Sweet peas, ships and now spiders: the wider world inspired by cricket
David Squires on … new ideas for football TV seriesDavid Squires on … new ideas for football TV series
Rory McIlroy happy to let rivals contest Race to Dubai battleRory McIlroy happy to let rivals contest Race to Dubai battle
Luis Enrique makes Spain return as Roberto Moreno walks away in tearsLuis Enrique makes Spain return as Roberto Moreno walks away in tears
Garnet Hathaway ejected for spitting as Capitals and Ducks brawlGarnet Hathaway ejected for spitting as Capitals and Ducks brawl
Philip Rivers intercepted four times as Chiefs beat Chargers in Mexico CityPhilip Rivers intercepted four times as Chiefs beat Chargers in Mexico City
Olympic committees deal with Airbnb angers Paris authoritiesOlympic committee's deal with Airbnb angers Paris authorities
Wijnaldum on racism in football: What can you do as a player? Its a problem in society – videoWijnaldum on racism in football: 'What can you do as a player? It's a problem in society' – video
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Boris-JohnsonBoris Johnson
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Theresa-MayTheresa May
Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
White House sends warning letter to impeachment inquiry witness
Separatists clash with police in Barcelona after huge rally
In South Carolina, Democrats accuse Trump of sowing racism
'Beautiful' moments as Mexican migrants meet families on US border
Wales v South Africa: Rugby World Cup semi-final – live!
All Blacks and Steve Hansen share their pain after Rugby World Cup exit
Suppressed film of Yves Saint Laurent finally released after ‘ugly fight’
Sorry Marty, but Captain America is daring, serious art | Helen O’Hara
'Rowans Law': Bus Drivers Back Working Hours Policy Change Following Tragic Crashes
Critics need thicker skin than ever in the age of Twitter
The Latest: Police, separatists clash in Barcelona
Joe Biden Unveils Labor Plan in Appeal to Middle Class Voters
'Russians don't surrender': 'agent' Maria Butina arrives in Moscow
Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
Officials Called It a Heart Attack. Inmates Saw a Bloody Beating
Mind your language: Archbishop of Canterbury's Brexit warning for Boris
AJ Tracey: ‘I had to do everything on my own’
Jimmy Kimmel shrugs off Trump's 13,000th presidential lie, revels in John Bolton's Giuliani animus
Jimmy Kimmel and Trevor Noah recap the 4th Democratic presidential debate, pick winners and losers
Monos review – hypnotic thriller about teenage guerrillas
Paris Lees: ‘I Grew Up Thinking People Like Me Didn’t Matter’
Taking Kids To See Art Might Be The Worst – Or Best – Idea Ever
Bishops Ask Pope to Approve Married Priests, and Open the Way to Women Deacons
The Latest: Hospital, jail evacuate over California fire
Schiff, Nadler Criticize Durham for Elevating Russiagate Probe to Criminal Investigation
U.S. bars airline flights to all Cuban airports except Havana from December 10
Vietnamese village prays, awaits news on loved ones' fate
Trump Golf Club May Lose Liquor License Over Fatal Car Crash
Sudan Archives: Athena review – Afro futurism goes mainstream
Rex Orange County: Pony review – jaunty and engaging
Astros level World Series after Bregman's grand-slam blows away Nationals
Republicans enabled the impeachment process they're now criticizing
Inside the ‘Potentially Historic’ Wind Event Bearing Down on California
The Latest: Truck driver charged with 39 manslaughter counts
Four-star US army general compares Trump to Mussolini after ‘watershed moment’ for America
Why Letting Catholic Priests Marry Could Be a Massive Step Back for Women
England summon Ben Spencer for dramatic Rugby World Cup final call-up | Gerard Meagher
World Series Game 4: Houston Astros 8-1 Washington Nationals – live!
'Complicit': Rachel Maddow attacks NBC over handling of misconduct allegations
Giuliani associate will have tough time keeping documents from prosecutors: experts
Australian serial killer Ivan Milat dies in prison at 74
Russian woman who infiltrated US politics out of prison
Millions face power cuts as California fires spread
Trump says impeachment has given him experience with broken criminal justice system
World Series Game 4: Houston Astros v Washington Nationals – live!
Josh Taylor beats Regis Prograis in epic World Boxing Super Series final
Max Verstappen’s failure to slow down after crash costs him Mexican GP pole
Kellyanne Conway defends heated phone call: 'I didn't say anything in that phone call I haven't said publicly before'
Lion Air crash report points to Boeing, pilots, maintenance
Pope apologises after Amazon statues thrown in river
Kansas prosecutor retires amid protests over murder case
Why Is Democrats' Impeachment Inquiry Out of Public View?
'I'm dying': Relatives await answers in smuggling case
North Korea tells U.S. not to ignore year-end deadline on Trump-Kim friendship: KCNA
Big VIX Options Trade Braces for a 2008-Like Volatility Surge
Aaron Wainwright takes path from muddy Whitehead to fields of dreams
Harry Kane out to settle old score with Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk | Nick Ames
Arlene Foster: Boris Johnson's Brexit Deal Would Take Northern Ireland In 'Wrong Direction'
Firefighters battle fierce wildfires across California
Biden Allies Consider a Super-PAC to Boost His Lagging Campaign
Violence during Ethiopian protests was ethnically tinged, say eyewitnesses
New evacuations, power outages near California wildfire
Trump critic gets 1st pitch at Series game Trump to attend
The Suwalki Gap Is NATO’s Achilles’ Heel and the Place Where Russia Could Start War
Trump news – live: Justice Department’s retaliatory Russia probe ‘now a criminal inquiry’ as top White House aide threatens reporter
Trump impeachment: Judge orders DOJ to hand full Mueller grand jury evidence to Congress
Max Verstappen takes pole for Mexican GP as Valtteri Bottas crashes
Daniele De Rossi’s adventure with Boca Juniors confirms football’s fall in Argentina | Jonathan Wilson
New York Jets release Kelechi Osemele after refusing to approve surgery
Jane Fonda Accepts BAFTA Award While Being Arrested (Video)
Amelia Bambridge: British Backpacker Reported Missing After Disappearing On Cambodian Island
On withholding aid to Central America, Mulvaney was correct: 'We do that all the time'
Islamabad court grants bail to free Pakistani ex-PM
Senate GOP to Trump: You’re Not Helping Yourself by Attacking Us
Republicans who staged the sit-in are taking obstruction literally
Off-duty NYPD sergeant 'shoots personal trainer after finding him with his wife'
Eyeing presidency, Democratic hopeful Gabbard will not seek re-election to Congress
Christian Pulisic’s hat-trick fires Chelsea to seventh consecutive victory
Frodon victory at Aintree will recall Denman feat, says Paul Nicholls
Steven Mnuchin may have gone against IRS warnings to help a friend get a major tax break
Emma Forrest: ‘I have a shelf just of the books my exes gave me’
Third Man Arrested Over Milton Keynes House Party Deaths
Man Sought In Connection With Lorry Deaths Investigation Arrested At Dublin Port
PHOTOS: 'White death' in Argentina: The hunger of poverty feeds tuberculosis
Moving Franco’s Grave Doesn’t Make Him Less of Monster
Government watchdogs slam DOJ's opinion on whistleblower report
Zimbabwe sent 30 baby elephants to China, says rights group
Entire Chinese submarine crew suffocated to death
Burnley v Chelsea: Premier League – live!
Lucas Digne’s last-gasp own goal hands Brighton dramatic win over Everton
‘We knew it would rile them’: Mako Vunipola on England’s haka response
Lys Mousset strikes again to rescue point for Sheffield United at West Ham
Ben Foster keeps Bournemouth at bay but Watford’s winless run drags on
Josh Cullen penalty earns Charlton draw to frustrate 10-man West Brom
Jane Fonda Thanks BAFTA for Britannia Award During Arrest
Essex Lorry Deaths: Driver Maurice Robinson Charged With 39 Counts Of Manslaughter
Second Man Charged With Murder Over House Party Stabbings Appears In Court
Execution of killer who boasted how he made victim suffer is delayed due to lethal injection drug shortage
'It's like I'm in hell': how it feels to flee a wildfire outside Los Angeles
'If I threaten someone, you'll know it': Kellyanne Conway defends heated phone call with reporter
Protecting oil: Trump's latest Syria strategy under question
The Latest: Hezbollah chief asks supporters to exit protests
Erdogan says will clear 'terrorists' from Syria border if Sochi deal fails
Kanye West: Jesus is King review – rap genius can't see the light
We’ve beaten the god of rugby but we still must improve, says Eddie Jones
Maro Itoje’s one-man highlights reel puts England on course for greatness | Andy Bull
Steve Hansen bows out with New Zealand’s era of dominance over
England 19-7 New Zealand: Rugby World Cup semi-final player ratings
Second Man Charged Over Murders At Milton Keynes House Party Appears In Court
Essex Lorry Deaths: Vietnamese Families Fear For Missing Relatives As Police Meet With Ambassador
Gabbard drops congressional race to focus on presidential
The Latest: Russian spokeswoman blames US attitudes
Crunch time for married priests as Vatican assembly votes
Russian woman convicted by U.S. of being agent returns home
One to watch: girl in red
The Necks review – a magical mystery tour de force
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling breaks Aston Villa’s resistance
Brighton v Everton, West Ham v Sheffield United and more – live!
Mexican circuit designed by a student will be examination for Mercedes
Jane Fonda accepts Bafta award during arrest at climate protest
Dolittle trailer – Robert Downey Jr talks his way into all sorts of trouble
GOP's top leaders navigate impeachment in their own ways
Hong Kong medics join protests against perceived police brutality
Pope asks forgiveness for theft of controversial Amazon statues
Stop Claiming ‘No Quid Pro Quo’
Washington banning US flights to all Cuban cities but Havana
Richard Dawson: anthems for a blighted nation
Manchester City v Aston Villa: Premier League – live!
George North hopes his best form can lead Wales to first World Cup final
Norwich’s Max Aarons: ‘When I came here it almost felt like home’
Brilliant England deserved to win – we weren’t good enough, says Hansen
Erasmus has reunited Springboks but Gatland’s time may be at hand | Paul Rees
Scarlett Moffatt’s Ex Boyfriend Is Now Looking For Love On Take Me Out
Police Investigating After 'Disgraceful' Emiliano Sala Image Shared Online
Essex Lorry Deaths: Police Search For Driver Who Delivered Container To Belgian Port Before 39 People Discovered Dead
Acting Homeland Security Secretary McAleenan fights subpoena
Report: Philadelphia inspector facing sex assault charges
Princess Nokia: ‘Rock and roll is my soul’
England dethrone New Zealand to reach Rugby World Cup final
Great Britain slump against Tonga Invitational XIII after 12-year break
‘As wet as I’ve known it’: racing hit by rain as new homes for big races sought
'I had to say something': the comedian who confronted Harvey Weinstein
Streaming: where to find the best Halloween films
Charlotte Gainsbourg: ‘Everything now is so politically correct. So boring’
Steph McGovern Designed Her Own ‘Girly Swot’ Jumper For Have I Got News For You - And Now You Can Own One
Essex Lorry Deaths: Vietnamese Families Fear For Missing Relatives
The Latest: Fire near LA has damaged or destroyed homes
Jimmy Kimmel and The Daily Show chart Trump's impeachment meltdown, global chaos generation
England v New Zealand: Rugby World Cup 2019, semi-final – live!
Regis Prograis: ‘Hurricane Katrina changed my life for the better’
Women’s tennis takes victory lap in China despite troubling backdrop | Tumaini Carayol
Vardy and Pérez hat-tricks see Leicester smash nine against Southampton
World Series: Houston Astros strike back in Game 3 over sloppy Nationals
Marizanne Kapp claims hat-trick as Sixers down Stars in WBBL
Blame me for Southampton’s embarrassment, says Ralph Hasenhüttl
Operation Dumbo Drop to Mr Boogedy: the 10 strangest Disney films
Piers Morgan Insists He ‘Admires’ And ‘Worries’ About Greta Thunberg Despite Taking Aim At The Climate Campaigner (Again)
'We Left The City, Our Child Stopped Coughing': The Families Moving Because Of Air Pollution
Nusrat Jahan Rafi: The Bangladeshi Teenager Burned To Death For Speaking Out
Donald Trump And The Making Of A Predatory President
Mexican town turned to war zone fears new era of narco violence
The Latest: More evacuation warnings issued in California
Georgia high court declines to hear appeal or halt execution
World Series Game 3: Houston Astros 4-1 Washington Nationals – as it happened
Is Tarantino's extended Once Upon a Time in Hollywood worth seeing?
Fight Club at 20: the prescience and power of David Fincher's drama
After The Essex Lorry Deaths, What Will It Take To Realise Harder Borders Cause These Tragedies?
Didn’t Akshay Kumar Protest Against ‘Housefull 4’ In ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’?
19 Things You'll Learn About Shah Rukh Khan From Netflix’s David Letterman Show
Starbucks' Halloween Phantom Frappuccino Is Here – And We Tried It
I Had To Travel For An Abortion. I'm Relieved Northern Irish Women Like Me Will No Longer Have To Do The Same
Activists hope to take impeachment fight to the streets
DOJ: Negotiations with House for McGahn interview are ongoing
Pope asks forgiveness for theft of Amazon statues
Vietnamese woman feared among 39 UK truck victims
Tracks of the week reviewed: Meghan Trainor, David Hasselhoff
Esper: US troops, armored vehicles going to Syria oil fields
Pentagon told witness not to testify in impeachment inquiry
Boeing considered system redesign before accidents: NTSB report
Rudy Giuliani rants about money, Middle East and Bidens in accidental call to reporter
Flynn’s Lawyer Claims FBI Tampered with Interview Notes, Demands Charges Be Dropped
Northern Ireland's DUP grabs spotlight in Brexit showdown
It’s Worse Than Lies: There’s No Word in the English Language for What Trump & Co. Are Doing
Why the U.S. Has Nuclear Weapons in Turkey—And May Try to Put the Bombs Away
DeVos Fined $100,000 for Failure to Forgive Student Debt
Pro-Touring 1965 Ford Mustang GT Up For Grabs
Could This Straight Shooter Bring Trump One Step Closer to Impeachment?
Russian soldier kills 8 fellow servicemen in Siberia
Facebook pledged $1bn to help California's housing crisis. Can't they pay their taxes instead?
Firefighters race to control blazes before winds roar back
'Incel' violence is horrific, but Joker is complex, and doesn't take sides
Harvard’s Student Newspaper Chooses Ethical Journalism over PC Mob’s Demands
Warren’s Socialism for the Upper-Middle Class Is Awful — and Conservatives Need a Better Alternative
Japan’s Abe Replaces Economy Minister After Funeral Gift Scandal
US to Turkey: Don't turn on Russian system, avoid sanctions
Funeral set for girl abducted, killed in Alabama
World Series Game 3: Houston Astros v Washington Nationals – live!
Talking Horses: Duke Of Navan has quality to lord it over rivals
Pair charged with capital murder in 3-year-old's death
Russian soldier shoots dead eight comrades at military base
Close