Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Tactical voting FPTP vs AV - #No2AV vs #Yes2AV

I read an interesting and aparantly unbiased assessment of AV by IPSO-Mori the polling people (link at end).

Everyone knows tactical voting occurs under FPTP (one report cited by the #No2AV campaign suggests a figure of 20% of votes being tactical) - Sometimes Lib Dem campaigning seems to rely almost exclusively on it!

The IPSO report suggests that AV is also quite susceptible to tactical voting - which surprised me because while I know there are academic examples where tactical voting could make a difference to the result, I strongly doubt that it would be practical or possible in reality.

So I decided to set a challenge. If tactical voting is possible under AV, and there was a General Election tomorrow, to be run under AV.... Which constituencies would be susceptible to tactical voting, which voters could vote tactically and which party would it penalise?

If none can be identified, then I suggest that tactical voting is not as easy, likely or as possible as some suggest...

Any offers?



  1. Parties issue guidelines on who vote for in the Australian elections. Tactical voting is much more extensive than in the UK.

  2. @andy
    Giving preferences to parties that are close to your views is not 'tactical voting'.

    Tactical voting is voting for something you *dont* really want to avoid getting something even worse.

    If australians agree with the lists they can use them, if not they don't have to.

    The other issue is that australians have to rank *ALL* candidates - on a big list, some advice on which of the minor parties are closest to your 'first preference' may well be welcome.