Tactical Voting and Electoral Pacts in the 2019 UK General Election

9 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2020

Date Written: February 27, 2020


The Brexit cleavage continued to define politics in the 2019 General Election. This posed a challenge for parties and voters on each side of the debate: how to coordinate in favour of their side in each seat. In this note I examine the extent to which party (electoral pacts) and voter (tactical voting) coordination affected the outcome of the 2019 General Election. On the voter side, I find that tactical voting was only slightly more prevalent than in previous election cycles. On the party side, I find that neither the Unite to Remain Pact and the Brexit party’s withdrawal of candidates against incumbent Conservatives noticeably affected the results. Labour would likely not have won additional seats by joining the Unite to Remain pact, as voters’ of the other parties in the pact were equally likely to prefer the Conservatives and Labour in marginal seats. However, the Liberal Democrats would have received around 10 additional seats if Labour had joined the pact.

Suggested Citation

Mellon, Jonathan, Tactical Voting and Electoral Pacts in the 2019 UK General Election (February 27, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3545550 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3545550

Jonathan Mellon (Contact Author)

University of Manchester ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

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