Thursday, 13 January 2011
Tactical voting in Oldham East and Saddleworth
Conservative supporters don't normally vote tactically. Instead, in constituencies where it's a close contest between Labour and the Conservatives, with the Liberal Democrats in a distance third, the Lib Dem supporters vote Labour to keep out the Conservatives. Similarly, in constituencies where it's a close contest between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives, with Labour in a distance third, the Labour supporters vote Lib Dem - again to keep out the Conservatives. With the exception of the odd protest vote for UKIP, Conservatives supporters don't normally indulged in such tactics, but the Coalition has changed this conventional wisdom.
In Oldham East and Saddleworth, Conservative voters are apparently planning to vote Liberal Democrat in the by-election to keep out Labour. It will be a very difficult task as many disaffected Labour voters who supported the Liberal Democrats at the general election will surely return home for the by-election. When the result comes in, it will be interesting to see the dip in Conservative votes.