Friday, March 28, 2008

Poll Results: Second Preference Votes

A couple of days ago I asked you all to take part in a poll to determiner who you would give your second preference to in an Alternative Vote electoral system at a general election. I don't for one minute pretend that the 1,300 of you who have taken part are in any way a scientific cross section of the electorate, but the trend is clear.

If an election were held tomorrow, which party is most likely to get your support? (under First past the post)

Conservative 63.6%
Labour 9.7%
LibDem 10.7%
UKIP 5.6%
Green 2.1%
BNP 1.7%
SNP 1.6%
Plaid Cymru 0.7%
UUP 0.1%
DUP 0.2%
Sinn Fein 0.0%
SDLP 0.2%
English Democrats 0.8%
Don't Know 1.2%
Won't Vote 1.5%

Conservative Voters' Second Preferences

UKIP 41.4%
LibDem 12.3%
Labour 3.8%
Green 6.8%
BNP 5.4%
English Democrats 8.1%
SNP 3.8%
Plaid Cymru 0.8%
Don't Know 17%

Labour Voters' Second Preferences
LibDem 36.6%
Conservative 15.4%
Green 22.8%
UKIP 1.6%
BNP 6.5%
English Democrats 1.8%
SNP 0.8%
Plaid Cymru 1.6%
Don't Know 13.8%

LibDem Voters' Second Preferences
Conservative 39.4%
Labour 14.2%
Green 22.8%
UKIP 0.8%
SNP 1.6%
Plaid Cymru 0.8%
BNP 4.7%
English Democrats 0.0%
Don't Know 15.7%

UKIP Voters' Second Preferences

Conservative 50.0%
Labour (missed out in error)
LibDem 1.5%
BNP 15.6%
Green 4.5%
SNP 0.0%
Plaid Cymru 0.0%
English Democrats 13.6%
Don't Know 15.2%

I hope one of the main polling firms takes up this idea. From my poll, the Alternative Vote systems would seem to benefit the Conservatives and LibDems rather than Labour, but as I say, I don't pretend it is anything other than just a bit of fun.


Daily Referendum said...

Excellent post. I wish I'd thought of it. Even if we don't go to an AV system, results like these could be a good indication of possible swing.

Alex said...

Bear in mind that this is not a random sample of voters. Disregarding the relatively high proportion of first-choice Conservative voters, the number of second-choice voters is hardly surprising. The anti-Conservative Libdems and Labour voters would be less likely to read this blog.

Newmania said...

You have to factor in that your blog attracts rightish people . The real Liberal Democrat vote is only Labour plus vanity and this is misleading

I see Clegg has ditched his Orange book under internal party pressure ...its a con .They are Labour which is thei right , I just want all Conservatives in marginal seats to know that a vote for Clegg is vote for Brown simple as that

Anonymous said...

Let's hope Bottler sees it. AV = dead at birth.

Anonymous said...

Love it - of 827 Conservative voters, 31 would give their second vote to the SNP. Come on SNP, put up some candidates in England! We want shot of you!

Anonymous said...

Iain, Labour figure.... wouldnt it be the remainder of the votes not included in the list???

Twig said...

Labour missed out in error for the UKIP voters 2nd pref.?
That's quite understandable, 'cos I wouldn't think any UKIP voter would give a 2nd preference to Labour after the Lisbon "Treaty".

Anonymous said...

Whether its indictative or not, one thing is clear, this is yet another attempt by our fascist government to gerrymander.

TLDORC said...

No surprise to see Labour voters more likely to go BNP than Tories. We must break down the fallacy that just because you believe in collectivised economics you're less likely to be racially bigoted.
Look at where BNP wins: Labour strongholds all of them!

Anonymous said...

Interesting to note that more Labour voters feel an affinity with the BNP than Conservatives (albeitin the perventages bith are very small). Seems to support the point that to all intents and purposes the BNP are White Power Socialists

Anonymous said...

I put down UKIP as a second choice for the survey, but in reality, there are currently no parties other than the Conservatives that come close to what I want to see in government, so I almost certainly wouldn't bother using a 2nd choice. Labour and the Lib Dems are as bad as each other, I am seriously annoyed with both of them and couldn't be bothered with the prospect of working out which of them is least worst or a good tacticaly choice.

Anonymous said...

Well it looks like the Conservatives have got most of the LD votes to play for if they endorse a democratic electoral system.

Mind you as you say it is a bit of fun & the fact that the don't knows didn't rise among UKIP voters when you didn't give thhem the option of voting Labour suggests it wasn't taken that seriously.

David Lindsay said...

You can understand Fleet street types not knowing this, but what is Gordon Brown's excuse for not knowing that, while Lib Dems in the South are (probably Labour-hating) Trots, Lib Dems in Scotland, Wales and especially the North are (certainly Labour-hating) Tories?

Still, the Alternative Vote holds no terrors for some of us. See my blog.

Heresiarch said...

The lazy assumption is that there's an "anti-Tory majority" in this country that will automatically trade second prefs, thus keeping the Conservatives out of office for ever and ever. I've long been convinced that this is rubbish: what there was in the 1990s wasn't an "anti-Tory" majority but an anti-government one.

We shall see very soon. My guess is that a majority of Paddick's second prefs will go to Boris - perhaps a small majority, but enough to get him elected.

If AV were instituted, I think we should expect to see, not permanent Labour government, but more frequent changes of administration, as Lib Dem second prefs will tend to go to the main opposition party, whoever that is.

Anonymous said...

I expect you have a lower proportion of the more left-wing Lib Dem members reading your blog than the more right-wing members of the party, but your stats make interesting reading nevertheless. I'd say that in all honesty, no-one can really accurately predict who, if anyone, would really gain from this system.

wonkotsane said...

Don't worry about missing Liebour out of the UKIP poll, most UKIPs would rather pull their own teeth than vote Liebour. In fact, a lot of them probably have to because they can't find a dentist any more thanks to ... ooo, Liebour.

Anonymous said...

40% of the poll's 800+ apparently Conservative voters would vote for the party David Cameron labels 'fruit cakes, loonies and racists', UKIP. That's not very vote blue get green.

If as David Cameron said, UKIP is a party of racists, it makes the poll results even more interesting: almost every other Tory in the poll is a racist (some 46.8%) voting for UKIP and the BNP.

Obviously, this is not truly representative.

haddock said...

Gordon's fear of the UKIndependence vote in the next EU election showing up his error in not allowing a referendum will probably drive him to have the general election on the same day as that EU election. I, like a great many people, will vote UKIndependence in the EU elections and treat it as a referendum; most people will realise that electing a MEP is a waste of time in any case so will not consider the vote to be wasted. A big anti-europe vote would stuff his chances of playing down his denial of a vote on the constitution.... which he should know will cost him a lot of votes.

Anonymous said...

What is interesting is that the 'don't knows'/wouldn't vote for a second party, are all closely matched.

Armchair Sceptic said...

I think the main finding of your excellent survey is that it would topple Labour MPs in marginal seats where twice as many Lib Dem votes go to the Conservatives rather than Labour e.g.

LAB 18,000
CON 17,000
LD 8,000
(Lab maj 1,000)

after AV becomes

CON 22,500 (+5,500)
LAB 20,500 (+2,500)

However, it is not quid-pro-quo: Labour voters prefer Lib Dems, so current LD seats could become much safer as a result of 3rd placed Labour votes going to the Lib Dems. I'm sure Nick Clegg would be keen on such a policy, but it would wipe out a lot of Labour MPs in Lab-Con marginals!

Intelligent thinking from Labour.

Despite this benefit, Tories should reject it as it is an undemocratic system. (Although if the LD 2nd vote for Conservatives trend plays out in London, it will presumably benefit Boris Johnston?)

Anonymous said...

When people are told they must have a second preference as per a formal AV vote, the data is useful. However otherwise need to be careful of second preference as such surveys need also to ask how likely they would be to switch.

Jim Jepps said...

No one's mentioned the rather high Green second preference votes. Much higher than I'd have guessed.

Is that because the Green agenda is more of a priority now - or because they aren't part of the big three they seem less threatening?

Anonymous said...

No it is because the LudDims are now an alternative green party, having expelled those, such as myself, who dared to support classic liberalism.

DemocracyATWork said...

A preferential votings system ensures that the candiate(s) elected have an absolute majority support.

If you have one candiate that has 40% support and another that has 32% and a third with 28% who should win.

Under the first past the post system the candidate with 40% of the votes would win. Yet 60% of the voters do not support them.

Under a preferential voting system the candidate with 28% of the vote would be excluded from the count and their votes redistr5ibuted according to the voters nominated order of preference.

In Melbourne Australia one canidate for the City Council election in 1999 complained that he had secured 40% of the vote and was the highest polling candidate yet he was not elected . The fact is that 60% of the voters did not support him.

The preferential voting system ensures that in a single member electorate the candidate elected has 50% or more support. It produces the same result as a two round first-past-the-post voting system yet is more democratic, stabile and fairer at half the costs of holding a two round ballot.