What do the academics say? Why you need to keep on hammering away with the tactical voting message

Welcome to the latest in my occasional series highlighting interesting findings from academic research. Today, an extract by Stephen Fisher from Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box: 50 things you need to know about British elections, edited by Philip Cowley and Robert Ford, which shows why hammering away at tactical voting messages is so important:

On average over the last six [general] elections about one in five of third-placed party supporters have switched tactically. But there are almost as many people again who say they are voting tactically but are switching the wrong way. That is, they say in a survey that they ‘really preferred another party but it had no chance of winning in their constituency’, but their preferred party actually ended up in the top two locally.

Nearly half of tactical voters get it wrong. That’s an extremely strong reason to keep on hammering away, and using bar charts given the powerful evidence about the impact of bar charts.

For more about effective campaigning, of course, take a look at 101 Ways To Win An Election.

You can read the other posts in the What do the academics say? series here.

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