Never ignore the alphabetical bonus of being top
Above is a photograph of my ballot paper in Eastern region for Thursday’s election and looking at it there are some issues that might help or hinder the various parties.
I was with some old election hands in the pub at the weekend and we were discussing how ballot form order and and placing can actually have an impact on the final result. At the locals earlier in the month where I live there was a clear alphabetical benefit for those whose names in the local elections last week caused them to be nearer the top of the ballot.
We have many two-member wards in Bedford with the main parties each putting up 2 candidates. What was striking that in just about all cases the CON/LAB/LD/GRN candidate whose name appeared first secured more votes than the ones that appeared second.
This is a well-known electoral effect and might apply even more so on Thursday with the Euros. One of my drinking colleagues was making the case for CHUK simply because of its placing.
In the Euros we vote for party lists and not individual MEPs so the ballot paper is the list of official party names in alphabetical order.
If Farage’s party name had omitted the “THE” it would have been top.