The data the advocates of a “progressive alliance” ignore

The data the advocates of a “progressive alliance” ignore

LD voters don’t automatically make LAB their 2nd pref

Inevitably after elections of all sorts there are calls for a progressive alliance to be created. The proponents want an arrangement whereby two of Lib Dem, Green or Labour parties in a specific election stand aside so that the vote of the “progressive” can be maximised.

The only problem is that this assumes that LD voters would automatically make LAB their second preference. This is simply not the case as shown by the last set of elections when the now abolished “supplementary vote” was in operation.

The above chart is based on data prepared from former head of BBC political research David Cowling. It comes from the May 2021 elections with a supplementary vote where only LAB, CON and the LDs were standing.

Firstly a large number of voters in these elections did not opt to use their second preference but of those who did the Cowling analysis finds the above splits.

The Cambs/PBRO mayor had the smallest proportion of LD voters not going for LAB as their second choice – 25%. Then, moving up the scale it was 38% in the Notts PCC election and more than 40% in the other three elections.

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