The NDP email on "strategic voting" is largely nonsense
Jun 7, 2014

The NDP email on "strategic voting" is largely nonsense

The NDP has sent several emails to supporters before and during the campaign premised on the idea that the best way to stop the Conservatives is to vote for the NDP. Here is the latest:
"This election, there is one simple trick you can use to stop a Conservative majority: vote strategically. 
We’ve heard about strategic voting before – casting your ballot to stop a conservative government. 
This election, strategic voting is important. Stopping Tim Hudak’s plan to kill 100,000 middle class jobs is critical. 
Here in Brampton-Springdale, there’s no doubt: the strategic vote is NDP.
In ridings all over Ontario – from Brampton to Kenora, Toronto to Kitchener – voting NDP is the best thing we can all do to stop a Tory majority."
In my previous post, I endorsed the idea of having the strategic goal to stop the Conservatives, at least in close ridings in this close election (otherwise, there are many other reasonable strategic goals to have). However the idea that voting the NDP is the best way to do that doesn't hold water.

Consider this riding specific seat projection from www.threehundredeight.com. In it there are only eight ridings in Ontario where the Liberals are in third place, four with the NDP first and four with the PCs first. Most are not particularly close elections. In particular, the Brampton-Springdale riding mentioned in the email is not one of those close elections. The Liberals are projected leading with 44% of the vote to the NDPs 15%.

With the exception of a couple very specific ridings that have the quirk of both being somewhat close and the Liberals relegated to third party status, voting for the NDP makes it strategically easier for the PCs to win that seat.

This shouldn't be surprising. Since the Liberals are, almost by definition, in the middle of the NDP and the PCs, most close races are either the Liberals and the PCs, or the Liberals and the NDP, occasionally all three. The NDP can reasonably hope to win Liberal leaning seats. But they can't reasonably hope to win PCs leaning seats, except on rare occasions.

If you want to hold the Liberals to a minority by you can do this by voting NDP in the NDP vs Liberal ridings, but it will make it easier for the Conservatives to win the largest minority (even if it doesn't change majority computations). I can even see many argument for voting NDP in a Liberal vs PC that don't have to do with "stopping the Conservatives". But if the goal is to stop the Conservatives - as the NDP claims their goal is - then voting NDP in these ridings doesn't make a lick of sense.

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