Where VoteSwap did – and didn’t – make a difference
The May 2015 election results were a huge blow to everyone who wanted the Tories out of government. Nevertheless, amid the disappointments, there are still some seats where VoteSwap may have helped to make a difference.
Overall, more than 21,000 Labour and Green supporters swapped votes through VoteSwap, and 430,000 people visited the site (see How VoteSwap went viral). Some notable results included:
- The constituency with the highest number of swappers was Hove, where 508 Green supporters pledged to vote Labour in exchange for Labour supporters voting Green elsewhere. In addition, our Hove voting advice page attracted 2,762 vistors. This is significant as social media chat suggests many voters used VoteSwap to decide how to vote without formally swapping. Hove was one of the few Tory seats won by Labour, with a majority of 1,236.
- In City of Chester, won by Labour from the Tories with a majority of just 93, we signed up 104 Green pledges to vote Labour, and 845 referred to our advice page. (On the other hand, Derby North, where we only signed up 58 swappers, was won by the Tories with a majority of less than 0.1%; just 42 more swappers would have made the difference.)
- Other narrow Labour wins where swappers made up a significant part of the majority included Ealing Central and Acton (170 swappers and a majority of 274) and Brentford and Isleworth (134 swappers and a majority of 465).
- The seat with the highest number of Labour supporters pledging to vote Green was Hackney North and Stoke Newington, with 341 pledges. In addition, that constituency's advice page attracted 4,062 visitors. Here the Greens received received their fourth highest vote share nationally - 15% - and almost beat the Tories into second place. (Labour swappers pledging to vote Green were less concentrated than their Green counterparts due to the higher number of safe seats - where we tended to offer swaps for the former - than marginals).
- A similar pattern was repeated across inner London, which provided our top 10 constituencies for Labour supporters pledging to vote Green (the 11th was Brighton Pavilion, the only Green versus Labour battleground where we did not take a neutral position). In each case the Greens vote surged and in several they vied with the Tories for second place.
Overall, though, the tide was against us. There were other Labour targets, like Brighton Kemptown (456 pledges) and Calder Valley (402 pledges), where a significant level of swapping was not enough to overturn Tory majorities.
So we say thank you – but also commiserations – to everyone who took part. We certainly think it has been a worthwhile experiment, and one we will build on in the future – while continuing to campaign for a voting system that makes vote swapping unnecessary.
Green supporters voting Labour – top 20 seats
|Brighton Kemptown||456||Con hold|
|Hornsey and Wood Green||412||Lab win|
|Calder Valley||402||Con hold|
|Manchester Withington||362||Lab win|
|Hampstead and Kilburn||292||Lab hold|
|Lancaster and Fleetwood||251||Lab win|
|Sheffield Hallam||247||Lib hold|
|Leeds North West||219||Lib hold|
|Warwick and Leamington||202||Con hold|
|Plymouth Sutton and Devonport||200||Con hold|
|Bermondsey and Old Southwark||191||Lab win|
|Finchley and Golders Green||187||Con hold|
|Bristol North West||173||Con hold|
|Ealing Central and Acton||170||Lab win|
|Hastings and Rye||168||Con hold|
|High Peak||146||Con hold|
In total, 10,705 Green supporters swapped to vote Labour, across 131 constituencies.
Labour supporters voting Green – top 20 seats
|Hackney North and Stoke Newington||341||Lab safe|
|Hackney South and Shoreditch||282||Lab safe|
|Camberwell and Peckham||245||Lab safe|
|Lewisham Deptford||224||Lab safe|
|Dulwich and West Norwood||218||Lab safe|
|Islington North||194||Lab safe|
|Bethnal Green and Bow||185||Lab safe|
|Holborn and St Pancras||162||Lab safe/Green target|
|Brighton Pavilion||148||Green marginal|
|Lewisham West and Penge||135||Lab safe|
|Oxford East||105||Lab safe/Green target|
|Islington South and Finsbury||104||Lab safe|
|Manchester Central||103||Lab safe|
|Liverpool Riverside||94||Lab safe/Green target|
|Manchester Gorton||90||Lab safe|
|Newcastle upon Tyne East||89||Lab safe|
In total, 10,705 Labour supporters swapped to vote Green, across 370 constituencies.