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In /most/ regions (in England) the LibDems *do* have the best chance in the #EUelection2019 /however/ treating each region each region the same is naive and wrong. There are small regions (3-5 seats) and large regions (8-10 seats) and they can be treated differently.
In a small region, tactical voting necessitates targeting a single party - and it should be the party that has the most natural support in that region i.e. the one that has the best chance of winning and the most people would be comfortable voting for if asked to vote tactically.
From the polling and tactical voting calculators I've seen, most are simply looking at the base voting intentions and selecting the highest - none of them are asking or trying to work out which party tactical voters would be most comfortable voting for.
What does that even mean and why is it important? It means "If asked not to vote for your preferred party, which party would you be happy with as your second choice? and which party would you refuse to vote for?"

As far as I know, nobody has done that kind of polling.
Why is it important? Well, lets say that you're a natural Labour voter but you're fed up with Corbyn equivocating on a referendum on the deal. Who would you be most happy voting for /instead of/ Labour?
Some people would be fine with voting LibDems. Others cannot forgive the coalition years, austerity, and tuition fees - they would rather vote for Labour or not vote at all rather than for the LibDems.
But why LibDems and not the Greens? Well, someone pulled up a poll that found that LibDems had the highest numbers in that region and so they have become the tactical choice. This is naive.
While it may be true that the LibDems have the highest numbers in a region, it may be that their numbers are made up of their members and regular voters, with variance coming from centrist Tories.
It could be that the biggest pool of potential tactical voters are Labour voters squarely in the left with not many centre leftists among them. To them LibDems are anathema - if that's their advice then they won't vote tactically. If asked to vote Green, however, they will.
In this scenario by proposing Greens as the tactical choice, the LibDem-hating Labour voters are (reluctantly) happy voting for them, the LibDem voters are (also reluctantly) happy voting for them, so the Greens have the best chance of winning the most seats.
It seems counter-intuitive, but in some regions the Greens, despite having a smaller base of support, may be the best tactical choice - better than if the tactical choice were the LibDems who have a larger base.
*Note that this is a hypothetical example - I haven't seen any polling that suggests that these questions have been asked. it's based on what I've seen in the interactions between Remainers - those who are traditional Labour voters but don't support JC's supporting Brexit.
The other assumption in the calculators I've seen is that there must only be one tactical choice for each region. Again this is quite naive and ignores the bigger picture.
While the basic logic is sound - a single party that gets all the votes has a better chance of winning more seats than if the vote is split - this assumes a closed system where all the Remain voters are working together and voting tactically. They're not.
Even with the best effort in the world, nobody will manage to unite even just the Remainer side of the politics social media bubble behind a single tactical system. They may represent 20-30% of Remain voters *at best* (and I'm being generous).
Outside of that bubble, people will vote... differently. Unpredictably.

Some will vote tribally, the party they always vote for.
Some will vote for whoever they think aligns with their views.
Some will vote based on their Brexit stance.
Some will vote for a specific candidate.
Tribal voters and specific candidate voters we can do little about - other than to try to persuade them to look at the bigger picture and change their minds. Until they do that there's no point approaching them with tactical voting schemes.
Floating voters and Remain voters we can work with, not just within the social media bubble, but in rel life - but that requires the Remain parties to get heir shit together and, as a bare minimum, stop tearing strips off each other.
I know it's too much to ask for Remain parties to stand down in regions where they are not the tactical choices, but could they at least campaign on a message of "yeah, if you want to vote tactically go for the other party, otherwise, vote for us" rather than splitting the vote?
Is this counter-productive and the opposite of tactical voting? Not necessarily...
In smaller regions, yes, there can be only one tactical choice. If there are 3-5 seats on offer then at least one seat will /probably/ go to each of Labour, the Tories and the BP. The aim is to secure at least one seat and try to win a second. The d'Hondt system favours 1 party.
If there are 3 seats (only in the North East) then this will be a real battle. There must be a strong push for one tactical choice. It's futile, but once there's solid polling in the NE I'd implore the Remain parties to work out who has the best chance and the rest stand down.
If there are 4 seats (only in Wales) then similar to the NE there is only one viable tactical Remain party. I would argue that it's Plaid Cymru - which is fitting because devolution is largely thanks to the EU and it's appropriate that Wales' nationalist party has an MEP.
(This is not to say that I'm usually a supporter of nationalist politics, but in this case...) PC has a solid base, they elected an MEP in 2014, and they are on the side of Remain. With enough support, they may even win a 2nd seat (though unlikely)
(I've seen one tactical vote calculator suggesting LibDems in Wales which makes little sense as they far too little support outside the SE corner to have a chance of winning a single seat).
Regions with 5-6 seats: Little different from regions with 3-4 seats, the d'Hondt system gives the best chance for a single tactical choice. That party will now most probably win a single seat, and the battle will be to pick up a second.
As the mechanics still work in favour of a single tactical choice trying to pick up 2 seats rather than two parties trying to pick up one each. It's arguable whether a 7-seat region would qualify as "large" (which are more amenable to running two tactical choices)
In these regions the tactical choice should be based on polling as described as the beginning of this thread - not which party has the biggest base or polls the highest, but which party would most tactical voters feels comfortable voting for.
(obviously we would need to know their preferred party too - the tactical choice is selected by calculating which party has the best preferred+comfortable totals)
I think in most regions, this will work out to be the LibDems*

*Not including Scotland. As with Wales, their natural choice is the SNP. Despite the fact the region has only 6 seats, it would probably be wise to have a backup for tactical voters that happen to hate the SNP...
For large regions (8+ seats, arguably including 7) there's enough flexibility to offer two tactical choices. While on paper a single party would get more seats, I think having the choice of two would actually persuade more people to vote tactically and cancel out the advantage.
In most of the larger regions I expect that the tactical choices would be LibDems and the Greens. LibDems have shown a resurgence in the #LE2019 as have the Greens, who also benefit from the recent media spotlight on Climate Change (thanks to the ER protests)
I'm not sure whether there should be a 1st/2nd choice or to treat both equally. I have no idea of the pros/cons of either. That's a question for the focus groups...
Special shout out to London and the SE. This are the only regions where I feel I could support adding ChangeUK to the list of tactical choices - but even so I am wary.
I think ChUK can pick up a lot of votes in London and it would be good if they won a seat there. I also think that the 10 seats on offer in the SE region make it safe (maybe not safe, but safer) to support them there.
To be honest, I wish ChUK weren't taking part in the #EUelections2019. I like them. I like what they're trying to do. But they fuck up the voting patterns and they're making mistake after mistake after mistake...
I was impressed by Gavin Esler, and I hope he wins his seat, but otherwise I kind of wish they had sat this one out and just supported the other Remain parties instead...
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