The British resistance is coming at you with Google docs

Everyone loves a good spreadsheet, right?!
Image: Christopher Mineses / mashable

The resistance is alive in Britain, and it’s armed with a spreadsheet.

A super detailed, exquisitely crafted Google spreadsheet called “How to Vote to Stop the Tories” started doing the rounds on social media almost immediately after a snap election was called last Tuesday.

It’s a detailed guide on how to vote tactically for the best chances of ousting the Conservative Party in each individual seat. It’s basically a spreadsheet nerd’s dream come true.

It went viral straight away. Safe to say, its creator, Becky Snowden, was floored.

Let’s get tactical.

Image: becky snowden

“I had no idea just how many people out there wanted to join together like this, and learn how to vote tactically. Its absolutely amazing. When normal people work together we can achieve anything,” Snowden said.

It was retweeted hundreds of times and has put her in touch with others who are trying to disseminate information on tactical voting.

The spreadsheet’s columns list which seats are safe to vote Labour and which are better to vote Liberal Democrat or Greens as they would have a better chance of beating the Tory candidate. It’s a work in progress as conditions on the ground change. There’s a mobile friendly tab, and a tab with lots of links to information.

“I am yet to meet anyone who doesnt love a good spreadsheet.”

Snowden’s disillusionment with the current “first past the post” voting system led her to create the spreadsheet. “Unfortunately our voting system is broken. The Lib Dems ended up with 23% of the vote but only 9% of the seats,” she said.

“I know there are plenty of people out there who want the Tories out but dont mind which progressive party replaces them. I figured I would try to help them. A lot of hard work and little chance it would spread to enough people. But like Barack Obama once said ‘Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.’ So I thought why not give it a shot?”

She cites Brexit and the Tories privatisation of parts of the NHS (Britain’s health service) as issues that cross parties.

“A lot of people dont trust the Tories to get the average working person a good deal from Brexit. These are just two examples where people dont necessarily mind who is in charge, as long as it isnt the Conservatives,” she said.

Prime Minister Theresa May stood outside of Downing Street on April 18 and made a surprise statement calling for elections.

Image: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

While her optimism is refreshing, tactical voting isn’t new. John Curtice, politics professor at University of Strathclyde, says he can remember tactical campaigns as far back as 1987 and 1992.

“Tactical voting will work effectively if people think parties will profit relatively equally,” he said. Curtice has not been persuaded by the efforts of the past, and in this case he thinks that Brexit could actually hurt anti-Tory tactical voters.

“UKIP voters are likely to go to the Tories, insofar as Brexit is an issue, working to their disadvantage,” he said.

He also points out that “lots of people don’t use Twitter to follow politics just Facebook.”

Social media platforms make it “somewhat easier” to reach the coveted younger voters but it still doesn’t change a basic rule of politics. “Younger voters are less likely to vote,” Curtice said.

Snowden acknowledges that tactical voting is nothing new.

“But now we have this way of coordinating our efforts, I sincerely think we can make a difference,” she said.

“I am yet to meet anyone who doesnt love a good spreadsheet.”

WATCH: Lady Gaga FaceTimed with Prince William to discuss a very important issue

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/04/22/uk-tactical-voting-stop-tories-spreadsheet-google-doc/

SHARE