It is four weeks since the election, and what an election it was. We were hoping to have a couple of minutes of your time to tell you about our seven week election campaign and the incredible impact all of your donations had on the result.
First, we raised money and tapped into a sense of anticipation about the election. Within half an hour of the election being called, our CEO Eloise Todd was planning our crowdfunder with our Communications team. Launching a tactical voting campaign was a big risk to take as an extreme Brexit Tory landslide seemed all but inevitable. We decided that while the push to get the word out about tactical voting would be national, we would focus the bulk of our efforts on key marginals across the country and on our Best for Britain Champions.
Best for Britain backed three categories of candidate in the general election campaign:
- In most constituencies in England and Wales, and a few in Scotland, Best for Britain made tactical vote recommendations on the basis of our methodology. This recommendation appeared on our website and advised people to vote for these candidates to stop an extreme Brexit and limit a Tory majority.
We analysed marginal constituencies and picked 132 constituencies that were either vulnerable to being gained by Conservatives or where the Conservatives could be beaten. We decided to focus our spending on these seats, particularly in the last week of the campaign.
Notably, we selected 36 Best for Britain champions who were provided with an even greater level of online and offline support.
We worked hard to make sure your money went as far as possible. We analysed the poll of polls, regional polling and cross checked those against local knowledge and our private YouGov methodology, making sure we were concentrating on the right marginals and ensuring we shifted the focus and the money if needed.
While there were many factors at play in this election, we have analysed the results of where the money was invested, this is what it showed:
Labour seats in which we focused our digital campaign had a greater swing than the national average. In addition, our Labour Best for Britain champions achieved an average swing of 15% compared to a national average of 9.5%.
Our Liberal Democrat seats exhibited a similar pattern, with champion candidates achieving an average swing of 5% compared to a national average of -0.5%.
Comparing the results with the YouGov predictive model, there is a strong basis to claim that focused campaigning efforts, such as tactical voting, were crucial in key seat gains such as Carshalton & Wallington, Kensington, Kingston & Surbiton and Twickenham that bucked the expected voting pattern.
Second, we invested funding in youth voter registration and engagement. Best for Britain partnered with, and directly supported, four different youth orientated organisations, including: My Life My Say, Bite the Ballot, Citizens UK and Rize Up/Bigga Fish, who focused on driving youth voter registration and turnout.
From the day the election was announced to the last day of registration 2,938,269 people registered to vote, 1,051,3008 were under 25. Although full turnout numbers have not yet been released, analysis suggests young people turned out in great numbers, higher than at any other point in the last 25 years. Our adverts were seen by 2 million people which helped contribute to this. These results are amazing and we are very proud to have played a role!
Third, Best for Britain and Gina Miller travelled around the country meeting candidates, campaigners, volunteers and constituents. in the last four weeks of the campaign, in the lead up to June 8, we visited over 16 different constituencies.
Despite horrible weather and numerous train delays we made it Norwich South where we met Clive Lewis and all his amazing volunteers.
We made a variety of videos during the election including one featuring young people calling their family members to have the tough political conversations.
In total, Best for Britain offered 543 tactical voting recommendations across England, Wales and Scotland for candidates that would fight an extreme Brexit in the next Parliament. 252 of these have been elected as MPs.
Twenty-one of Best for Britain’s champions were elected to parliament on the basis that they would stand up against extreme Brexit. These included Emma Dent Coad who, as mentioned, achieved a spectacular victory in Kensington and Tulip Siddiq, who increased her slim majority in Hampstead by over 14,000 with support from Best for Britain. Ed Davey also regained Kingston & Surbiton for the Liberal Democrats with a swing of 10% and a majority of 4,124.
We want to say well done to all of our candidates and, most importantly, well done to you all! Without all of our amazing supporters we would have never been able to launch our campaign and achieve all of these successes. We were one of many groups working on this and it was a great privilege to be part of what turned into something of a movement on tactical voting.
Very best wishes,
Best for Britain team