Laurie Taylor

June 8, 2001

Well, a surprise victory there for the Liberal Democrats in a traditionally Conservative seat. Let us go straight over to Professor Stubbins for his analysis. Professor Stubbins, a surprise victory there for the Liberal Democrats?

Yes indeed. It is, however, very much in line with the prediction I made earlier about the greater use of tactical voting in those seats where Labour came a poor third in the last election. It is what I have called ACP, anti-Conservative pragmatism.

Well, let us see if your view is shared by Professor Dingbat in our Manchester studio. Professor Dingbat, a surprise victory there for the Liberal Democrats?

Very much so. What we are seeing here, as I made clear in my recent article in The Political Quarterly, is that the Liberal Democrats are now gaining from the type of tactical voting that I have called BPR, back-door proportional representation.

Thank you, Professor Dingbat. And it looks as though they might now be ready for us at Wakefield. No, apparently not, so let us go straight over to Doctor Gumbril at the University of Uttoxeter. Doctor Gumbril, a surprise Liberal Democrat victory?

Yes indeed. This is a classic example of the radical squeeze in which the voters cognitively merge the two parties to the left of centre and cast their votes according to what I have called UET, utilitarian electoral calculus.

Fascinating. And now let me turn to Peter Snow for a final verdict. Peter?

Almost too close to call. Professor Stubbins initially caught the imagination with his anti-Conservative pragmatism. But then Professor Dingbat rallied with back-door proportional representation. Overall, though - and here you can see the pointer moving sharply to the left - Doctor Gumbril came through in the final count with his decisive double concepts: radical squeeze and utilitarian electoral calculus.

So, your final verdict?

A Gumbril gain. But all in all another excellent night for political scientists everywhere.

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