I’ve got a problem with tactical voting, especially amongst Lib Dem supporters. And it’s problem which advertising can learn much from. Here’s why.

Firstly it doesn’t represent true feelings, and that’s precisely the problem many people have with politicians, so it’s cowardly (ironically – yellow-bellied). Secondly many people vote ‘tactically’ in response to a previous election’s results in their area: “I’ll vote labour to oust the Conservatives, as the Lib dems had a small percentage last time”. Logically, if people once again vote tactically, next time the same feelings and results will prevail.

In short – by voting how you wish, you stand a better chance of showing that support for the Lib Dems is closer to the Labour in many occasions – thus picking up lost labour support next time around.

If people continue to vote ‘tactically’ under the current system, the real second place contender is potentially disguised.

So what does this have to do with advertising?

Data and focus studies are often wrong – people often answer how they feel they should. This is explained in the book ‘Risk: The science and politics of fear‘ by Dan Gardner. Which mentions that people often rationalise answers to our gut’s feelings. In other words: what people mean and what people say can be opposed.

We should take ‘results’ and ‘findings’ with a pinch of salt and trust our inner feelings, otherwise decisions and solutions can be born on false pretense.

Trust gut, and heed considered responses. Your prime instincts should be brought into play following insight from research. After all – the finest advertising simply ignites gut emotions.