Strategic voting is the term used to describe the behaviour of voting for a candidate who is not your favoured candidate, in order to avoid the election of an unsuitable candidate.

This occurs when at least three parties are standing for office; n closely-competing candidates and a n+1'th candidate who is unlikely to win. Supporters of the n+1'th party, knowing their cause is just but futile, choose to vote for the less blatantly evil of the n more successful contenders.

In general elections, this is often painful for smaller parties like (in the UK) Liberal Democrats, Green Party, and Scottish Nationalist Party. Proportional Representation is a fair system of voting which makes strategic voting unneccessary.

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