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The Telegraph's Tactical Voting Tool Was Coded To Never Recommend The SNP

The SNP was renamed "NOPE" in the source code.

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A few weeks before the general election, the Daily Telegraph launched a tactical voting tool to help readers decide how to vote.

Despite the Telegraph's conservative leanings, it would happily recommend that you vote Labour or Green, depending on where you lived and what your political preference was.

But, as reported in Private Eye this week, if you live in a Scottish constituency – regardless of what you said your politics were – it would just tell you to vote against the SNP:

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale is the only remaining Conservative seat in Scotland, where the SNP came in a very close second and Labour a distant third. So you'd expect a tactical voting tool to tell people who wanted to keep David Cameron out to vote for the SNP, as the party most likely to unseat David Mundell, the sitting Tory MP. Instead, it tells you to vote against it.
telegraph.co.uk

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale is the only remaining Conservative seat in Scotland, where the SNP came in a very close second and Labour a distant third. So you'd expect a tactical voting tool to tell people who wanted to keep David Cameron out to vote for the SNP, as the party most likely to unseat David Mundell, the sitting Tory MP. Instead, it tells you to vote against it.

In fact the blanket rejection of the SNP was hard-coded into the tool to ensure it never recommended the party – and while every other party was named, the function for dealing with Scottish seats was simply called "NOPE".

BuzzFeed
(Note: The original source code is compressed – we've uncompressed and formatted it to make reading easier.)
BuzzFeed

(Note: The original source code is compressed – we've uncompressed and formatted it to make reading easier.)

And where every other constituency had the names of real candidates, every Scottish one just repeated the names of two Telegraph employees, alongside a load more "Nopes".

BuzzFeed

You can read more about it in this week's edition of Private Eye.

Tom Phillips is the UK editorial director for BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Tom Phillips at tom.phillips@buzzfeed.com.

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