In a comment today, Dispassionate pointed out this interesting blog post in the Guardian (2005). It’s about English voters wanting to “send a message” to Tony Blair but who were at the same time reluctant that Michael Howard should benefit. They end up being nose-peggers – thanks to the electoral laws they are forced to vote for Blair’s party once again notwithstanding the fact that they find it a stinky business… hence the nose-peg on election day:
But sending a message to Tony Blair – or “giving him a bloody nose” as Brian Sedgemore puts it – would mean sending a very satisfying comfort greeting to Michael Howard. Many nose-peg requesters say they can’t bear the thought that a big drop in Labour seats means Michael Howard’s disgusting campaign goes down in history as a success. […]
But the frustration is powerful. Of course none of this should be necessary and if we had a proportional representation system, then everyone could vote for a party closer to their taste. After the election we should be out campaigning for proportional representation so no nose-peg voting ever happens again.