British general election: Final forecasting prediction

2010 General Election Polling Day



The British electorate will be voting tomorrow in the snap general election called by Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May. The polls have been variable, with Yougov predicting a hung parliament and other pollsters predicting a landslide victory for the Tories.

The Tories have not had a great campaign with the dementia tax u turn damaging Theresa May’s (May) mantra of “strong and stable” leadership. The average of the polls show the Tories took a modest hit in their support, dropping from 47% to 43% since the launch of their manifesto.

The biggest story of the campaign is the better then expected performance by Jeremy Corbyn (Corbyn), which I warned was a possibility, when previewing the snap general election in April. Corbyn’s energetic and impassioned performance on the campaign trail has galvanised the Labour core vote and enthused non-voters, including many younger voters.

Corbyn’s soft socialist manifesto, including higher taxes for the wealthy, increased corporation tax for business and nationalisation of the railways, has proved popular with sections of the electorate. Labour under Corbyn has consolidated the left of the British electorate at the expense of the Greens and the Liberal Democrats. Subsequently Labour’s ratings in the polls have surged into the mid-thirties during the course of the campaign.

However, as I warned in a post last year, concerns about whether Corbyn is “soft” on national security, immigration and representing Britain in the difficult Brexit negotiations have proved toxic on the doorsteps. This has proved particularly damaging in Labour’s heartlands in the Midlands and the north.

Having reviewed the forecasts on the likely outcome of the British general election, two schools of thought have emerged. The first school bases itself on the current average polling, with the Tories on a 7% lead, leading to the most likely outcome of a 60-70 seat majority for the Tories. Nadeem Walayat, who has successfully forecast the Leave, Trump and 2015 Tory victory, has forecast a Tory majority of 66. Lord Ashcroft has predicted a Tory majority of 64 based on his own polling models.

The other school of thought is that the Tories will do better then expected on the night, as has happened in every British general election (barring 1983) for nearly fifty years. When reviewing the underlying polling data May enjoys double digit leads on who will best manage the economy, run the country and negotiate the best outcome in the Brexit negotiations. In the Mail on Sunday poll, which showed a Tory lead of only 1%, 53% of the electorate trusted Theresa May to defend Britain versus only 25% for Jeremy Corbyn.

Whilst it is not impossible that the normal rules of politics are overturned this time, it is still unlikely that the British electorate will vote for Labour in sufficient numbers considering their huge concerns about Jeremy Corbyn. It is for this reason that Michael Moszynski, who successfully predicted the 2015 Tory victory and the Leave result, has forecast that the Tories will win a majority of 104. It is also worth considering that Nadeem Walayat has stated that his second most likely scenario is a Tory majority of above 100 seats.

The surge in Labour support is overwhelmingly based in the metropolitan big cities and the university towns which already have mainly Labour MP’s. As Stephen Bush writes in the New Statesman, “…the Labour people who are sounding cheery – there are some – tend to be campaigning in big cities or university towns.” Outside these bubbles of Corbynmania, the picture looks grim for Labour, and the Conservatives are quietly confident of picking up droves of marginal seats in the West and East Midlands, in the north-east and Yorkshire, and in some of the outer London constituencies.

Overall, I continue to stand by my forecasting prediction, made on 20th April, that the Conservatives will win this general election by an enlarged majority (85% probabilistic chance).

In regard to the size of the Conservative majority, my forecast is that the Tories will win a majority of 104 seats.*

In regard to those forecasts of a smaller Tory majority (e.g. 60 to 70) I would consider these to be the second most likely scenario after a Tory majority of 3 digits.

We will find out whether I am right in the early hours of Friday morning.

* Please note that my forecasting prediction made on 20th April is not predicated on successfully predicting the size of the Conservative majority, only that the Tories will increase their majority.

British general election: Final forecasting prediction

9 thoughts on “British general election: Final forecasting prediction

  1. TBH I have tried my best to have high hopes for Labour, but even the best of the polls seem to indicate it’s a question of the Tories getting the most seats, the question only being by how much. With First Past the Post votes do not in party terms transfer into seats, as you clearly illustrate, so I need to be careful to assume nothing from the changing fortunes of the polls. But, I doubt it will be quite as comfortable a victory for the Tories as first assumed, nor ought it to be quite frankly. I wonder why it is any sort of victory, given what I feel are warped priorities and prejudice amongst many. But that is my personal view in some ways.


  2. Richard says:

    Hung Parliament, my backside. Bloody YouGov, at it again. They should think about changing their medication.

    It will be interesting to see if the Tories stick with Teresa May after their predicted victory tomorrow. Lacklustre and poor electoral performance from their “charismatic” leader. Appearing wooden and awkward in social situations. Avoiding meeting the general public. And chickening out of a live TV debate, instead sending a minion in her place, Amber Rudd. Margaret Thatcher would never have done that. She relished confrontation and debate (in the House of Commons) and was bloody fearless. I remember to 80’s. Like Churchill before her, she was in her element in the midst of a verbal scrap. The truth is, Teresa May couldn’t kiss Margaret Thatcher’s arse, if she stood on her Mother’s shoulders. Theresa May is NO political giant. This election has shown just how weak a character she really is. It’s been quite an eye-opener. She’s no Iron Lady. The Conservatives will no doubt win the election, but not by the majority of seats they were originally hoping for, largely thanks to Mays poor performance. And I suspect serious questions will be asked about the validity of their current leader. They may begin sharpening their knives and start looking for someone more fitting to lead the party and the country.

    Also parallels can be drawn with the run-off between May and Corbyn, and Thatcher and Foot. You could argue that Mrs Thatcher got in because the alternative was Michael Foot running the country. I think there are similarities happening here.


  3. Richard says:

    Well they won, but they lost too. 12 seats lost and 10 DUP seats gained. This unnecessary election gamble backfired big time. The fault lies squarely at the feet of Theresa May. She lost this election. A terrible election campaigner with the personality of a cardboard box.

    And Labour on 40% after its disastrous interviews (eg. Diane Abbot) and terrorist sympathising exposed. Labour in some disarray after Corbyn’s election leadership. Its foolish economics/budget, its weakness on security issues, and its pacifistic nature. And two recent murderous terrorist attacks in the country. One targeting children.

    If you cant put up a good successful campaign against that… you are shit.

    She’s a gonna..They will soon be sharpening their knives. The clock is ticking on May. They did it to Thatcher after the disastrously unpopular Poll Tax. And they are going to do to this “lame duck” too.

    If Chuka Umunna or David Miliband had been leader of the Labour Party, instead of Jeremy Corbyn. I think they could have won this.


  4. Richard,

    If Labour had David Miliband as leader, they wouldn’t have been so far behind in the polls, and Theresa May wouldn’t have called the election. However, we are where we are and if there was another election next week, Corbyn would probably win an overall majority.

    It is time to stop treating Corbyn as an unelectable joke. His own party assumed this and he proved them wrong and has now transformed the Labour Party. It now looks like he has every chance of doing the same to wider British politics. It is not Corbyn’s Labour Party that belongs in the past. Nope, it is Theresa May’s neoliberalist Tory party that belongs in the past, and is now up sh*t creek without a paddle. Corbyn is the future.

    What Thatcher started, Corbyn has ended.



  5. Well, got that result right! Will be writing a blog post soon on how I got it so wrong but at least I have company! Not many saw this result coming, apart from that outlier yougov poll.

    I didn’t bet on this election because I didn’t have any confidence on the size of the assumed Tory majority which looks now to be a blessing.

    Richard, fully agree with you that actually Labour should have won this election. May was truly awful and the only reason millions voted for her was because the prospect of a Corbyn government was too horrific to consider. However, next time around Corbyn will probably get in.


  6. The Yougov poll wasn’t an outlier. It wasn’t even a poll, in the traditional sense. It was a seat-by-seat model, based on information collected in an entirely new way. I am one of the people it was collected from. It, too, is the future.


  7. Richard says:

    Yep, YouGov got it right this time. Makes a change.

    Any thoughts on a possible replacement for Theresa May? BoJo perhaps? And thoughts on ANOTHER UK election coming in the next 12 months thanks to this colossal disaster? And opinions on the distinct possibility of Trump getting IMPEACHED during his Presidency?

    I think Theresa May destroyed her victory chances when she annoyed her core voters, the older generation and pensioners with her policies of Dementia Tax and promising to take away the old folk’s winter fuel allowances, free TV licences and free bus passes in her election manifesto. I bet that went down like a cold bucket of dog sick. And turning-off the middle aged voters by threatening to take away their inheritance by getting their parents to sell their houses to pay for their care. Is she stupid? Did she REALLY think they were going to vote for her in their droves after that bombshell? You BRIBE them, not piss them off! And if you are going to phase those things in, you do it AFTER you have won the election.

    Again, the older generation are the primary King Makers in this election, just like they were in the French election.

    Jeremy Corbyn got a MASSIVE youth vote by promising everyone under thirty a free unicorn and cancelling all student debt. And he was going to pay for it all with a magic money tree. That was his golden bullet to electoral success.

    That’s what did it.

    Theresa May definitely lost this election. She comes across as very robotic, wooden and aloof. Very private. Not very sociable. Doesn’t like confrontation. Not a people person.

    One of the reasons why she bombed in the election was because she did not “connect” with the voting public. She chickened out of a live TV debate, and instead sent Amber Rudd in her place. Bad idea. All the other leaders turned up but her. She had a very “controlled” election where she did not engage much with the Press and shied away from meeting the general public. How the hell do you expect the public to warm to you and vote for you as their leader if you DON’T connect with them?

    Jeremy Corbyn did better than expected because he came across as a REAL human being in the election campaign. He connected with the public. He went out and met the general public. He engaged and interacted with them. He is used to public speaking and holding rallies with crowds. He’s done it all his political life as a campaigner and backbencher. His popularity went up, as hers went down.

    Several weeks ago she was over 20 points ahead in the polls. Then we got to see the REAL Theresa May, and we didn’t like what we saw. The Tories should have walked this election. But because of her awful election campaigning and lack of personality… she lost. The fault lies squarely at her feet. No one else’s. And now the Tories will looking for new leadership. The Conservatives are quite ruthless. That’s how they have been in government for most of the past 100 years. Weak leaders and lame ducks are disposed of… and so they should be.

    Do you know what I think? I think she has high functioning autism. I think she is an ‘Aspie’.
    This would explain a lot. I can recognise it when I see it. Hi IQ, awkward mannerisms, lack of social skills etc. As the saying goes, it takes one to know one. One in 68 have it they say.

    If Labour had a fresh faced youthful leader (like Macron) with a slightly different manifesto, this would have been a VERY close run race, and the Conservatives could have been calling in the removal vans at No.10.


  8. Richard says:

    How do you go from being 21 points in lead of Labour to just 3 or 4 points ahead in a matter of a few weeks? Terrible Conservative manifesto. Awful. Badly thought out. Promising to take away children’s free school dinners and robbing the elderly of passing on their homes (inheritance) to their children after they die. What a mess we are in now.

    She is now a caretaker Prime minister, taking charge whilst the Tories figure out who to lead the party in her place. Question is, is she going to be stabbed in the back, or is she going to voluntarily fall on her sword? Is she going to step down, or she going to be pushed? I also get the feeling we are heading for another election shortly, with a new Tory leader and a new improved, softer and more appealing manifesto. A Conservative election campaign less Establishment and more Populist in nature. Take a leaf out of Labour’s book.

    And Labour are still 60 seats away from a practical victory. That’s quite a steep hill to climb in another General Election. They only won four more seats than Gordon Brown’s disastrous election defeat of 2010. Hardly a victory for Labour. If we are going to enter another UK election sometime soon, as many suspect. And if Labour stick with the old Islington Marxist, and the Tories can change to a better leader with a more appealing and sensible manifesto. Then it’s game on.


  9. Well, for what its worth, I think the Tories will try and avoid a general election for at least a year, until boundary changes come through in the autumn 2018 (which will give the Tories another 20 odd seats).

    May is now the caretaker Brexit PM, ruling with the consent of the cabinet. The Tories will at some point choose a suitable replacement and she will fall on her sword.

    I also think that by placing Brexiteers in leading positions, she has ensured that they will lead a shift to a softer Brexit. Why? The alternative is an early election, and the likely coming to power of a Labour led coalition government. Even the Tory Right would tolerate a milder Brexit to a Corbyn government.

    A DUP/Tory power arrangement has a working majority of 17 (after Sinn Fein and Speaker seats are taken out) so it is potentially able to last the Brexit negotiations into 2019.

    Regarding President Trump, the so-called Russian scandal reminds me of the Iran-Contra affair under President Reagan, it excited the Democrats and the Washington media but never lit up outside the beltway. Plus, although certain aides did wrong things, there was never a paper trail to the president. Again, one or two aides may have had inappropriate connections with the Kremlin, but there is no smoking gun connection between President Trump and Russia.

    As long as President Trump delivers for his electoral base, they will remain loyal and talk of impeachment will remain just that, talk.


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