Polls Show Tories Headed For Big Victory In British Elections
Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party are on course for a big win in December 12th's General Election.
If the latest polling out of the United Kingdom is any indication, Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party are set for a Thatcher-like victory in December 12th’s elections:
Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party is on track to win its biggest majority in more than three decades, according to the most hotly anticipated poll of the general election campaign.
The Tories will win a majority of 68 seats in the Dec. 12 election, according to a YouGov poll which used a technique that more closely predicted the 2017 election than standard surveys. Such a majority would allow Johnson to deliver on his promise of getting his Brexit deal through Parliament by Jan. 31, and could also give him some freedom to make compromises in subsequent negotiations with the European Union.
The poll put the Conservatives on course to win 359 of the 650 seats in Parliament, a gain of 42 on the last election, while Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party is set to win 211 seats, a loss of 51. Of the smaller parties, the Liberal Democrats are set to win 13 seats, while the Scottish National Party are on track to win 43 seats. This would be the best Conservative result since Margaret Thatcher won her third term in 1987.
“As expected, the key thing deciding the extent to which each of these seats is moving against Labour are how that seat voted in the European Union referendum,” said Chris Curtis, YouGov’s political research manager. “This is allowing the Tories to overturn quite substantial majorities.”
Through a process called Multilevel Regression and Post-stratification, or MRP for short, YouGov aims to identify different types of voters, and predict their behavior. Then the company works out how many of each of these voter types there are in each electoral district to produce a forecast.
The poll was bleak for Corbyn, showing Labour on course for its worst election result since 1983. It had the party winning no new seats and watching the crumbling of its so-called “red wall” of districts in the north of England that have voted Labour for decades. Seats such as Bishop Auckland and Newcastle-Under-Lyme that are traditionally Labour but also strongly in favor of Brexit were forecast to fall to the Tories. The Conservatives were also on course to make gains in North Wales, in seats like Clwyd South and Wrexham, where they have previously struggled to shake off the legacy of closing down coal mines in the 1980s.
Meanwhile, in areas that opposed Brexit, the poll suggested the Conservatives still had sufficient support to hold their seats.
Members of parliament who defected from the Tory Party or were thrown out over their Brexit stance were predicted to lose their seats.
That included Dominic Grieve, standing as an independent candidate in Beaconsfield, and Sam Gyimah who is competing to win Kensington and Chelsea for the Liberal Democrats. That wealthy London borough is expected to swing back to the Tories after an unexpected Labour win in 2017.
In Scotland, the SNP were predicted to dominate, winning five seats from Labour, two from the Conservatives and one from the Liberal Democrats. Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party wasn’t expected to win any seats and the Greens would retain their one in Brighton Pavilion.
The YouGov numbers, and the current projection of the majority that the Tories are likely to end up with after the December 12th elections are largely consistent with other polling that has been done in the United Kingdom. This can be seen in the polling averages being tracked by The Economist, Britain Elects, and Politico Europe. These three poll trackers all show the Conservatives with anywhere between 44% and 42% of the national vote, followed by Labour which is garnering between 32% and 29%. After Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the only national party with an anti-Brexit platform is polling around 14%, which is below where it stood before the election campaign began. Meanwhile, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, which at one point was ahead of the Lib Dems for third place in the national polls, is own to 4-5% in national polling. Beyond that, of course, there are regional parties such as the Scottish National Party and the Democratic Unionist Party which are strong forces in their respective regions of Scotland and Northern Ireland but aren’t really having an impact on the polls nationally.
With two weeks left to go until Election Day, it’s obviously possible that the situation surrounding the election could change in some way that could have a huge impact on the outcome. It’s also worth noting that using national polling to predict the final composition of the House of Commons is far from being an exact science. We saw this in the 2015 and 2017 General Elections and in connection with the 2016 Brexit Election when pre-election polls did not even come close to accurately predicting the outcome of the respective races. Notwithstanding all of that, though, it is beginning to look as though Boris Johnson’s election gamble will pay off and that, at the very least, he will end up with a solid enough majority to push his Brexit bill through Parliament well before the January 31st deadline.