Here’s my final prediction of the election result, based on opinion polls.
Recent polls (from UK Polling Report) are:
|Mon May 3||CR||ITV/Independent||37||29||26|
|Mon May 3||YG||Sun||35||28||28|
|Mon May 3||Opinium||Express||33||28||27|
|Tue May 4||YG||Sun||35||30||24|
|Wed May 5||Opinium||Express||35||27||26|
|Wed May 5||TNS BMRB||33||27||29|
|Wed May 5||Populus||37||28||27|
|Wed May 5||Angus Reid||Political Betting||36||24||29|
|Wed May 5||YG||Sun||35||28||28|
|Wed May 5||Harris||35||29||27|
Plugging these averages into the BBC’s results calculator gives:
Which would mean that there’s a hung parliament, with the Lib Dems able to form a majority with either of the other two parties. However, I think that:
- the Tories will do better in Lab-Con marginals than the polls suggest (an extra 1% swing to them from Labour would give them an extra 18 seats)
- Labour will win back Bethnal Green and Bow from Respect
- the Lib Dems will do slightly better in their target seats than the polls predict (they often do, because they target their campaigns in these places), gaining 2 seats from each of Labour and the Tories.
Factoring in these changes, we get my final prediction:
This is interesting because Labour and the Lib Dems together would get 327 seats, just two seats over the winning post of 325. If the Tories did slightly better, they’d probably be able to form a minority government; but on these figures either of the two biggest parties would depend on Lib Dem support (unless Labour and the Tories wanted to go into coalition with each other, of course).
To summarise, it’s too close to call. Labour will probably get more votes than the Lib Dems, but only just. And the Conservatives will probably not get enough seats to form a minority government, but again, only by a short margin.