Keir Starmer has to match what Clement Attlee did in 1945 and beat what Tony Blair did in 1997 if he wants to form a Labour government at the next election. To arrive at Downing Street by the end of 2024, Starmer must get his party to board an InterCity 125 train and spend the next 3 years following the tracks I lay out in this article. As I will show, whichever track they take has to go through 125 English Conservative seats, most of which are in between cities. Hence InterCity 125 becomes the easy to remember name of Labour’s list of target seats.
At 2200 on Thursday 12th December 2019, the BBC/ITV/Sky Exit Poll was revealed to the nation and pointed to a large majority for the Conservatives. Unlike 2017, I was able to turn to my wife and say “it looks like I will be right this time!” By the end of the night, Gavin Freeguard from the Institute of Government was tweeting that not only was I the most accurate election forecaster of 2019, I was more accurate than the Exit Poll.
My forecast for the 2019 UK General Election this Thursday is that the Conservatives will win a majority of 72 seats. The margin of error in this forecast is very wide though due to the fact that 5 of of the last 7 general elections have seen a major polling error. If there is a repeat of the GE2017 underestimate of Labour, then there will be another hung Parliament.
Here is my forecast for the election that was not supposed to be happening in the UK. The Brexit Party is well on course to be the largest party and could even set the record for the best ever vote share by a party in the d’Hondt era of EU elections in the UK. At the same time, the Liberal Democrats have the possibility of beating both the Conservatives and Labour parties in a UK-wide election for the first time since 1906.
Theresa May has just asked the EU Council for a 3 month extension to Article 50, the Speaker won’t allow another meaningful vote without meaningful changes, Jeremy Corbyn is pondering backing another referendum and in 9 days time, the UK could be leaving the EU without a deal. Just another week in the Parliamentary Brexit Maze but I have updated my Brexit Voting Factions after last week’s votes and identified an 8th faction for you to play with in your voting permutations.
[Read more…] about EU Referendum #6 – Find your way out of the Brexit maze in 9 Days!
*** This post is not yet complete. However you will find a link to the data near the bottom and a link to a twitter thread for some of the images ***
Within the next 10 days, the House of Commons will get a second Meaningful Vote on the Withdrawal Agreement which could be followed by 2 more significant votes on No-Deal and Article 50 Extension. I have been tracking how MPs have voted on the first Meaningful Vote and subsequent Amendments which I summarised in two posts “Find your way out of the Brexit Maze in 57 days and 43 days.” Following further amendments at the end of February and with no more amendments planned before the next meaningful vote, I have redone my cluster analysis to predict what the outcome of these votes might be. As far as possible, I am trying to base my predictions on what MPs have done rather than what they say but I will compare my analysis with that of Election Maps who have been tracking MP’s statements.
[Read more…] about EU Referendum #5 – Find your way out of the Brexit maze in 16 Days!
Rather than celebrating love on Valentine’s day, Parliament chose to use the occasion to emphasise their discord over the EU withdrawal process, 43 days before the UK is due to leave the EU. Three amendments were voted on and this allows me to update my Brexit voting blocks which I first described in “Find your way out of the Brexit maze in 57 days!”.
January 2019 has been a month of considerable parliamentary drama in the UK as MPs wrestle over whether to approve the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU. There is no shortage of political punditry and quotes from politicians and the whole episode is proving to be a classic example of uncertainty. For statisticians like myself, uncertainty occurs when you cannot properly price the odds of an event happening unlike risk which occurs when you can price the odds. Since the current state of affairs will ultimately be determined by parliamentary votes one way or the other, is it possible to use parliamentary vote data so far to estimate the odds of certain scenarios?
The fevered political climate in the UK at the moment is all about Brexit and possible second referendums and general elections. Jeremy Corbyn made it clear recently that he wanted a General Election now so that he could take over the Brexit negotiations. With that in mind, I decided to take a look at what Labour’s target seat strategy could look like based on the results of the 2017 general election. What I see at the moment is that Labour has many ways of becoming the largest party in Parliament but the road to a working majority is much harder than people realise due to the Brexit realignment in 2016 and the Nationalist realignment in Scotland in 2015.
Exactly one month ago, the UK woke up to the news that they had elected a hung parliament for the second time in 3 elections. For many forecasters including myself, this came as a surprise as I had been predicting a Conservative majority of 100 seats. In the event, the largest ever polling underestimate of the Labour vote was enough to see the Conservatives lose their majority.
At the beginning of my commentary on election night itself, I defined success for my forecasts as being how close the number of Conservative seats was to my forecast of 375. I also stated that if the number of seats was in the 340s I would consider this to be a prediction error. The final outcome was 317 seats so clearly that is a major prediction error.