Here you can find my latest forecast of the 2017 UK General Election on 8th June. My forecast uses data from my latest UK Opinion Poll Tracker and it is worth reading that post in conjunction with this post.
My latest prediction using uniform regional swing is that the Conservatives will make a net gain of 78 seats resulting in a working majority of 171 seats. Such a majority would be on a par with Tony Blair’s landslides of 1997 & 2001. If anti-Conservative tactical voting takes place then this has the potential to reduce the Conservatives working majority to 135 seats which I am sure Theresa May would be very happy with!
I am now using 3 different models to examine the likely outcome in each seat which are as follows:
- Uniform Regional Swing (URS)
- Uniform Regional Swing + Tactical Voting
- Brexit Realignment
For more details on the methodology of all 3 models, please read my prediction for the seat of Bath where I explain how I make my predictions. The same process described for Bath is then repeated for all seats to arrive at my forecasts.
Please note that my Brexit Realignment model is intended as a sense check for the other two models at the moment. Therefore I am not publicising this model as an official forecast yet but this could change in the future.
My Prediction using Uniform Regional Swing
The Conservatives exceptional performance in Wales would give them a majority in Wales for the first time ever. A similar picture is repeated in other Labour heartlands such as Yorkshire and the North West (where they won the Copeland by-election in February). I have no doubt that it was projections like this that prompted Theresa May to call for an early election. Chart P2A shows the extent of the Conservative gains which are highlighted in the right hand chart.
Labour would be wiped out in Cumbria and North Wales. In Wales, the Conservatives would overtake Labour to become the largest party which would be the first time since 1918 that Labour did not top a Welsh general election poll. A recent poll in Wales caused quite a stir among political commentators but I predicted this would be the case based on my R1 chart.
In Scotland, the Conservatives are gaining a lot of votes which are starting to translate into gains from the SNP. The most promising areas in Scotland for the Conservatives are to be found in the Borders and the North East areas.
My Prediction using Uniform Regional Swing + Tactical Voting
There is currently a lot of noise on social media about the potential of tactical voting to hinder the Conservatives. My tactical vote model suggests that 5 existing Conservative seats would be lost and 13 of the projected gains under my URS model would not come to pass. This reduces their working majority to 135 seats as shown in table P1B.
These 18 seats can be found by examining my spreadsheet of projected winners. The link is given at the bottom of the post but chart P3 gives an idea of where the different outcomes will occur. It should be no surprise that nearly all of the tactical vote gains come from Remain seats.
I will highlight the 5 additional Lib Dem gains here which are Bath, Lewes, Twickenham, Kingston & Surbiton and St Ives all of which are held by the Conservatives at present. I explained in my prediction of the Bath seat that Bath is the bell weather seat for me for the success of tactical voting. Fail to take Bath and the Lib Dems can kiss goodbye to any significant gains in 2017. I have already made this point before in a youtube clip which looked at the implications of the EU Referendum last year on the main parties.
Chart P2B shows the seats expected to change hands if tactical voting takes place.
Factors not yet accounted for in my predictions
At present my election forecast does not take into the following points which could become factors in the final outcome.
- Non-uniform swings within each region. The EU referendum last year showed a new political divide especially between major city centres and small towns. This dynamic could have an effect within each region. I have come up with an idea recently which I am currently testing.
- Differential turnout. The EU referendum saw significant increases in turnout in working class seats which had become apathetic about voting since 2001. The question is whether these voters will turn out again or whether turnout will fall because of voter fatigue. I am assuming the same turnout as the 2015 general election but I will be examining this assumption.
- Emerging demographic trends. I am assuming no significant changes in demographics that could influence the election. From what I can see, this assumption might be false as current polls are showing the Conservatives are more popular among working class voters than they are among middle class voters. This is an astonishing turnaround but I think I can capture this through my Brexit Realignment model.
- Polling errors. I am assuming that the polls are accurate but we all know what happened in 2o15! I have written a post which shows how the polls have systematically underestimated the Conservatives and overestimated Labour and at some point I will incorporate these observations into my forecast.
My Forecast Seat by Seat
Please click on the link below to download an Excel spreadsheet of my seat by seat forecast. At present, this spreadsheet only list the expected winners for each of my 3 models and does not include expected vote share. This is something I will add at a later date and I will inform you accordingly in this post.