Pollsters predict Tories reaching 300

On the headline poll trends we’re heading for a Conservative minority government and lengthening odds on Commons electoral reform.

Peter Kellner, the YouGov president, predicts 300 seats for the Tories, 230 for Labour and 90 for the Lib Dems. His prediction on the Sunday before the last election was within a seat of the final outcome.

A similar prediction is provided by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher of Plymouth University, based on council by-elections. Their forecast is for the Conservatives to finish with 299 seats, 27 seats short of an overall majority, Labour with 237 seats and the Lib Dems trailing with 83 seats.

But where they must win big, the Tory lead in the marginals is less decisive.

It suggests the Tories are on course to gain 70 of the Labour marginals but lose 16 of the others to the Lib Dems. This would put the two main parties much closer together, with the Conservatives on 264, Labour 259 and the Lib Dems 98.

Yet in his interview in the Sunday Times, Cameron gives no hint of seeking a deal with the Lib Dems. He’s still in electioneering mode against the Lib Dems so this is no more than common prudence.

  • Brian,

    I think that it’s easy to forget that a significant minority within Labour have an ‘over my dead body’ attitude to the various flavours of PR – the Labour leadership may not be able to corral these MPs even if a Lib-Lab majority result led to coalition talks.

    Isn’t Labour’s commitment to a free vote anyway? (I can’t remember now….)

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    The Sunday ToryGraph is also trying to push the idea of a Tory minority government even though they would not have enought votes ( on their figures) even with Unionist votes –
    presumably this is part of a cunning plan to give the Tories some momentum. But this is clearly a nonsense as the LibDems and Labour would simply vote them down and themselves in.

    Strangely although polls still point to a hung parliament (which 300 seats is) bookies odds have Tories as favourites – before a hung parliament.

  • Greenflag

    What gave Labour it’s huge majority in 1997 was a discredited and unpopular Tory party who’s supporters simply knew they were beaten and many did’nt bother to come out and vote . A similar trend was seen in 2001 and 2005 .

    Could the same happen to Labour on this occasion ? Only once before has the Labour vote been under 30% and that was in 1983 when Maggie Thatcher won her ‘landslide’ with 42.4% of the vote and the Lib Dems ran Labour close with 25% to Labour’s 27%.

    The Tories appear stuck in the 34% range which means that between now and Thursday they have to win over the undecided voters .

    Easily the most ‘exciting ‘ election for decades if not for the quality of the political and policy content then at least for the nail biting finish or so it would seem . A week is a long time in politics so we can all expect some mighty spinning these next couple of days 😉

  • Bulmer

    The Tories will not be able to run a parliament as a minority govt. They have no mandate. Probably for the first time ever the public are not going to look just at the number of seats won but also the overall % votes cast. Anything under 40% leaves Dave facing considerable unrest and the possibility of loosing a vote of confidence at any moment. Then the Lib Lab pact kicks in with Johnson as Lab leader having disposed of Gord down a deep mine shaft? No need for another election as HM has to give the others the chance.

  • Brian Walker

    Paul, Labour have a manifesto commitment to a referendum on the alternative vote “early in the next parliament”. That means whipped unless stated otherwise, which it’s not.
    Any deal with the Lib Dems would almost certainly range more widely. I can’t see Labour backwoods resistance making a difference. We can rely on the Tories to be much more opposed. Perhaps the whole topic will fade by Thursday?

  • Brian Walker seems to be little improved from Alan Watkins in the Sindy, six long weeks gone.

    That then provoked an intelligent observation:

    Watkins calculates that, although the magic number for a majority is 326, if we set aside the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, the Shinners who don’t show (but collect expenses), the other Nationalists who find the journey and time excessive, the odd independent or two … who can’t be decisive … it’s about a dozen less.

    Which is why Malcolm went on record, a few days since, suggesting that any Party which breached the 300-seat mark would have the right to squat on the potty-of-State at Number 10.

    Consider this outcome on the morning of Saturday, 8th May, 2010:

    Party A: 305
    Party B: 275
    LibDems: 50;
    Odds and sods: 20.

    Clearly Party A has “won” on goal difference, particularly if they are the Cameroonies and have the highest numerical vote (would the Murdoch press settle for anything less?).

    Only Party A (whoever they are) can form a Government, with the active participation (unlikely) or the tacit acceptance (by merely sitting on hands) of the LibDems. In itself, that makes the LibDems “kingmakers” (which doesn’t in itself matter) and policy-brokers (which definitely does).

    Now, I’m about to undertake an act of faith in this abortion of an “improvement” of the Slugger entry arrangement. Any corruption of the formatting is not my fault.

    So E&OE.