Will YouGov’s election model be vindicated when the results are in?

Opinion polling firm YouGov have raised eyebrows in the run up to Thursday’s poll with the results of their forecast model, which at the time of writing is forecasting that the Conservatives will only win 307 seats. This would deprive them of their parliamentary majority, and leaves open the possibility that Jeremy Corbyn could become Prime Minister if Labour could secure support from the smaller parties in the Commons.

The YouGov model is out of line with other election forecasts, which all predict that the Tories will have a majority in the next Parliament, albeit not the landslide majority which appeared likely a few weeks ago.

We will soon find out one way or another, of course, but the early results on Thursday night/Friday morning could provide a clue as to how the model is performing overall. The following tables have ranked the seats from 1 (the easiest) to 583 (the most difficult) where the Conservatives either came first or second at the 2015 election. The figures in brackets show what the YouGov model say will be the size of the Conservative majority, with a minus figure showing the majority of the winning party in seats where the model predicts that the Conservatives will lose. The colour of each cell shows the incumbent party (Conservatives blue, Labour red, the Lib Dems orange, UKIP purple, the SNP yellow and Plaid Cyrmu in green). The data was taken from the model released at the weekend.

The data used can be viewed as a Google Docs spreadsheet here.

The YouGov model predicts that the Conservatives will win 307 seats, with the smallest majority in High Peak, which is predicted to be a statistical dead heat with Labour. Of these 307 seats, nine are seats in which they are not the incumbent party (five from the SNP, three from the Liberal Democrats, and the former Ukip seat in Clacton).

If the model is correct, then the Home Secretary Amber Rudd would lose her Hastings and Rye seat to Labour. The 325th seat for the Conservatives would be the seat of the Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron in Westmorland and Lonsdale. The 326th seat that would give the Tories a majority of one is the Gloucester constituency of Stroud, where the Conservative incumbent Neil Carmichael is defending a majority of 4,866, and bookmakers are offering odds of 1/25 that the Conservatives will win.

There are a number of constituencies where common sense would suggest that the model is lowballing the Conservative vote share. For example, the model suggests that the Conservative Hugo Swire will lose by nearly 11 points in East Devon to an independent candidate, despite having held the seat since 1997 and defending a majority of 12,261 (22.4%).

For those sitting up to watch the results into the early hours of Friday morning, the first seats to declare will provide an early clue as to how the YouGov model has performed. The following seats are the ones that the Press Association says are likely to be the first to declare in Great Britain. Comparing the results with the forecast model should provide an early read on how the rest of the night is likely to go.

Houghton & Sunderland South (expected 23:00 – forecast Labour hold, majority of 29.4%)
Con 28.4%           Lab 57.8%            LD 2.9%                 Ukip 8%                Green 1.6%

Sunderland Central (expected 23:30 – forecast Labour hold, majority of 24%)
Con 31.5%           Lab 55.5%            LD 4.7%                 Ukip 5.5%            Green 1.8%

Washington & Sunderland West (expected midnight – forecast Labour hold, majority of 27.7%)
Con 29.9%           Lab 57.6%            LD 2.9%                Ukip 7.6%            Green 2%

Swindon North (expected 00:30 – forecast Conservative hold, majority of 13.1%)
Con 50%               Lab 36.9%            LD 4.6%                Ukip 6.3%            Green 2.2%

Battersea (expected 01:00 – forecast Labour gain from Con, majority of 3.3%)
Con 40.5%           Lab 43.8%            LD 8.9%                Ukip 1.6%            Green 2.2%

Newcastle upon Tyne Central (expected 01:00 – forecast Labour hold, majority of 39%)
Con 23.8%           Lab 62.8%            LD 6.6%                Ukip 4.5%            Green 2.2%

Newcastle upon Tyne East (expected 01:00 – forecast Labour hold, majority of 38.5%)
Con 24.6%           Lab 63.1%            LD 6.1%                Ukip 4%                Green 2.2%

Nuneaton (expected 01:00 – forecast Conservative hold, majority of 8.6%)
Con 47.2%           Lab 38.6%            LD 4.7%                Ukip 7.3%            Green 2.2%

Putney (expected 01:00 – forecast Conservative hold, majority of 8.3%)
Con 43.8%           Lab 35.5%            LD 12.8%              Ukip 2.1%            Green 4.2%

After 1am, the results should start to come in thick and fast, but key races to watch which should declare before 2am include Bury North, which the YouGov model suggests could be a Labour gain from the Conservatives and would be Tory seat number 340, and Thurrock, which was tight Lab/Con/Ukip 3-way marginal in 2015 and where the Conservatives are defending a majority of 536.

If, four hours in to the count in the early hours of Friday morning, Labour have swept Battersea, Bury North and Thurrock, then we will be in territory where the Conservatives could be deprived of a majority in the House of Commons.

On the other hand, if the Conservatives have won all three of these, and are exceeding model expectations elsewhere, then they are virtually guaranteed a majority. The question will then be if the Tories are capable of winning a landslide by taking Labour seats in areas such as Don Valley, Hartlepool and Tony Blair’s former seat of Sedgefield.

Whilst there is much uncertainty regarding this peculiar general election, if Labour manage to pull off what would be one of the greatest shocks in British election history, the picture should start to emerge at an early stage in the count.

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  • hgreen

    Will the 10pm exit poll not reveal the awful news?

  • Zorin001

    There is a bit of margin for error I think, so if it comes up with a low majority or no overall control then it could be worth staying up on the off chance.

  • Claire Mitchell

    Thank you! Geek heaven 🙂

  • Msiegnaro

    Anything on the 18 local seats?

  • Jimmy

    Key Ones = Foyle 1am, East Belfast 2am, Upper Bann 2am, South Antrim 2.30am, North, South, East Belfast at 3AM, South Down 5am, Fermanagh & South Tyrone 5am

  • Msiegnaro

    1. Foyle – SDLP hold.
    2. EB – Alliance gain from DUP.
    3. Upper Bann – DUP hold.
    4. South Antrim – DUP gain from the UUP.
    5. NB – SF gain from the DUP.
    6. SB – SDLP hold.
    7. SD – SF gain.

  • Sweep

    I think I’ve got fairly good judgement on these things, call it being in the zeitgeist etc. Labour will lose every marginal.

  • Jimmy

    Foyle – SDLP Hold
    EB – Recount
    Upper Bann – DUP Hold
    South Antrim – DUP gain from UUP
    NB – DUP Hold
    SB – DUP gain from SDLP
    South Down – SF gain from SDLP

  • I don’t have my ear to the ground in Nationalist circles and therefore wouldn’t like to guess about South Down, but I can see South Belfast going to the DUP. Lots of Unionists who don’t normally vote have been spooked and intend to support the DUP. This is only anecdotal of course. Also the students will be finished at university so that vote will be dispersed throughout Northern Ireland, which I think would favour the DUP. What would steal it would be Sinn Fein voters tactically voting for McDonnell. I don’t know how likely this is, or how much tactical voting is being talked about in South Belfast? I think Kinahan will hold on in South Antrim, and Gavin Robinson will be home and dry in East Belfast. Unionist vote is already maxed out in FST, and with nearly two thirds of voters being from a Catholic background, the smallest rise in differential turnout will knock Elliott out. I can see him being about 2000 votes behind Gildernew. North Belfast will remain beyond the reach of Sinn Fein.

  • Jimmy

    Agree except Gavin Robinson in East were I think it will tight. Some people think Long is set, some think Gavin will extend his lead, those who think Gavin Robinson extend his lead say that the turnout will be higher with more motivation. Last time Unionists wanted to retake East Belfast for unionism, there cant be more motivation than that! + I think there will be less tactical voting as people retreat to their trenches which will finish off Kinahan sadly.

  • Korhomme

    I got badly burnt suggesting a hung parliament two years ago.

    I make only this: that if Theresa May doesn’t win a landslide, or improve her majority, then she is toast. The Tory party are utterly ruthless with what they see as losers.

  • It’ll certainly be interesting in East Belfast. I can see it from both points of view. I was in South Antrim last week, and popped into Tesco in Crumlin. There were more UUP posters up than there were Sinn Fein posters. Kinahan really pushing for the “anyone but the DUP” vote. I think now that he has won it, more Nationalists will vote for him to keep DUP out, in the same way we see Unionists backing the lesser of two evils in SOuth Down and FOyle. Just a thought, but opinion seems to be slpit 50/50 here too. I’ll not bet any money on it though.

  • Msiegnaro

    DUP posters look heavy in Ballyclare and surrounding areas.

    Not sure there is a DUP gain in SB.

    Surprised everyone is backing Dodd’s in NB.

  • chrisjones2

    Conservative majority of at least 80 and up to say 120

    Corbyn stays on in post. Civil war breaks out in Labour with new centre party created by September – possibly by the old Co Operative party breaking away. Young Millibean suddenly pops up fresh back from the USA brim full of new ideas. The new Labour Centre party fights a 5 year civil war about who is the true inheritor of the Prophet Tony

    NHS Counselling Services crash, overwhelmed by numbers of Momentum Cult Members needing de programming

    Corbyn and Abbott become the Dennis Skinner of the 2030s wandering the corridors of Westminster shouting at the world and doing that stabby finger thing

  • Jimmy

    I just think Girvans personal vote from Ballyclare area will power him home although it will be tight. I think Dodd’s will get home in North Belfast, its just how tight it is. If you incorporate increased Unionist turnout both Unionist and Nationalist votes will likely be the same. 1 Unionist, 2 Nationalist, Dodds wins.

  • Msiegnaro

    Finucane is powering on the ground, the DUP are less active.

  • Jimmy

    I’ve seen the photos. Like good on them like they have 100’s in North Belfast, but the above remains the same, although I didn’t realise how large the Alliance vote in North Belfast is and since Nuala McAllister isn’t standing maybe there could be some voting tactical, don’t think it will be enough for Finucane tho.

  • Msiegnaro

    Why is Finucane more appealing than Dodds to Alliance?

  • Madra Uisce

    looks like you could do with some NHS counselling after writing that aul guff

  • Backbencher

    Good question, what does that say about alliance?

  • Msiegnaro

    I think that trends been evident for some time.

  • Jag

    The bookmakers are forecasting Tories will win 360 seats (up from 330 at present, and giving them a decent majority in the 650-MP Commons).

    As far as I can tell, the main difference between YouGov and the others is the view taken of turnout. The polling companies all ask people if they will in fact turnout to vote. YouGov believes them, the others make allowances for traditional voting behaviours (younger people tend not to vote etc).

    I think we could be in for a shock on Friday when the results come in.

  • Jimmy

    I don’t think it is finucane who would attract Alliance voters I think it is more that he can beat Dodds.

  • Jimmy

    It says Alliance are changing from a unionist lite to a more mixed party. Probably no bad thing for them if they want to grow West of the Bann.

  • Msiegnaro

    It boils down to the same thing, Alliance voters prefer SF to Unionist parties.

  • Backbencher

    I really have begun to despair with polls and to some degree the news outlets. More or less everything is now politically motivated.

    These guys should be held up to scrutiny when the results are in. If Britain elects Corbyn, McDonell and Abbott it really will have taken leave of its senses.

  • Msiegnaro

    At every turn Alliance are voting for candidates to keep Unionists out, how is this mixed?

  • Karl

    Not sure. I think Dodds is divisive (hes hardly on the DUPs progressive wing) and Finucane is the new face of SF. I dont think they would necessarily have been happy to see Gerry Kelly over Dodds. Finucane makes the decision a little more paletable.

  • Msiegnaro

    Is this why a SF gain is predicted?

  • Karl

    By who?

  • Stadius

    The Co-op party have their own leadership, and have ruled out being appropriated by the Labour right in this way. As for a breakaway centre party, no matter how it would come about, this is not on the cards. The SDP stands as an example of the foolishness of this approach.

    Labour seem set to get a markedly improved vote share compared to 2015. How seats turn out is harder to call. Tories will in all likelihood win, though. But they inherit the poisoned chalice of Brexit. This will be terrible for them when it goes badly wrong, and people blame them for the mess. After all, Brexit is their baby, and they negotiated the deal. Fully expect a Labour landslide in 2022 (or before, if an early election is called post Brexit). Will Corbyn hang on til then? Hard to tell.

  • Msiegnaro

    Irish News, Newstatesman, Chris Donnelly and commentators in general.

  • Karl

    and the bookies?

  • Granni Trixie

    You can bet that the core APNI vote for the APNI candidate, Sam Nelson. Can’t see why they would vote Dodds or Finicane.

  • Granni Trixie

    But as I indicate above I can’t see why you think APNI would vote for anyone but their own NB candidate in FPTP?

  • Granni Trixie

    O no it doesn’t. I listened to him today on Talkback same old,same old answers.

  • Granni Trixie

    Chris Donnelly is SF so he would say that Wouldn’t he?

  • Jimmy

    You are right the core will. But not all the APNI vote is the core vote, all I was saying is that if it does get tight a few hundred Alliance votes could make all the difference.

  • Msiegnaro

    Finucane for NB then?

  • Jimmy

    In South Antrim its likely they will vote Danny Kinahan. Just like in East Belfast some UUP will vote Alliance. Its nothing to do with Unionists out, its more voting for someone who is progressive (pro equal marriage for example)

  • Jimmy

    Dodds to survive. But I think what will become clear in this election is that Nigel Dodds will be the last Unionist MP in North Belfast.

  • Msiegnaro

    Another frontier gone?

  • Msiegnaro

    1.36 suggests real danger.

  • Gaygael

    That’s not a vote of confidence in SB!

  • Ciara 007

    1. Foyle – SDLP hold.
    2. EB – Alliance gain from DUP.
    3. Upper Bann – SF Gain. (shock of the election)
    4. South Antrim – DUP gain from the UUP.
    5. NB – SF gain from the DUP.
    6. SB – DUP Gain.
    7. SD – SF gain.
    8. FST – SF Gain

  • Robert ian Wiliams

    Again ignoring the closet Tories..who do not like to admit they vote conservative.

  • mjh

    That is not true – as can be seen from the transfer patterns every time we have Assembly and Council elections.

    For example in the last election there were 4 constituencies where there was no other Alliance or Green candidate available when Alliance first preferences were being distributed – East Antrim, East Londonderry, South Antrim and Upper Bann. 17.1% did not transfer to anyone. The others were:

    SDLP 31.5% (Not available in EA)
    UUP 28.0%
    SF 10.3%
    DUP 4.2%
    Other U 8.9%

    Or put another way: Total unionist 41.1%. Total nationalist 41.8%.

    Also note that the SF figure was boosted by the unavailability of the SDLP in EA (they had already been eliminated). In the other 3 constituencies SF took 8.5%.

  • Msiegnaro

    Big call on Upper Bann, I agree on NB however. Not sure about a DUP gain on SB.

  • Vince

    1. Foyle – SDLP hold.
    2. EB – Alliance gain from DUP.
    3. Upper Bann – DUP hold.
    4. South Antrim – UUP hold.
    5. NB – DUP hold.
    6. SB – recount.
    7. SD – SDLP hold.

  • mickfealty

    Worth adding just how dynamic this model is. The Tories are already pulling back in the independent in East Devon, now calling it as a tossup. This is a weather report, rather than a climate report Peter. That in itself could be a significant departure, should it prove to be in anyway accurate?

  • Deeman

    1. Foyle – SDLP hold. (just)
    2. EB – DUP hold.
    3. Upper Bann – DUP hold.
    4. South Antrim – DUP gain from the UUP.
    5. NB – DUP hold (just).
    6. SB – SDLP hold.
    7. SD – SF gain (the surprise will be the margin)

  • Deeman

    I live in South Down, I am predicting a SF gain. The shock will be the margin of the SF gain. I am thinking 4-5k votes.

  • mickfealty

    Well, it depends what you’re expecting. This is still very much May’s to lose. YouGov could just be an exercise in lowering Tory expectations.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Interesting too that YouGov polls seem to be using a markedly different weighting system from other pollsters – YouGov consistently has Labour higher than others are finding, though Survation (who came across as a bit flakey last time) are close to YouGov.

    Best thing is to look at: (1) polls overall, not just YouGov; and (2) the bookies too, they study the polls and put their money where their mouth is.

    1. Telegraph’s poll of polls seems the most up to date one at the time of writing and has it at Tories 43.4 / Labour 36.5. But huge difference between some pollsters putting it virtually neck and neck and others giving Tories 11 point lead. Someone is guessing wrong in their weightings. To be fair there are even more variables than in 2015 – impact of 2016 Brexit vote, collapse of UKIP and of course the two big Corbyn effects (popularity among young but will they vote; turn-off to many others but how many).
    2. Sporting Index is one example of where you can bet on numbers of seats and unless they are way out, it’s not even close. Centre of gravity for them is arounr Tories 360 seats / Labour 210 seats. So that’s Tories gaining seats and Labour losing seats, somewhat different from what some of the national polls are suggesting in terms of Corbyn outperforming Miliband. https://www.sportingindex.com/spread-betting/politics/british/group_b.ebb77a08-5cd6-4e69-9096-cdc826441491/uk-general-election-seats-markets

    The collapse in belief in May as a strong leader has been remarkable during this campaign and it will cost the Tories their hoped-for landslide, most likely. But ultimately she’s still significantly preferred in the polls on leadership to Corbyn and that, I suspect, is going to come home to roost on polling day and will boost the Tories from their current, already quite strong, position.

    But I have no more of a crystal ball than anyone else, this is a hunch. The pollsters made massive caveats in 2015 to anyone who would listen, but of course most people didn’t want to hear that, just the headline figures. It feels like this time the caveats are even bigger – yet still a lot of people seem to be getting very excited about the numbers, not least in Labour. They have been burned before, is all I would observe.

  • mickfealty

    I’d hate to lose an old friend.

  • mickfealty

    Yes, that’s just the usual poetry from Chris. The Red Tory faction have been ball watching for too long and are now out of the game.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Mick, I think YouGov are honestly polling in what they think is the right way – it just remains to be seen if they have adjusted correctly.
    Polls are most reliable on a calm sea, but it’s very stormy weather out there. They always have to make big assumptions/guesses about actual vs claimed behaviour but this time there are strong cross winds that haven’t been polled before – especially what happens when the populist left revival hits a Brexiting nation hits fluctuating personal popularity of the party leaders. This is why I’m turning to the bookies. Though of course they don’t know anything more than anyone else!

  • MainlandUlsterman

    That’s my working assumption too

  • runnymede

    No it won’t

  • Deeman

    I understand that the poll models have made allowances for “shy tories”. It boils down to turn out amongst the young. If the younger voters turn out like they say in the polls, it will be neck and neck amongst tories and labour.
    It would be a major upset and break from tradition.
    Personally I think the younger voters turnout will be up, but not significantly.
    This will result in a small tory majority.

  • runnymede

    The implied turnout rate of young voters in these polls with low Conservative leads is just not credible. Survation’s polls are suggesting a 90% rate.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I’m not sure many Alliance voters would vote for either Finucane or Dodds but only speculating from afar here.

  • runnymede

    We unfortunately can’t assume pollsters are necessarily generating their honest view of the numbers. The final pre-referendum poll by Populus last year, showing a 10% remain lead, was extremely fishy – and note this company has now withdrawn from polling.

  • Deeman

    I agree with MU. i can see alot of people logging votes for “their” party this time, knowing full well that there is no chance of a win.
    i.e. Unionists in SD backing the DUP/UUP, SF voters in SB not voting tactically for SDLP.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    but I suspect few Alliance voters would ever vote SF – seems a misunderstanding of the Alliance-voting mindset. SF’s self-image is as a non-sectarian party but I suspect few Alliance voters would see it that way. Alliance voters above all are about non-sectarianism.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I think you’re right voter turnout among the young will be up, and not by as much as some think, but I think the result in our FPTP system will be quite a big Tory majority. Bookies are saying 360-370 seats for Tories, I’m going with that.

  • Deeman

    The young are concentrated in urban areas, traditional labour areas, Manchester, Liverpool, Hull, Newcastle, Sheffield, London etc.
    Minimial labour gains to be had in these locations.
    The youth vote spread across the country will result in increased vote for labour, however, like you say FPTP will make these gains obselete.
    The surge for labour in scotland will be good news for the SNP. Something that has been overlooked by the UK media.
    There will be shocks, but not enough to change the course of the result. Tory majority, 340-350 seats.
    Davies to be new Tory leader by Christmas!

  • Salmondnet

    Given its ownership and origins, more likely an exercise in raising Labour morale.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Yes, the fact it’s not assembly elections means the results matter slightly less, in ethnic rivalry terms (and we all know that’s number one motivator to NI voters). So it’s a bit of a free vote. I think you’re spot on, there won’t be tactical voting by people in the middle to help SF, as if that is somehow going to further progressive causes in NI.

    The other thing is, unionism isn’t on a cliff edge in terms of Westminster seats, losing a seat here or there isn’t a disaster – because currently there are 11 unionist seats to 7 nationalist ones. If anything that’s slightly anomalous. if it goes 10-8 as it well might, that’s not an earthquake. Even 9-9 is broadly reflective of the fairly even unionist-nationalist balance we’ve had for 20 years or more.

    I wish people would stress a bit less about it, we have to run NI together in approximate parity anyway. This election – or indeed any assembly election in the foreseeable future – won’t affect that one way or the other. You’re not going to get anything other than approximate parity between the two communities. Now let’s focus on actually governing together in N Ireland.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Woah, bold prediction … that would be interesting.

  • Msiegnaro

    Interestingly NB is becoming the one most likely to fall for the DUP, it looks like the bookies are spot on.

  • Deeman

    I have sensed a slightly less aggressive tone from Arlene and Michelle. I thought Michelle sat back last night and didnt go on the attack. Arlene has been more measured and much less visible. Bar the odd Jim Wells, Naomi Councillor mishap, the campaign has been relatively calm. If anything, Eastwood and Swan have been on the attack, talking up Border Polls (Eastwood) and Swan talking about Special Status as a back door to a UI or drawing comparisons between ISIS and Republicans.

  • Zorin001

    That seems a fair analysis, though I would personally hope for a better result for Labour than 210 seats; we will know come Friday.

    Unless its an absolutely landslide Tory win its hard to see this campaign as anything but a pyrrhic victory for May on a personal level, its been bruising for her and its left her authority looking somewhat diminished. Not in a good position to move into some very hard bargaining with the EU.

  • Zorin001

    Bojo has been brought back from exile to give the campaign a boost, think we can safely say that Tory HQ are worried about the poll numbers.

  • whatif1984true

    Brexit result again

  • MainlandUlsterman

    yup – would fail to give her the freedom she wanted. I am no Tory but think that could be bad for Remainers like me, as I was hoping she would use the increased authority to marginalise her right wing and go for a centrist Brexit deal (i.e. paying in a lot to get market access etc). If she has no more room to manouevre or is weakened, we are more likely, I fear, to get a hard Brexit – either through her being toppled and replaced by a Brexiteer or by her just coming under a lot of pressure in the negotiations from her right, who will be empowered by a weak showing for May.

  • Zorin001

    I’ll be interested to see where those 3 million votes for UKIP end up this time.

  • Skibo

    MU have you any feeling on the turn out for the younger generation? Corbyn seems to have invigorated them and from what I can make out, a considerable amount of them are angry at the Brexit vote. Will this be the rise in turn-out we saw with both Brexit and the Scottish referendum?
    This could be the correction factor that some of the pollsters have underestimated.

  • Skibo

    The other thing that needs to be remembered is it takes less labour voters to hold seats in their heartland compared to tory voters in theirs. I cannot understand why TM did not push through the constituency changes before she called an election. Possibly a decision she may yet regret.
    Would a hung parliament result in another election before the negotiations started in earnest.

  • Zorin001

    I think you would see another election in the near term, any minority government would get a confidence and supply deal rather than a coalition and they are notoriously unstable.

  • Skibo

    The issue of students is a miss nomer. Students do not transfer to their term residence and normally remain on Mum and Dad’s residence, otherwise how do they squeeze the last few quid out for the end of term parties! Speaking from experience.

  • Skibo

    Oh really, same old answers, ” I condemn all violence” When was the last time you heard a SF person speak like that?

  • Skibo

    A coalition government or a small minority could be seen as weakness in the negotiations for Brexit.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I think they will turn out more than last time – could be highest turnout of them in a while – but not sure by how much. But I’m guessing and no one can really call it.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Mainly Tory

  • Skibo

    The internet gives the impression of a massive following for Corbyn, similar to the rallies that turned up for Trump though maybe not as antagonistic to the heckler.

  • Tochais Siorai

    It bloody well spoilt the last one for those of us who got the supplies in for the all nighter!

    This one might be harder to call as it’s so all over the place but who knows?.

  • Zorin001

    More than likely, but I do think tribal lines run deeper than we sometimes think, UKIP may have been an acceptable protest vote but would voting pure Tory be a step too far?

  • “it takes less labour voters to hold seats in their heartland compared to tory voters”
    Actually, no, it doesn’t. Here are the number of seats which a million votes earned for each party from 1983 to present

    CON-LAB
    1983: 31-25
    1987: 27-23
    1992: 24-23
    1997: 17-31
    2001: 20-39
    2005: 23-37
    2010: 29-30
    2015: 29-25
    The system generally favours whatever party is in power with a bonus, which narrows in close years. It’s currently favouring the Conservatives again, yet they want to push through ill-thought out constant revisions under an excessively tight quota which will produce rubbish boundaries just to give themselves a greater advantage than the one they already have.

  • “the bookies too, they study the polls and put their money where their mouth is.”
    Bookies generally don’t put any money on anything. They offer odds to tempt in punters and adjust those odds to tempt in punters from the other side, usually resulting in a balanced book where they win no matter what the outcome. Also the money that they accept on these “specials” markets is usually ridiculously small anyhow. Case in point, on the 2010 election I put 260 quid on one of the Northern Ireland seats at 1/4. They immediately suspended the market and revised the odds downwards. The odds offered at the moment reflect the money that’s come in i.e. crowd wisdom of punters rather than that of the bookies.

  • Skibo

    From what I have read on the subject, of the 50 seats that will be lost 35 of them effect labour seats. I would call that having a greater effect on Labour than Tory.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Fair enough, I stand corrected – and guilty of recycling a cliche without really knowing how bookies work. Still, they do accept the chance of paying out and their odds reflect that, no?