Thursday, 28 November 2013

Election 2015 it stands according to opinion polls

17 Months to go until G.E 2015, and the Conservatives have a mountain to climb to try and clinch a majority, or even succeed in forcing another hung parliament. The most likely election result still looks to be a Labour majority. On current opinion polls, which put Labour 7 points ahead of the Conservatives, this would be the election result:

Labour is predicted to win a 94 seat majority, but the calculations do not take into account the "UKIP effect."

The results show that Labour (At the moment, I stress) is well on course to get a thumping majority of 94 seats, but even this result is understating Labour. This is because of some intriguing possibilities:

1: The "UKIP effect" needs to be taken into account. This calculation is assuming uniform swing across all 650 UK Constituencies. It does not take into account the hypothesis that UKIP take 3 times as many votes from the Conservatives as they do from Labour, and that the UKIP vote will be concentrated in certain specific areas, nor does it take into account regional variations with different people in different areas voting in different ways. They are not likely to win any particular seat, but are likely to win some seats, most likely all gained from the Conservative party, and the two seats they are most likely to win are Montgomereyshire (25%). and South Thanet (20%) but they are also likely to win seats in areas where their support was concentrated in the 2013 Local Elections, notably in Kent and Lincolnshire. The split in the right, especially in CON-LAB marginals, will also cause the Conservatives to lose some seats that they would otherwise have held, and thus the Labour majority, even with a modest vote share of 39%, could be as high as 110, 120 or perhaps even similar to the scale of Tony Blair's election victory in 1997. 

2: The strength of the Liberal Democrats in local government, and the fact that they can concentrate their support in areas where they have MPs even if they are getting wiped out in other place, means that the Liberal Democrats will be better protected against the Conservatives than they would be against Labour, as both Conservative and Lib Dem support is expected to fall, but the Lib Dem vote may hold up a little better in areas where they have lots of local Councillors such as Portsmouth.

3: The ethnic minority vote. Only 16% of Ethnic Minorities bothered to vote for the Conservatives in 2010, a paltry figure compared to the 66% figure for Labour. Many of these minorities are concentrated around Metropolitan areas, and in big cities such as Birmingham or London. This could seriously damage Conservative chances of getting even a hung parliament, as in marginal seats their tends to be a greater turnout with ethnic minorities as with the wider electorate, and Tory support amongst minorities is expected to plummet even further.

So there you go. Will Labour win a majority in 2015? I cannot say for certain: A lot of unknown factors and triggers, such as the fallout from a potentially disastrous result for the Conservatives in the 2014 Local and European elections that could force a drastic change in Conservative policy or a change for a more popular leader. So, the chances of Labour getting a majority are still uncertain. But for Labour supporters and activists, at this moment in time, it looks quite likely.

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