General Election Prediction

Current Prediction: Conservative short 39 of majority

Party2017 Votes2017 SeatsPred VotesPred Seats
CON 43.5%318 37.6%287
LAB 41.0%262 37.9%281
LIB 7.6%12 9.6%19
UKIP 1.9%0 5.8%0
Green 1.7%1 3.6%1
SNP 3.1%35 3.3%41
PlaidC 0.5%4 0.5%3
Minor 0.7%0 1.6%0
N.Ire 18 18

Prediction based on opinion polls from 08 Jan 2019 to 18 Jan 2019, sampling 11,417 people.

Probability of possible outcomes

Conservative majority
Labour majority
Lab choice of Lib/Nat
Con/Nat coalition
Con choice of Lib/Nat
Lab/Nat coalition
Nat choice of Con/Lab
No overall control
Lab/Lib coalition
Con/Lib coalition

The future is never certain. But using our advanced modelling techniques, we can estimate the probability of the various possible outcomes at the next general election. ('Nat' means SNP+PlaidC)

Labour split

Conservative majority predicted after Labour split

On 18 February, seven Labour MPs announced there were leaving the Labour party to sit as members of "The Independent Group". Their reasons for leaving included concerns about anti-semitism in the party and the leadership's acquiesence in Brexit. A further MP announced on 20 February.

The situation is dynamic and the composition of parties at the next general election is uncertain. Nevertheless, we can model the possible impact of this change in party alignment. A Survation poll for yesterday's Daily Mail, conducted after the split was announced, asked 1,023 people which party they would support, assuming that the new group became a political party and ran candidates in all seats at the general election. Eight per cent of the public said they would support the new party, with 39 pc backing the Conservatives and 34 pc sticking with the classic Labour party.

Electoral Calculus has developed a special model to deal with a split Labour party. It is based on assuming that Labour voters randomly divide between the two parties, in proportion to the national vote shares. For example, using the poll figures of 34pc for classic Labour and 8pc for the new group, Labour voters will divide between the classic and new parties with the proportions 81pc and 19pc. For extra realism, the behaviour of Labour voters in the same seat is assumed to be correlated, so that there is a strong chance that many will take the same decision as their neighbours.

You can use this model to make your own prediction just by clicking on the box marked 'Labour split' on the user-defined prediction controls.

Using this model and the Survation poll results, we get the following prediction of the likely electoral consequences:

Party2017 Votes2017 SeatsPred VotesPred Seats
CON 43.5%318 39.0%332
LAB 41.0%262 34.0%233
New LAB 0.0%0 8.0%9
LIB 7.6%12 6.0%12
UKIP 1.9%0 5.0%0
Green 1.7%1 4.0%1
SNP 3.1%35 3.1%40
Plaid Cymru 0.5%4 0.5%4
N.Ire 18 18

The new Labour group is predicted to get nine seats, which is one more than they currently hold through MPs changing allegiance. But the Conservatives gain fourteen seats as the split Labour vote in some marginal seats allows the Conservative candidate to win. Overall the Conservatives are predicted to have a majority of fourteen seats.

The Conservatives will be happy if the split continues only to affect Labour. But if some of their own MPs decide to join the new group, then they could also be hurt.

Posted 20 February 2019

Brexit Outcomes

Agreed Deal 'more likely' say punters

Following the votes in the House of Commons on 29 January, betting markets have reacted to increase the estimated chance of a withdrawal deal being agreed.

Using two-way prices from punters on Betfair Exchange we can estimate probabilities of the various possible outcomes.

Compared with two weeks ago (see post below), the chance of the withdrawal deal being agreed before the end of March has risen by 5pc to 34pc. Correspondingly, the chance of a second in/out referendum has slumped by 13pc down to 20pc. The chance of a no deal Brexit in March is now at 22pc, up from 14pc on the day before, though similar to where it was two weeks ago.

Brexit outcome chances from the betting markets

The chance of a new general election this year is stable at around 40pc. And the odds of Brexit being delayed are still very high at 71pc, though slightly down compared with two weeks ago.

The chance that Brexit happens at all is extremely high, with odds of it happening in the next three years of 83%.

These numbers are based on real people staking their own money, so they think they are getting it right, but these are only an indication of the actual probabilities, rather than a precise calculation.

Posted 30 January 2019

Brexit Decision Process

May can get the deal through with a Remain-less referendum

With narrowing options for the government, there is one measure which could get support from the Brexiteers and the Labour front bench: have a three-question referendum with Deal/No-Deal as the first question and two more questions on Single Market and Customs Union membership to decide the shape of the future relationship.

Example Ballot on the United Kingdom leaving the European Union

This would be democratic, and give opportunity to Remainers and Brexiteers alike to shape the nature of Brexit. Remain would be off the agenda, partly because the question has already been asked and answered, and partly because it is unlikely to get support in the parties' leaderships and the Commons.

Polling shows such a referendum would be fairly closely balanced between Deal and No Deal, giving the Prime Minister a fair chance of getting the proposed withdrawal arrangement approved by the public. The other questions on Single Market and Customs Union membership would give something to Labour and also let people express what sort of Brexit they want.

See all three proposed ballot questions and polling.

Posted 22 January 2019

Brexit Outcomes

Bettings markets think Brexit delay likely

What are the chances of the various possible Brexit options? One place to look are the online betting markets where punters have to risk their money to back their own opinions.

With the major vote in the House of Commons due tomorrow, Electoral Calculus had a look at what bettors think is likely to happen. We looked first at Betfair Exchange, since it has two-way prices, so we can work out a mid-price probability of each event.

Not surprisingly, punters think the first vote on the Withdrawal Deal is likely to be defeated, with the odds showing a 95pc chance of a government defeat, and only a 5pc chance that the deal will pass first time. However, as some comfort to Theresa May, they think there is a 30pc chance that the deal will pass by the end of March deadline.

Brexit outcome chances from the betting markets

Brexiteers will be disappointed that there is a 78pc chance that Brexit will be delayed beyond the end of March. Remainers might be glad of that, but will be less happy that the chance of a second in/out referendum in 2019 is only 33pc.

Betfair doesn't have a market in "no deal", but both Coral and Ladbrokes price that event at 25pc (offer only).

In terms of having another general election, there is a 41pc chance of a general election in 2019, but that might be after Brexit has happened.

Let's remember that political betting markets are not guaranteed to be right. Indeed they got it pretty wrong at the EU Referendum in 2016. But that's their message today.

Posted 14 January 2019

New Brexit Polling

Public unsure about all Brexit outcomes

A very interesting poll on public attitudes to the Brexit crisis was conducted by ComRes and published by the Daily Express on 4 December. It shows the public against all the main Brexit outcomes – May's deal, No Deal, Remain or another referendum.

Only the option of "renegotiation" with the EU gained more supporters than opponents. And that option may not actually exist, since the EU is in the driving seat and has no motivation to soften its position.

Full poll details from ComRes here, plus tables, and Daily Express news story.

Posted 4 December 2018

News from Electoral Calculus

Polling on Brexit and General Election

Hear Martin Baxter, the founder of Electoral Calculus, on Chris Hope's Brexit podcast for the Daily Telegraph.

Chris and Martin chat about the likely result of any snap general election and what the polls reveal about the public's views on Brexit.

Listen here (starting at 21:35).

Posted 3 December 2018

Polling on Brexit Deal and Theresa May

Public likes May but not her Deal

Polling after the conclusion of EU negotiations shows that the public back May to stay as Prime Minister, but they don't like the proposed deal.

The public think negotiations have gone badly, they think the deal is unacceptable, and more people would rather exit with no deal. Though many others think a No Deal is a worrying prospect.

But they don't want a change of PM or an early general election.

They are still fairly equally split on the original EU membership question, with no clear majority for a second referendum.

See full details on the polling analysis on Public Likes May but not Her Deal.

Posted 22 November 2018

Polling on Brexit outcomes

What the public really wants from Brexit

Many people easily get confused by the apparent kaleidoscope of possible kinds of Brexit. There often appears to be a galaxy of options, and confusion about what each one means. To help the debate, Electoral Calculus has created an easy-to-understand explanation of the main Brexit possibilities, along with analysis from several recent polls about what the public thinks about them.

The key Brexit options lie on a one-dimensional line with a "hard" Brexit at one end and a "soft" Brexit at the other. We call this line the Brexit Spectrum:

Electoral Calculus Brexit Spectrum

Discover what the British public really wants from Brexit and give us your own views about what is the best type of Brexit in our unique online poll.

Posted 31 August 2018