General Election Prediction

Current Prediction: Conservative majority 8

Party2017 Votes2017 SeatsPred VotesPred Seats
CON 43.5%318 39.3%329
LAB 41.0%262 35.1%241
LIB 7.6%12 9.6%17
UKIP 1.9%0 5.1%0
Green 1.7%1 3.7%1
SNP 3.1%35 3.3%41
PlaidC 0.5%4 0.5%3
Minor 0.7%0 3.4%0
N.Ire 18 18

Prediction based on opinion polls from 01 Feb 2019 to 23 Feb 2019, sampling 9,380 people.

Probability of possible outcomes

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

TIG Predictions

YouGov poll boost puts TIG at 18pc

A YouGov poll in the Times of 26 February puts national support for the Independent Group (TIG) at 18pc. This is 4pc higher than the previous YouGov poll, and nearly double their average support in yesterday's poll of five polls.

There has to be come caution that this is an outlier, until it is backed up by other polling. But if it is correct, it would point to a big jump in support for TIG and their predicted number of seats. The proprietary Electoral Calculus model for the breakaway group estimates that they could win around 78 seats nationally, assuming they became an official party and stood candidates in most seats.

The new party is occupying similar centre ground to the Liberal Democrats, so there is an obvious possibility that they could form an electoral pact (or an even deeper alliance). A simple electoral pact would mean that the two parties would only stand a single candidate in each seat (either a Lib Dem or a TIGger), depending on which was more likely to win the seat. Assuming that the seat's voters transferred their support to the joint candidate, then TIG could win 91 seats, with the Lib Dems winning 22. Overall, their combined total would be 113 seats, which would be only thirteen seats behind the Labour party.

TIG Predictions from YouGov poll, with and without a Lib Dem pact

Party2017 Votes2017 SeatsPred VotesPred Seats
No Pact
Pred Seats
With Pact
CON 43.5%318 36.0%353343
LAB 41.0%262 23.0%134126
TIG 0.0%0 18.0%7891
LIB 7.6%12 6.0%1522
UKIP 1.9%0 5.0%00
Green 1.7%1 4.0%11
SNP 3.1%35 3.1%4645
PlaidC 0.5%4 0.5%44
N.Ire 18 1818

This needs a succession of big 'ifs' to come to pass, but the new group could just be snapping at Labour's heels to become the official opposition. Heady thoughts for a group that's less than two weeks old.

Posted 26 February 2019

Brexit Outcomes

Odds narrow on Second Referendum

Punters on political betting markets marked up the chance of a second referendum following Labour's announcement of potential support on 25 February. The chance of another referendum, with Remain as an option, jumped up to 28pc. A month ago it was a longer shot, being priced around 20pc. These chances are derived from the two-way betting market on Betfair Exchange.

Correspondingly, the chance of a No Deal Brexit has dropped from 22pc to 14pc (or odds of six-to-one against). The chance of Theresa May's deal passing the House of Commons before the deadline has also declined from 34pc to 28pc.

Brexit outcome chances from the betting markets

The chance of a delay to Brexit has also jumped up from 71pc to 82pc (or odds of five-to-one on), but the probability of Brexit happening at all is fairly stable at 78pc.

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 26 February 2019

Labour split: Update

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" (TIG). Their reasons for leaving included concerns about anti-semitism in the party and the leadership's acquiesence in Brexit. A further Labour MP and three Conservative MPs joined the group 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. There have been five recent polls which have asked for people's voting intention and included The Independent Group as an option, assuming that they form a party and run candidates in all winnable seats. The average poll-of-polls shows the Conservatives on 38pc, official Labour on 30pc and the new TIG on 10pc.

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 30pc for classic Labour and 10pc for the new group, Labour voters will divide between the classic and new parties with the proportions 75pc and 25pc. 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 poll-of-poll results, we get the following prediction of the likely electoral consequences:

TIG Prediction: Conservative majority of 48 seats

Party2017 Votes2017 SeatsPred VotesPred Seats
CON 43.5%318 38.0%349
LAB 41.0%262 29.6%204
TIG 0.0%0 9.8%17
LIB 7.6%12 6.3%15
UKIP 1.9%0 5.3%0
Green 1.7%1 3.9%1
SNP 3.1%35 3.1%43
PlaidC 0.5%4 0.5%4
N.Ire 18 18

Polls: Survation/Daily Mail (18 Feb 2019); YouGov/Times (18-19 Feb 2019); Sky Data (19 Feb 2019); Opinium (20-22 Feb 2019); DeltaPoll/Mail on Sunday (21-23 Feb 2019); total sample 6,953.

The new Labour group is predicted to get seventeen seats, which is more than they currently hold through MPs changing allegiance. But the Conservatives gain about thirty 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 forty-eight seats.

The new group is mostly gathering support from Labour and Lib Dem voters, though a few Conservative voters are switching too. At the moment that is hurting Labour and helping the Conservatives. But that might change.

Posted 20 February 2019, updated 25 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