General Election Prediction

Current Prediction: Labour short 70 of majority

Party2017 Votes2017 SeatsPred VotesPred Seats
CON 43.5%318 23.2%196
LAB 41.0%262 25.0%256
LIB 7.6%12 17.9%60
Brexit 0.0%0 20.3%66
Green 1.7%1 6.8%1
SNP 3.1%35 3.2%50
PlaidC 0.5%4 0.6%3
UKIP 1.9%0 1.2%0
Other 0.7%0 2.0%0
DUP 10 10
SF 7 7
NI Other 1 1

Prediction based on opinion polls from 04 Jun 2019 to 25 Jun 2019, sampling 10,664 people.

Probability of possible outcomes

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

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)

Election Predictions

New prediction baseline for new political environment

The European elections heralded large changes in British politics. The Brexit party came from a standing start to win the elections overall. On the Remain side, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens also both did well, though Change UK had a poor performance.

Although the European elections are not a direct guide to future Westminster elections, recent opinion polls have confirmed the main features. The Brexit party, Liberal Democrats and the Greens are all polling better after the elections than before them.

To reflect the current political environment, the Electoral Calculus baseline for predictions has been updated today. This update is based on recent polling and uses modern regression-based techniques to estimate the support in every seat across the country.

This new baseline will be used for all our own predictions and also for user-defined predictions at a national, regional or Scottish level. Live polling and user-defined polling will be taken as a perturbation to the new baseline using the Electoral Calculus Strong Transition model.

This should result in more accurate predictions, particularly for the Brexit and Liberal Democrat parties whose baseline vote share in each seat is now more accurate. One natural, but paradoxical, consequence is that the support figures for the 2017 election will produce a different prediction from the actual result. This happens because the underlying political landscape has changed since then, even for the same national support figures.

The Change UK party has been polling at around 1pc in popular support since the elections and half of its parliamentary strength has left it. Because of this we will no longer show Change UK as a separate party and it will be classed as one of the minor parties which are shown as "OTH" or "MIN". Support for Change UK is no longer an input to the user-defined predictions. UKIP will continue to be shown as a separate party because it stood in about half of all seats at the 2017 general election, and it is psephologically relevant to see which seats those were and how well it did.

Although our best efforts have gone into preparing and checking the new baseline, there may be the occasional anomaly buried in the data. Please let us know if you see anything which appears strange or incorrect. Click 'Email us' at the bottom of the left-hand menu bar.

Posted 20 June 2019

Brexit process

Brexit Process needs more Democracy not less

UK Polling Station sign

Big decisions are more legitimate and better accepted when taken openly and democratically. The Brexit process has been marred by decisions taken in private by small groups, which has hurt their legitimacy and produced poorly received outcomes.

This article reviews the unfortunate history and suggests a democratic way forward.

Posted 10 June 2019

Election Prediction

Brexit party ahead of Conservatives in latest three polls

This month's poll-of-polls shows the Brexit party ahead of the Conservatives. This is because the three most recent polls (YouGov, Opinium and Delta Poll) all have the Brexit party ahead by between 3pc and 9pc. As our graph posted on 28 May shows (see "Euro elections analysis below"), there is a switch-over effect in seats won if the Brexit party overtakes the Conservatives. According to these polls, this has now happened so the Brexit party is predicted to win a substantial number of seats, with the Conservatives reduced to third equal place with the Liberal Democrats. On average, the Brexit party is slightly ahead of the Labour party and is predicted to be the largest party in parliament.

On these figures, a three-way Brexit/Conservative/DUP coalition would only have 313 seats, which is short of a majority. An alternative three-way coalition of Labour/SNP/Lib Dem would have 323 seats, so would need additional support from the five Welsh nationalists to make a wafer-thin majority of six seats.

Some points of caution need to be made. The polls are quite volatile and do not show a consistent picture. They disagree on which party is in the lead: YouGov says the Lib Dems, Opinium says Brexit, and Delta Poll says Labour. And the Labour and Lib Dem vote shares vary quite widely between the pollsters. Small differences in voter support can translate into a large difference in seats. For example, a 1pc swing from the Brexit party to the Conservatives would move around 50 seats. So the uncertainty in the prediction is higher than usual. And these polls were taken just after the European elections. This may be a temporary effect and the old status quo may return before too long. Or this could be the new landscape.

It is a truth that if either Leave voters or Remain voters could unite behind a single party, and the other group did not, then they could easily get a majority at Westminster. The Leavers are still split, but more of them are favouring the Brexit party than the Conservatives. The Remainers are even more split between Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens. If voters move to unite their forces, or the major parties change their policy stance, then there could be dramatic changes.

Posted 3 June 2019

Euro elections aftermath

Euro elections prediction accuracy

Electoral Calculus used a regression-based methodology to predict the European elections. Many of the predictions were broadly correct, though we underestimated the scale of Labour's collapse. Our traditional track record analysis shows what went well and what didn't, and also lays out the evidence to show the regression methods are better at regional prediction than looking at sub-samples of classic polling.

Using a simple measure of variance, regression methods explain 66pc of the "shape" of regional trends, but classic polling only explains 20pc of the shape.

Posted 31 May 2019

Euro elections analysis

Euro elections point to divided parliament

Our analysis of the Euro election results points to a divided parliament if there were a new general election. Both Conservative and Labour parties would be on around 250 seats, well short of a majority. The Liberal Democrats and Brexit party would each get around 15pc-20pc of the vote, without winning many seats.

Seats won by Conservative and Brexit parties against their vote difference

Also included are insights about the electoral battleground between the Conservative and Brexit parties, the likelihood of the three Brexit outcomes, and evidence-based assessment of the leading contenders for the Conservative leadership.

Read the analysis here on Electoral Calculus or listen to Martin Baxter explain what it means on Chopper's Brexit Podcast (28 May).

See also Martin Baxter quoted on the likely Westminster impact of the European elections in today's Daily Telegraph.

Posted 28 May 2019

Tactical voting in the Euro elections

Practical advice for tactical voting

Can tactical voting work under the Euro elections' PR system? Some commentators have cast theoretical doubt on it, but the evidence shows that it could win lots of seats.

On both sides of the Brexit debate, voters are split between several parties: UKIP/Brexit on the Leave side; and Lib Dem/Green/Change UK/SNP/Plaid Cymru on Remain.

Electoral Calculus recently provided independent forecasting of the Euro election result for pro-Remain group Remain United who want to encourage pro-Remain tactical voting. That analysis suggested the simple tactical voting strategy of voting for the leading pro-Remain party in each electoral region.

Expected England seats won against Tactical Fraction

Some academics and commentators have questioned this advice and suggested that other approaches might be better. We had a look at the evidence, and it seems to support the original advice. Voters, both Leavers and Remainers, are well-advised to concentrate their votes with a single party in the Euro elections and not to split them.

Read our analysis here.

You can also see technical details of the methodology in this PDF document.

Posted 16 May 2019

Political Analysis

Three-D Politics and the Seven Tribes

A major new piece of analysis by Electoral Calculus and pollster ComRes creates a three-dimensional landscape of British politics and identifies the seven political tribes which occupy it.

Electoral Calculus has moved beyond a simplistic one-dimensional view of politics, and even gone further than our own pioneering two-dimensional view, to create a three key dimensions of political attitudes:

Using major polling work by the British Election Study, we can give a political three-D position for each poll respondent identifying their political position on each of the three dimensions.

Groups of like-minded individuals can be spotted to identify seven political tribes of people with similar political attitudes, and gain insight about their demographics and voting behaviour.

The Seven Tribes have also been reported in today's Daily Telegraph. You can see the full details of the Electoral Calculus analysis here on our website.

You can also find out your own 3D political position, and that of your neighbourhood, by taking our short 3D survey.

Posted 20 April 2019

Regression-based prediction

Regression-based ComRes/ElCalc poll shows increased Labour lead

Working with leading pollster ComRes, Electoral Calculus has applied modern regression-based techniques to show an increased Labour lead over the Conservatives.

Regression techniques, also known as MRP, are growing in popularity in the market research industry as a way to make polling more accurate again. Classic polling techniques have had problems with accuracy in recent years as representative sampling becomes harder.

Working jointly with ComRes, we have applied the regression techniques to recent polls. Those polls showed Labour and the Conservatives about equally popular, when they were analysed with conventional polling techniques. But under the new regression techniques, they show a Labour lead of 4pc over the Conservatives.

General Election 2017Current Voting Intention
PartyVote ShareSeatsVote ShareSeatsChange

An additional feature of regression techniques is that they give a seat-by-seat breakdown which each seat is individually predicted, rather than relying on uniform national swing assumptions.

This regression prediction by ComRes and Electoral Calculus was featured in the Daily Telegraph, "Tory Leavers most in danger of losing seats" on 20 April 2019.

Details of the regression method, and its successful testing with earlier pre-election polls can be found here.

Posted 20 April 2019