Chopper Brexit Podcast 21 March 2019

This page first posted 21 March 2019

Headline Prediction

In a dynamic political environment, the Conservatives have lost support as the party continues to be divided over Brexit and Theresa May has sought an extension from the EU. The Conservatives are predicted to be three seats short of a majority if there were a fresh general election. Although they gain five seats on the previous general election, they would still have to rely on DUP to form a government.

Party2017 Votes2017 SeatsPred VotesGainsLossesNet ChangePred Seats
CON 43.5%318 37.2%116+5323
LAB 41.0%262 33.4%018-18244
LIB 7.6%12 9.5%80+820
UKIP 1.9%0 6.7%00+00
Green 1.7%1 4.1%00+01
SNP 3.1%35 3.3%60+641
PlaidC 0.5%4 0.5%01-13
Minor 0.7%0 5.3%00+00
N.Ire 18 00+018

Prediction based on four opinion polls from 7 Mar 2019 to 15 Mar 2019, sampling 5,867 people. Pollsters: Kantar Public, Opinium, YouGov, Survation.

The Independent Group (TIG)

Surprisingly, the situation for the Conservatives becomes slightly worse if the Independent Group (TIG) forms a political party and fields candidates. In this case, the Conservatives would be 25 seats short of a majority and parliament would be badly hung. It would not be easy for any grouping to get a majority.

Party2017 Votes2017 SeatsPred VotesPred Seats
CON 43.5%318 35.2%301
LAB 41.0%262 33.9%258
LIB 7.6%12 8.2%20
UKIP 1.9%0 6.7%0
Green 1.7%1 3.9%1
SNP 3.1%35 3.1%44
PlaidC 0.5%4 0.5%3
TIG 0.0%0 5.4%5
N.Ire 18 18

Prediction based on three opinion polls from 4 Mar 2019 to 17 Mar 2019, sampling 5,540 people. Pollsters: ComRes, Opinium, BMG.

This prediction is based on the hypothesis that the Labour party splits into two. The original official Labour party ('LAB') and the new breakaway party (called 'TIG' for short) are shown separately. The model is based in each seat on a random simulation of Labour votes between the old and new parties, and it is not yet possible to give a definite seat-by-seat prediction or show changed seats.

Public opinion

Some notable poll results on public opinion about party leaders and Brexit:

QuestionFirst OptionSecond OptionDon't KnowPollster
Is Theresa May doing well or badly as PM?26pc Well66pc Badly8pcYouGov 14-15 Mar
Has Theresa May handled Brexit well or badly?22pc Well71pc Badly8pcYouGov 14-15 Mar
Who would be the best Prime Minister?29pc
Theresa May
Jeremy Corbyn
Opinium 12-15 Mar
Do you trust MPs to do the right thing by the country over Brexit?11pc Agree68pc Disagree22pcComRes 15-17 Mar
If the proposed deal is rejected by MPs, what should happen next?42pc Leave
with No Deal
Delay Brexit
14pcYou Gov 14-15 Mar,
Opinium 12-15 Mar

Note that Martin Baxter mis-spoke on the podcast and confused the first two rows. But Theresa May is not well appreciated either as a Prime Minister or for her handling of Brexit.

Brexit Outcome probabilities

The Brexit outcomes are narrowing to three possibilities:

The Conservative party is split between the first two options, and the EU appears to favour the third option if their deal isn't agreed. Intriguingly, Brexiteers fear the proposed deal more than they fear delay. Conversely, the Remainer MPs fear No Deal more than they dislike delay. The net result could be a delay of at least a year with the requirement to conduct another referendum.

We can infer the probabilities of these outcomes from the Betfair Exchange betting market, which has two-way prices. These currently are:

Outcome / eventProbability
No deal Brexit in March20%
Second EU referendum in 201927%
Deal passes by March32%
New General Election in 201942%
Brexit happens by Dec 202178%
Brexit delayed beyond March81%

No Deal is the least likeliest option, but still has a one-in-five chance of happening. Another referendum has a one-in-four chance, and the deal itself has a one-in-three chance of being approved before the end of March.

Brexit outcome chances from the betting markets, 21 March 2019
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