Election forecasts

10 things we apparently already know about the election result

For an election that is frequently referred to as the most unpredictable for a generation, it sometimes feels like there’s a surprising amount that’s already being taken for granted about the outcome.

With how many of these assumptions would you agree?

1. No party will win a majority of seats in the House of Commons.

2. The Liberal Democrats will lose at least half of their current seats.

3. The SNP will win at least half of Labour’s seats in Scotland.

4. Labour will not lose any seats to the Conservatives.

5. Ukip’s total number of gains will be in the low single figures.

6. The Green party will win only one seat: Brighton Pavilion.

7. No party will win more than 300 seats in the House of Commons.

8. Labour will have more potential allies in a hung parliament than the Conservatives.

9. Ukip will hurt the Conservatives more than it hurts Labour.

10. No party will win more than 35% of the vote.

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Discussion

6 responses to ‘10 things we apparently already know about the election result

  1. 1: agree
    2: agree
    3: agree
    4: not convinced – there might be a seat somewhere that bucks the trend
    5: agree
    6: agree – the Greens are more likely to lose Brighton Pav than win anywhere else
    7: can’t be certain of this one – if the polls move one way or the other 300 seats is possible for both major parties
    8: agree, especially after what Alex Salmond said yesterday about voting down a minority Tory government
    9: agree
    10: agree

  2. I broadly agree with Alex: I think we can safely assume almost all of your points, with the following comments:

    4 – this is the one that is most likely to be wrong: there must be a reasonable chance that Labour could lose a seat or two to the Conservatives
    6 – it is unlikely, I agree, but I think the Greens could scrape one more seat; that said, you are probably right to make this assumption
    7 – I suspect no party will get 300 seats, but it must remain an outside possibility.

    I suppose it depends on how confident you need to be before making an assumption: certainty/near certainty, very likely, more likely than not…

  3. I think all ten are very likely and the only doubts in my mind are 2 and 7.

    LDs won 57 seats in 2010 and they just might hold 29.

    One of the major parties may just get 300 seats but I think 290 maximum.

    Can I ask a question please? Why was Holyrood and Cardiff Bay term increased in 2011 from 4 to 5 years? Was it to align with 5 years for Westminster? Was it to avoid clash of election date 7 May 2015 with Westminster? Another Reason please? Thanking you

  4. The additional year was added by the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. See http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/14/contents/enacted

    I understand that the terms in Scotland and Wales were extended to avoid a clash with the Westminster election – those elections would have also have been 7 May 2015. It is not clear to my why that is an issue, although I suppose you might see (say) the SNP and PC doing better in the Westminster elections if they were also compaigning for their devolved legislatures at the same time. Don’t the polls for local council elections often coincide with the general election date?

    I think the date was put back one year, but the four year term was not changed. As Westminster has a five year fixed term, we end up with another “clash” in 2020, unless Westminster goes earlier than expected, or the Scottish and Welsh elections are put back again.

  5. Thank you Andrew.

    In fact it used to be impossible to have a general election on the same day as council elections but Labour lost vote of confidence in 1979 and they brought in legislation to allow it. Hence the general election in May 79 and since then all elections have been between April and June.

  6. Sorry, I was not voting in 1979! I barely remember the “winter of discontent” and then “where there is discord…” so the details of the electoral legislation would have been beyond me!

    What legislation prevented a general election being held on the same day as local council elections?

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