UK-Elect General Election Forecast, February 11 2015.
Hung Parliament - Labour Short By 47 - SNP Support Would Not Be Enough
This month the Scottish National Party is again forecast to have a key role after the next UK General Election - but the 45 seats forecast for the SNP, a little down on the more than 50 seats suggested by previous UK-Elect forecasts, would not quite be sufficient to give an Labour/SNP alliance an overall majority. In fact, in theory, the result forecast would leave any Labour/SNP alliance needing to secure the support of two other MPs to obtain an overall majority. Of course, in reality any result similar to that forecast would put the SNP in a very strong position to choose who governs Britain. Taken together with the rise of the UK Independence Party and the fall in Liberal Democrat support in the polls, there can be little doubt that British politics is going through one of its most fascinating periods ever.
This forecast was done by the UK-Elect v9.2 method. This method, a little less experimental than the technique used in the previous two UK-Elect forecasts, is based on the traditional Uniform Swing forecasting technique, but enhanced to take take account of many other factors such as regional differences, recent local constituency opinion polls (including the updated polls from Lord Ashcroft) and byelections, tactical voting, enhanced levels of support for incumbent candidates (particularly from smaller parties), and the use of multiple iterations to achieve the correct target percentages. (The Greens will be disappointed to see that Norwich South, a four-party contest, is forecast to be won by Labour using this more mainstream forecasting configuration.) Note: The settings for this forecast differed slightly from the previous two forecasts in that the incumbency support weighting was increased, which tended to benefit Liberal Democrat incumbent MPs. In current circumstances (barring any major increase in their poll ratings) this forecast can be regarded as representing the likely realistic upper limit for the forecast number of Liberal Democrat MPs.The GB percentages used for this forecast were Lab 32%, Con 32%, UKIP 15%, Lib Dem 8%, Green 7%. For Scotland the percentages used were SNP 43%, Lab 27%, Con 14%, Lib Dem 6%, UKIP 5%, Green 5%, for Wales the percentages used were Lab 37% Con 23% UKIP 16% Plaid Cymru 10% Green 7% Lib Dem 6%, and for London the percentages used were Lab 42% Con 32% UKIP 10% Green 8% Lib Dem 7% Other parties votes were not specifically set.
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Note: for political campaign analysis maps showing in which constituencies the parties are currently doing better or worse than would be expected by current opinion polls, see the UK-Elect maps page.
Notes: The forecast base was the 2010 General Election, although
gains are compared with the current situation (at February 2nd 2015).
The UK-Elect v9.2 forecasting method was used. This is based on Uniform National Swing, but the
forecast was made on a separate regional basis for Scotland, Wales, London, and Great Britain,
with many other factors taken into consideration, including by-election results, local constituency
opinion polls, tactical voting, and enhanced support for incumbent parties. Options to compensate for some of the oddities
of UNS were also set - e.g. to prevent the forecasting of negative vote totals. Extra incumbency support was enabled -i.e.
both the support built into the UK-Elect v9.2 method, and additional party and candidate-specific support.
This tended to benefit Liberal Democrat MPs, so,in current circumstances (barring any major increase in their poll ratings)
this forecast can be regarded as representing the likely realistic upper limit for the forecast number of Liberal Democrat MPs.
Multiple iterations were used to achieve the correct target percentages.
See UK Election Forecasting Theory, Techniques and Controversial Discussions and UK Election Forecasting - A detailed explanation of the techniques used by UK-Elect for more details of UK-Elect forecasting techniques, or if you have a Windows-based PC then try some forecasting yourself using the UK-Elect Trial Version
UK-Elect v9.2 users can reproduce the above forecast by doing a UK-Elect v9.2 "Guided Forecast" and specifying the separate percentages for Scotland, Wales, London and the overall GB percentages. Note that additional tactical voting and incumbency support was enabled, although the UK-Elect v9.2 method includes built-in support for incumbency in any case, so this resulted in a considerable amount of forecast additional support for incumbent parties and MPs. UK-Elect v9.2(8) was used - users of earlier versions of UK-Elect 9.2 may need to re-download their copy to achieve an identical result - this should be done no later than 16th February.Results from Northern Ireland are based on those of the last election and included for completeness only.Suggestions and Corrections: UK election forecasts are sometimes very controversial. To notify us of any suggested change to this one, or to let us know of any part of it that is just dead wrong, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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