UK-Elect Forecast for February 2004:

This forecast is the February 2004 UK-Elect forecast for the next General Election. It is intended to represent what we expect will actually happen at the next General Election  (although major events, e.g. wars or resignation of a party leader would of course affect the totals). Previous UK-Elect forecasts of this type, based on anticipated voting trends (as opposed to current opinion polls) have been quite accurate. Those before the 2001 election were within a few seats for all parties.

The percentages used were Lab 35%, Con 38%, Lib Dem 18%, Nationalists 2.5%.

Interestingly, for the first time in a UK-Elect forecast the assumption is made that the balance of tactical voting will be against Labour. This is in reaction to the after-effects of the Iraq War, a series of unpopular policies such as tuition fees, and the Hutton Inquiry, which some will view as a cynical and shameful government-appointed and restricted exercise, aimed at curbing BBC criticism of government actions. The combination of these factors will now, in our judgement, create enough anger in a small proportion of the electorate (10% is assumed) to persuade them to vote for anyone who can defeat the local Labour MP.

Party Seats Change
Labour 324 -86
Conservative 267 +101
Liberal Democrat 39 -15
Ulster Unionist 6 -
DUP 5 -
Plaid Cymru 5 +1
Scottish National Party 4 -1
Sinn Fein 4 -
SDLP 3 -
Ind 1 -
Speaker 1 -
NOC. Labour Short By 6  
Forecast for Wales Forecast for Scottish Highlands  
Forecast for South West England Forecast for UK  
Forecast Gains for UK Forecast for London  

Notes: A uniform percentage swing method was used, and the percentages were applied to GB constituencies only. The assumption was made that up to 10% of the electorate would be prepared to consider voting tactically against the Labour Party. The forecast base was the 2001 General Election constituency situation, but changes shown are compared to the current political situation (rather than the 2001 election). No attempt was made to apply more accurate Scottish or Welsh poll percentages to the forecasting of constituencies in those areas (hence the forecasting of Nationalist gains or losses is likely to be less accurate). Results from Northern Ireland are based on those of the last election and included for completeness only.



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