Latest Forecast: Labour Majority Cut, Gains for Tories and Liberal Democrats

New: For those of you who would like to run a General Election Campaign yourselves, see our ongoing review of "Prime Minister Forever".

UK-Elect Forecast, 17th April 2005 onwards. This is the latest  UK-Elect forecast for the next General Election, and represents what we still currently expect to happen on May 5th.  From now until the election this forecast will be updated immediately when and if our expectation changes.  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 2 seats for all major parties.

As with the April 3rd/10th ForecastMarch 20th forecast, the March 5th forecast and the Feb 2005 forecast this forecast is again based on the new Scottish parliamentary boundaries.

This forecast assumes a slightly higher Tory vote than some previous ones.  This is due to a feeling that the Conservative election campaign is (despite some setbacks) slightly more efficient than previously anticipated. This forecast  also assumes a slightly higher Liberal Democrat vote than the last few predictions. The Labour lead, however, still looks more than sufficient to protect their overall majority. This is helped by a bias in the electoral system so strong that Tony Blair could win a majority even if the Labour Party came third in the polls. See "What if the Tories overtook Labour in votes?" What if the Liberal Democrat vote surged?, What if the Labour vote slumped?, What if the Tories reach 40%?, What if Tactical Voting explodes? and What if main Parties get equal votes? See also maps showing the 2001 General Election. and books such as From Votes to Seats: The Operation of the UK Electoral System since 1945

The percentages used for this forecast were Lab 37%, Con 34%, Lib Dem 23%. Other parties votes were not specifically set.  (If you prefer to forecast using your own percentages, the current opinion polls, or with a lower/higher level of tactical voting, download a trial version or browse the UK-Elect on-line shop. If you prefer to investigate what the betting companies believe the election results will be then click on the IG Index link to the left (hit your browser refresh button - usually F5 - if necessary to refresh it to show their current forecast majority).  If you believe in opinion polls too much, you probably need to see Opinion Polls: History, Theory and Practice or even Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians and Activists And if any of that is too heavy, you probably just need to have fun, in which case Prime Minister Forever is the obvious solution. Here's our work-in-progress draft review of this excellent General Election 2005 campaign simulation game)

Also, if you would like to forecast the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, London Assembly or your own local election, as well as the General Election, then click here to purchase

In this election simulation we have considered the current situation carefully, and have as a result slightly adjusted our forecasting parameters. This time we  assume that a maximum of 15% of people would be prepared to vote tactically against Labour in the right circumstances. (It should be emphasised that this figure is not the number that we think will vote tactically, simply the maximum number who would be prepared to do so if they lived in a constituency where the circumstances were right.) This number is a little lower than the last few forecasts, as we believe that the Conservative "dog whistle" campaign is reminding voters of differences between the parties on some potentially emotional issues such as asylum/race, thus dissuading some left/centre potential tactical voters from opposing Labour as a protest against the Iraq War, tuition-fees etc.. Because of this factor, the tactical voting calculation is also now adjusted to take more account of party second-preferences (e.g. both Labour and Conservative supporters are more likely to be prepared to vote tactically for the Liberal Democrats than for each other.)

Taking all these factors into account, the current official UK-Elect forecast for General Election 2005  is:



Change from current situation  Change from adjusted current situation  Change from 2001 election
Labour 368 -42 -31 -44
Conservative 180 +19 +16 +14
Liberal Democrat 67 +12 +13 +15
Scottish National Party 6 +1 +2 +2
Ulster Unionist 6 - - -
DUP 5 -1 -1 -
Plaid Cymru 5 +1 +1 +1
Sinn Fein 4 - - -
SDLP 3 - - -
Ind 1 - - -
Speaker 1 - - -
Labour Majority 91 -72 -63 -76
Forecast for South West England Forecast for Scotland  
Forecast for Wales Forecast for UK  
Forecast for London Forecast Gains  

Click on image to enlarge

With every forecast until the General Election we will also feature the detailed forecast for one or more constituencies.

For this Featured Constituency Forecast we return to the Conservative / Liberal Democrat marginal of Haltemprice and Howden:

Haltemprice and Howden, Humberside [Yorkshire and Humberside Euro/PR Region]
Electorate 67055
Jon Neal, Liberal Democrat 19,879 44.79%
Rt Hon David Davis, Conservative 19,293 43.47%
Edward Hart, Lab 4,143 9.33%
UK Independence Party 1,067 2.40%
Total 44382 66.18%
Liberal Democrat Majority 586 1.32%
Liberal Democrat Gain From Conservative.  Shadow Home Secretary David Davis loses his seat.
Swing from Conservative to Lib. Dem. of 2.83%

Notes: A uniform percentage swing method was used, and the percentages were applied to GB constituencies only. The assumption was made that up to 15% of the electorate would be prepared to consider voting tactically against the Labour Party (Note to UK-Elect users: the simulation was set to take account of party vote transfer preferences, and TV percentage was therefore set at 30% as the maximum vote transfer for any party was set to 50%. The number of iterations was set to 3.) The forecast base was the 2001 General Election constituency situation, adjusted to take account of the new Scottish parliamentary boundaries. 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. The "change from adjusted current situation" column represents the change from the  the current situation if the latest boundary changes are taken into consideration. The Labour majority figure here simply excludes the speaker from the calculation (Note: normally, in the event of a tie, the Speaker will vote with the Government.)

What if the Tories overtook Labour in votes?  What if the Liberal Democrat vote surged?  What if the Labour vote slumped?  What if the Tories reach 40%?  What if Tactical Voting explodes? What if main Parties get equal votes?


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