UK-Elect Forecast for January 2005:

This forecast is the January 2005 UK-Elect forecast for the next British General Election (you may also wish to see our latest forecast). The January 2005 forecast is our first forecast based on the new Scottish parliamentary boundaries, and is intended to represent a realistic possibility for what 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 30%, Lib Dem 24%, Nationalists 2.5%.

The main change over the last year in our forecasts is a slow reduction in the anticipated total share of the vote won by the two main parties (in particular the Conservative Party), and an increase in the Liberal Democrat vote, coupled with an increasing belief that there is a significant possibility of anti-Labour tactical voting in some seats. This is in reaction to the after-effects (and continuing effects) of the Iraq War and a series of unpopular policies such as tuition fees. The combination of these and other factors will, in our judgement, create enough anger in a small proportion of the electorate to persuade them to vote for anyone who can defeat the local Labour MP. In this election simulation we assume that a maximum of 20% of people would be prepared to vote tactically against Labour in the right circumstances. This is a little higher than we have previously assumed, but within what we judge to be a realistic range (and it should also be emphasised that this figure is not the number that we think will vote tactically, simply those who would be prepared to do so if they lived in a constituency where the circumstances were right.)

Party Seats Change
Labour 366 -35
Conservative 166 -
Liberal Democrat 82 +31
Scottish National Party 7 +3
Ulster Unionist 6 -
DUP 5 -
Plaid Cymru 5 +1
Sinn Fein 4 -
SDLP 3 -
Ind 1 -
Speaker 1 -
Labour Majority 88  
Forecast for Wales Forecast for Scottish Highlands  
Forecast for South West England Forecast for UK  
Forecast Gains for UK Forecast for London  

Click on image to enlarge

Notes: A uniform percentage swing method was used, and the percentages were applied to GB constituencies only. The assumption was made that up to 20% of the electorate would be prepared to consider voting tactically against the Labour Party. 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.



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