Latest Forecast: Labour Majority Slashed, Lib Dem Gains, Improvement for Tories  

UK-Elect Forecast, 20th March 2005. (See also the latest UK-Elect forecast for the next General Election). As with the March 5th forecast and the Feb 2005 forecast it is again based on the new Scottish parliamentary boundaries, and 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 2 seats for all major parties.

This second March forecast assumes a slightly lower Labour vote and higher Tory vote than previously.  This is due to a feeling that the Conservative election campaign is slightly more efficient than previously anticipated (although some of the late February polls probably exaggerated their recovery). It's too early for Michael Howard or Charles Kennedy to celebrate, however, as the Labour lead still looks sufficient to protect their overall majority. This is helped by a bias in the electoral system so strong that Tony Blair could win an overall majority even if the Labour Party came third in the polls. See also "What if the Tories overtook Labour in votes?" What if the Liberal Democrat vote surged?, What if the Labour vote slumped? and What if the Tories reach 40%?)

The percentages used were Lab 36%, Con 32%, Lib Dem 22%, Nationalists 2.5%. (If you prefer to forecast using your own percentages, the current opinion polls, or with a lower/higher level of tactical voting, click here. Also click if you would like to forecast the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, London Assembly or your own local election.)

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, and an increase (only partly reversed) in the projected 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, in our judgement, created 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 (as in the previous few) 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 generally previously assumed, but still 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.)



Change from current situation  Change from adjusted current situation  Change from 2001 election
Labour 355 -55 -44 -57
Conservative 196 +35 +32 +30
Liberal Democrat 63 +8 +9 +11
Scottish National Party 7 +2 +3 +3
Ulster Unionist 6 - - -
DUP 5 -1 -1 -
Plaid Cymru 5 +1 +1 +1
Sinn Fein 4 - - -
SDLP 3 - - -
Ind 1 - - -
Speaker 1 - - -
Labour Majority 66 -57 -48 -61
Forecast for South West England Forecast for Scottish Highlands  
Forecast for Northern England Forecast for UK  
Forecast for London Forecast for Eastern England  

Click on image to enlarge

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

March's Featured Constituency Forecast is Haltemprice and Howden, Humberside [Yorkshire and Humberside Euro/PR Region]
Electorate(2001): 67055
[Jon Neal], LDm 17962 45.44%
[David Davis], Con 17488 44.24%
[Leslie Howell], Lab 3155 7.98%
[Joanne Robinson], UKInd 919 2.32%
Total 39524 58.94%
LDm Majority 474 1.20%
LDm Gain From Con
Liberal Democrat Gain From Con. Shadow Home Secretary Davis Davis loses his seat.
Swing from Conservative to Lib. Dem. of 2.77%

[] indicates party candidate at PREVIOUS election- actual 2005 candidate names not yet used for this forecast.

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. The "change from adjusted current situation" column represents the change from the  the current situation f the latest boundary changes are taken into consideration.

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%?




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