- Dan Kitwood / Getty
Shock new projection suggests Britain is heading for a hung parliament. Pollsters predict Conservatives will lose 20 seats with Labour gaining nearly 30. Such a result would throw Britain back into the era of coalition government and put Theresa May’s future in doubt.
LONDON – Theresa May is on course to lose her majority in parliament, according to striking new analysis by one of Britain’s leading pollsters.
A new projection by YouGov for the Times finds that the Conservatives are set to lose twenty seats and Labour gain nearly 30 seats in next week’s general election in a result that would completely defy previous expectations.
Such a result would cause a “hung parliament” with no party having overall control and throw Britain back into the era of coalition government.
YouGov / Times Projection: Conservatives: 310 seats (down from 330) Labour: 257 seats (up from 229) SNP: 50 (down from 54) Liberal Democrats: 10 seats (up from 9) Greens: 1 seat (unchanged)
It would also cast the prime minister’s future into doubt after having called the snap election to “strengthen my hand” in Brexit negotiations.
When the prime minister called the election last month, polls suggested she was on course for a landslide majority with leads of up to 24 points in some polls.
In the wake of Macron winning a landslide victory in the French presidential election, May raised expectations of winning an “equally strong mandate” in the UK.
However, today’s analysis suggests that advantage has all but disappeared with May now risking being ousted from Downing Street altogether.
Their model is based on one they claim to have tested during the EU referendum which successfully forecast a win for Leave, against the predictions of most other polls and commentators.
- Matt Cardy / Getty
In order to come to their projection, they interviewed 50,000 people across the country over the course of a week and then analysed their results alongside publicly available census, demographic and electoral data.
Writing in the Times, YouGov’s chief executive Stephen Shakespeare says the model comes with a large margin of error, suggesting that the Tories could still be on course for a comfortable majority in line with some other recent polls.
“We know we run a risk publishing so much data in the heat of an election but as data scientists we are committed to innovating to increase both accuracy and specificity,” Shakespeare says
The news has already caused turbulence in the financial markets with the pound falling against both the euro and the dollar.
Here comes Corbyn
The findings follow a surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn since the start of the campaign. A YouGov poll at the end of last week found that the Labour leader now has a net favourability of minus 11 compared to the minus 42 he had at the start of the campaign.
By contrast, Theresa May’s ratings have plummeted since the launch of her party’s manifesto and the row over the so-called “dementia tax.” The poll found the prime minister had a net favourability of minus 8 just a few points higher than Corbyn’s.
Corbyn’s recovery was checked somewhat yesterday however, after he stumbled during an interview on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.
The Labour leader failed to answer a question on the cost of Labour’s flagship childcare pledge and was filmed frantically searching for the figure in his manifesto and IPad.