Predicting Seat Levels in the 2017 UK General Election based on recent Opinion Poll Figures (8th June 2017)

Adrian Kavanagh, 8th June 2017

It’s Election Day in the United Kingdom. What do the final opinion poll figures of the general election campaign suggest in relation to the likely number of seats that each party will win in that contest? The opinion polls across the final few weeks of the campaign showed Labour gaining significant ground on the Conservatives, albeit not to such an extent that these improved Labour fortunes seem likely to prevent the Conservatives winning another majority in the House of Commons after the June 8th election. Both of the two largest parties, as of now, are well ahead of the support levels that they won at the 2015 General Election, meaning that the smaller parties are at risk of being squeezed out in this contest.

HouseofCommonsseatestimates_8June2017A

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Predicting Seat Levels in the 2017 UK General Election based on recent Opinion Poll Figures (29th May 2017)

Adrian Kavanagh, 29th May 2017

There is little more than a week left now until the general election that is scheduled to be held in the United Kingdom on Thursday 8th June 2017.

What do the latest opinion poll figures suggest in relation to the likely number of seats that each party will win in that contest? The opinion polls across the last few weeks of the campaign have shown Labour gaining significant ground on the Conservatives, albeit not to such an extent that these improved Labour fortunes seem likely to prevent the Conservatives winning another majority in the House of Commons after the June 8th election. Both of the two largest parties, as of now, are well ahead of the support levels that they won at the 2015 General Election, meaning that the smaller parties are at risk of being squeezed out.

As the last general election in the United Kingdom showed, estimating seat levels for the House of Commons elections is a hazardous task to engage in, as the votes to seats ratio will be skewed by geography and spatial differences in terms of support gains/losses for different parties. For instance, Labour’s overall share of the vote increased in 2015, relative to the 2010 General Election, by 1.5%, but the extent of the party’s support/seat losses to the Scottish National Party in Scotland (returning with just 1 of the 41 seats that the party had won there in 2010) meant that most of the 701,147 votes won by Labour in Scotland were effectively wasted votes.

 

HouseofCommonsseatestimates_29May2017

For the purposes of this analysis, I have averaged out the estimated support levels for the five political parties in the United Kingdom (Conservatives, Labour, United Kingdom Independence Party, Liberal Democrats and the Green Party) that are covered in all of these polls. As no consistently accurate poll figures are presented here for the regional parties, or for the very small parties, I have assumed – for the purposes of this model – that support levels for these parties/groupings will remain “as was” relative to the 2015 contest. Averaging out the party support estimates in the most recent YouGov/Times, Kantar, ICM/Guardian, Survation/Mail on Sunday, ORB/Sunday Telegraph, Ipsos-MORI-Evening Standard, Opinium/ opinion polls (as published on the UK Polling Report website) estimates support levels for these five parties to stand as follows: Conservatives 45.6% (up by 8.7% relative to 2015), Labour Party 34.2% (up by 3.8% relative to 2015), United Kingdom Independence Party 4.1% (down by 8.5% relative to 2015), Liberal Democrats 9.0% (up by 0.3% relative to 2015) and Green Party 2.2% (down by 1.6% relative to 2015).

I have separately factored in the results of the latest Scottish regional opinion poll (the YouGov/Sunday Times poll of 19 May) into the support/seat estimate figures for the 59 Scottish constituencies. This poll estimated support levels for the five aforementioned parties and the Scottish National Party as follows: Scottish National Party 42% (down by 8.0% relative to 2015), Conservatives 29% (up by 14.1% relative to 2015), Labour 19% (down by 5.3% relative to 2015), United Kingdom Independence Party 1% (down by 0.6% relative to 2015), Liberal Democrats 6% (down by 1.5% relative to 2015) and Green Party 2% (up by 0.7% relative to 2015).

Using the same constituency-level analysis model that I employ to study the likely impact of Irish opinion poll figures on Dail-seat estimates, I estimate the following number of seats would be won by these parties – and other parties in England, Scotland and Wales – in June 2017, should the latest opinion poll figures be replicated exactly at the general election contest (As noted below, I also apply the figures in the most recent Scottish regional poll to generate separate support/seat estimates for the 59 Scottish constituencies): Conservatives 360 (up by 30 seats relative to 2015)Labour Party 218 (down by 14 relative to 2015)Scottish National Party 44 (down by 12 relative to 2015)Liberal Democrats 6 (down by 2 relative to 2015)Plaid Cymru 3 (NC relative to 2015), Green Party 0 (down by relative to 2015) and United Kingdom Independence Party (down by 1 relative to 2015). Continue reading

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Predicting Seat Levels in the 2017 UK General Election based on recent Opinion Poll Figures (24th May 2017)

Adrian Kavanagh, 24th May 2017

There are just over two weeks to go until the general election that is scheduled to be held in the United Kingdom on Thursday 8th June 2017. What do the latest opinion poll figures suggest in relation to the likely number of seats that each party will win in that contest? As the last general election in the United Kingdom showed, this is a hazardous task to engage in, as the votes to seats ratio can be skewed by geography and spatial differences in terms of support gains/losses for different parties. For instance, Labour’s overall share of the vote increased in 2015, relative to the 2010 General Election, by 1.5%, but the extent of the party’s support/seat losses to the Scottish National Party in Scotland (returning with just 1 of the 41 seats that the party had won there in 2010) meant that most of the 701,147 votes won by Labour in Scotland were effectively wasted votes.

HouseofCommonsseatestimates_24May2017c

For the purposes of this analysis, I have averaged out the estimated support levels for the five political parties in the United Kingdom (Conservatives, Labour, United Kingdom Independence Party, Liberal Democrats and the Green Party) that are covered in all of these polls. As no consistently accurate poll figures are presented here for the regional parties, or for the very small parties, I have assumed – for the purposes of this model – that support levels for these parties/groupings will remain “as was” relative to the 2015 contest. Averaging out the party support estimates in the most recent ICM/Guardian, Kantar, Survation/Mail on Sunday, YouGov/Sunday Times, ComRes/Sunday Mirror and Opinium/Observer opinion polls (as published on the UK Polling Report website) estimates support levels for these five parties to stand as follows: Conservatives 47.3% (up by 10.4% relative to 2015), Labour 30.3% (down by 0.2% relative to 2015), United Kingdom Independence Party 5.4% (down by 7.3% relative to 2015), Liberal Democrats 9.0% (up by 0.9% relative to 2015) and Green Party 2.7% (down by 1.0% relative to 2015).

Using the same constituency-level analysis model that I employ to study the likely impact of Irish opinion poll figures on Dail-seat estimates, I estimate the following number of seats would be won by these parties – and other parties in England, Scotland and Wales – in June 2017, should the latest opinion poll figures be replicated exactly at the general election contest (As noted below, I also apply the figures in the most recent Scottish regional poll to generate separate support/seat estimates for the 59 Scottish constituencies): Conservatives 388 (up by 58 seats relative to 2015)Labour Party 187 (down by 45 relative to 2015)Scottish National Party 44 (down by 12 relative to 2015)Liberal Democrats 7 (down by 1 relative to 2015)Plaid Cymru 4 (up by 1 relative to 2015), Green Party 1 (no change relative to 2015) and United Kingdom Independence Party (down by 1 relative to 2015). Continue reading

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Candidates for the next (2018-2021) General Election by constituency

Adrian Kavanagh (First posted on 19th April 2017 – this post will be updated as and when new candidates are selected/declared)

The run in to the next general election, which can take place at any stage over the next four years, has officially commenced given that the Labour Party has now started the process of selecting their candidates for the next general election contest, commencing with the selection of Ged Nash as their candidate for the Louth constituency on 12th April 2017. (See this post for a list of the candidates for the 2016 General Election and an analysis of candidate selection trends at that election.)

This post will track all candidate selections or candidate declarations, with respect to the next general election, as and when these happen (and I become aware of them!). This will also take account of the fact that there will be changes to Dail constituencies at the next general election, as the report of the 2017 Constituency Commission has now been put into law (in December 2017) by a new Electoral Act.

The number of candidates selected by parties and political groupings (to date)/number of independents who have signaled their intention to contest the next general election are also outlined here, with web links to the official website candidate pages to be provided for these parties/groups in cases where these exist.

As of now (as far as I am aware), 170 candidates have been selected to contest the next general election, or have – in the case of independents – declared their intention to contest the next general election. 58 of these candidates are women (34.1%) and 112 of these candidates are men (65.9%).

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Predicting Seat Levels in the 2017 UK General Election based on recent Opinion Poll Figures (19th April 2017)

Adrian Kavanagh, 19th April 2017

Following an announcement by Theresa May yesterday and a House of Commons vote to confirm this today, a “snap” general election is now scheduled to be held in the United Kingdom on Thursday 8th June 2017. What do the latest opinion poll figures suggest in relation to the likely number of seats that each party will win in that contest? As the last general election in the United Kingdom showed, this is a hazardous task to engage in, as the votes to seats ration can be skewed by geography and spatial differences in terms of support gains/losses for the different parties. For instance, Labour’s overall share of the vote increased in 2015, relative to the 2010 General Election, by 1.5%, but the extent of the party’s support/seat losses in Scotland to the Scottish National Party (returning with just 1 of the 41 seats that the party had won there in 2010) meant that most of the 701,147 votes won by Labour in Scotland were effectively wasted votes.   Continue reading

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Census 2016 Definitive Population by Area Figures: What these mean for the 2017 Constituency Commission review

Adrian Kavanagh, 6th April 2017

The final/definitive population by area Census 2016 figures were published earlier today (at 11 am), showing a population level within the state of 4,761,865, marking a notable increase (of 173,613 – 3.8%) on the 4,588,252 population level recorded for the 2011 Census. (The provisional figures published back in July 2016 only under-estimated this national population figure by 3,889 people – these estimates were only out by 0.08%.)  This now leaves an average population of 30,138.4 per Dail Deputy across the State (for the current 158-Dail seat context).

Given that the Constitution explicitly states that the population per TD ratio nationally (this does not apply to individual constituencies) must not exceed 30,000 (or indeed fall below 20,000), this means that the smallest number of Dail deputies, which can be envisaged in the upcoming Constituency Commission review of/report on Dail constituency boundaries, is 159, which is a higher number that the current membership (158 TDs) of Dail Eireann. As a result, the extent of the boundary changes that will be required is probably more extensive than would have been envisaged prior to the publication of the preliminary Census 2016 population figures back in July 2016. Continue reading

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“Heading towards a Three-Party System?”: Constituency-level analysis of the Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI opinion poll (2nd March 2017) and other March/April/May polls

Adrian Kavanagh, 2nd March 2017

After a series of poor figures across opinion polls in the earlier months of 2017, this morning’s Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI poll brings better news for Fine Gael – offering the party its highest support level across most of the recent polls and leaving it standing just one percentage point behind Fianna Fail. Fianna Fail’s support level here is in line with that party’s strong showing across most of the polls carried out in the first few weeks of 2017, as is Sinn Fein’s – given that the Irish Times/Ipsos-MRBI opinion poll was published on 8th December 2016, the four percentage points gain for that party in this poll can be seen to reflect trends in other polls across the past few weeks/months. As it stands, the three largest parties command a combined support level of 78% in this opinion poll (roughly fifteen percent higher than the combined support level for these parties in the February 2016 election), while support for Labour, a number of the smaller parties/groupings and independent candidates has declined relative to the support levels at the last general election. Could it be that the Irish party system is becoming less fragmented, with support levels starting to harden around the three largest parties???

The 2nd March Irish Times/Ipsos-MRBI opinion poll estimates party support levels as follows: Fianna Fail 29% (down 1% relative to the previous Ipsos-MRBI opinion poll), Fine Gael 28% (up 1%), Sinn Fein 21% (up 4%), Independents and Others 18% (down 2%) – including Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 3%, Social Democrats 1%, Green Party 3%, Independents 10% Labour Party 4% (down 2%). My constituency-level analysis of these poll figures estimates that party seat levels, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election, would be as follows:  Fianna Fail 54, Fine Gael 54, Sinn Fein 34, Labour Party 1, Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit 3, Social Democrats 1, Green Party 2, Independents 6.   Continue reading

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