Forget opinion polls. Why GE2017 result will be Con 43 pct to Labour 35 pct
Forget the opinion polls. The best guide to today's general election is what happened just two years ago in 2015. Use that as your base, then add in the extra votes that the Tories and Labour will get from other sources, and you get Con 43 to Lab 35
So, here is my final prediction: Tories 43 percent, Labour 35 with a +/- 2 percentage point margin of error for both scores to allow for the unpredictability of turnout. Tory majority of 80-100 seats.
I base my prediction on some very simple maths. My central assumption is that because the last election was only two years ago the political landscape hasn't really shifted since then. We would do well to anchor everything in the 2015 results, I submit, and then play around a bit based on what actually has changed.
There's nothing especially subtle about this. The Tories secured 36.8 percent at the last election in 2015 which was, to repeat, just two years ago. UKIP got 12.7 percent. Overall, practically everyone who voted Tory last time will stay with them, while, as the opinion polls indicate*, 50 percent of UKIP voters will go back to the Tories. The Tories can't get votes from anywhere else. So, thanks to UKIP, I'm adding 6.35 percent to the Tory vote from last time to make 43 and a bit.
My Labour prediction is a bit messier, and introduces more variables. It is, therefore, less firm than my prediction for the Tories. But, here goes.
Labour got 30.5 percent last time. About 10 percent of the UKIP vote is going to Labour, so I will add an extra 1.3 percentage points from last time. The Lib Dems are staying where they were at about 8 percent. Scots and Welsh Nats are Lefties but they'll stay where they were too. So no joy for Corbyn from that lot.
Where he will pick up some numbers is from the far-Left voters who have previously gone for the Greens (3.8 percent at the 2015 election), and communists and Socialist Worker types who usually don't vote.
Very hard to predict how big the previously non-voting communist constituency is, but if we say it is about 5 percent of the population, based on personal interactions and anecdotal evidence, and that half of them will vote Labour this time we can give Corbyn an extra 2.5 percent.
So that, plus just over a quarter of the Green vote, and 10 percent of the UKIP vote gives Corbyn an extra 4.8 percentage points on top of the 30.5 percent Labour got last time, yielding 35 and a bit.
To repeat and to summarise, when rounded up and down, that all gives the following: Con 43, Lab 35.
We shall see...
*That is my only concession to use of the opinion polls. The theme of half of former UKIP voters going back to the Tories has at least been consistent...
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