Issues & Ideas

David Cameron is headed back to Downing Street at this rate.
Issues & Ideas | 5th May 2015

Separate academic forecast: Tories will win vote by 2-3 points but Miliband most likely PM

In two days 35.0 per cent of Great Britain is going to vote Tory, with 32.6 per cent voting Labour. But that result will give the Tories only two more seats than Labour, and an ‘anti-Tory’ majority will exist in the House. Ed Miliband is the most likely post-election PM.

That is the conclusion of four academics – ‘Polling Observatory’ – who have been offering election predictions on May2015 for the past two months. Before the campaign started, Observatory suggested Labour would just about win the most seats. After the first half of the campaign, they thought little had changed. Now they think the Tories have pulled ahead in the national vote, but think that will translate into a minimal Tory seat advantage.

That will leave Labour as head of the most likely post-election bloc, because the SNP and other ‘anti-Tory’ parties will collectively hold a majority of seats in the House (323). This forecast contrasts with May2015’s own forecast, which predicts a similarly small Tory seat but wouldn’t be if we were predicting so large a Tory poll win, as well as numerous other forecasts which are more favourable to the Tories.

Read more
Issues & Ideas | 5th May 2015

Why winning back Ukippers won’t necessarily save the Tories

“It’s time to come home,” the Prime Minister recently implored Ukip voters, and he has been joined by Boris Johnson. Tory strategists hope this ‘vote Ukip, get Miliband’ message will scare enough people that it transforms purples into blues and hands Cameron an election victory on Thursday.

But I’m unconvinced. The alchemy doesn’t work. Only if Ukip almost disappears would a combined Tory-Lib Dem coalition win, assuming Clegg is willing to renew his marriage vows.

Tories presume Ukip voters are natural Tories whose ranks are plentiful enough to tip the balance of seats Cameron’s way. Well we can test this by seeing what might happen if Ukip collapsed in the UK’s marginal seats, as measured by the 130 whose pulse has been taken by Lord Ashcroft’s constituency polls.

Read more
The Gogglebox crew cut through the spin.
Featured, Issues & Ideas | 4th May 2015

Election 2015: Here’s what the Gogglebox cast think about every party leader

It’s been a long election campaign. And the party leaders have tried to make themselves loved by all, or at least by some. Has any of it cut through? Who is popular?

The polls tell us David Cameron is more popular than Ed Miliband, who is about as well-liked as the once ascendant Nick Clegg, and thought to be less effective than the polarising Nigel Farage. And more in-depth research has revealed the settings that we think our leaders look most impressive in.

But sometimes the best analysis comes from someone’s throw-away remark or initial impression. That’s why we’re great fans of Lord Ashcroft’s weekly focus group write-ups, and it’s why we’re now releasing videos of the cast of C4’s Gogglebox talking politics.

Read more
If Tories in the south west backed Clegg's party, they could be surer of scuppering the SNP.
Issues & Ideas | 2nd May 2015

Election 2015: If Tories are so concerned about the SNP, they should consider voting Lib Dem

David Cameron has argued that a Labour government dependent on SNP support would mean “total chaos”. All this scaremongering is really about trying to persuade voters in England and Wales to vote Conservative.

It is a very negative approach, but it might well work. In keeping with similar findings in other polls, a YouGov poll for last week’s Sunday Times found that when asked to think about the possibility of a Labour-SNP deal, 40 per cent thought that ‘Labour would do a deal with the SNP, and it puts me off them’. The equivalent figure rises to 50 per cent among Lib Dem voters and 58 per cent for those currently intending to vote Ukip.

Britain may be starting to experience what political scientists call ‘coalition-directed’ voting. This is common in countries where coalitions are the norm. It does not necessarily refer to coalitions (it could mean ‘confidence & supply’), but it is easier to refer to the group of parties that gets to control the government as a coalition.

Read more

Featured articles