It’s finally election day. After what has seemed like an interminably long run-up to one of the most unpredictable General Elections in living memory, we are finally on the cusp of finding out who will be elected to Westminster and where the chips will fall for the all-important coalition bargaining to come over the next week.
I’ve been following the ups and downs in the polls for a while now, as well as keeping tabs on Lord Ashcroft’s regular polls in the marginal constituencies that will be the real battleground for this election, and with my interest in statistics, politics and Excel I’ve built up a prediction for each of the UK’s 650 constituencies.
As it appears at the moment we will be heading for a Labour-led Government, with the red party taking two more seats than the Conservatives. While the combinations and permutations of Government are almost endless, and it’s completely impossible to say what the next Government will look like at the moment, what we can say is that the Conservatives will find it hard to take charge. Any combination of parties will need to survive the Queen’s Speech, which means that they need a majority vote for their proposals for Government to continue without another election. With Labour and the SNP adding up to a total of 327 seats (more than a majority of 323 without Sinn Fein), unless either of these two parties backed a Tory-led administration then it would be impossible for them to form a Government. Therefore the impetus is with Ed Miliband to form a Government, needing support from the SNP and the Lib Dems on some sort of basis.
My model started with the 2010 General Election constituency results and applies a uniform swing between the current poll of polls in the relevant nation (England, Scotland, Wales, NI) and the last election. I’ve also included every by-election and as many Lord Ashcroft polls as possible (106) – with a swing between then and the current poll-of-polls based on the poll-of-polls at the time being the prediction used. For seats where UKIP and the Greens aren’t standing I’ve re-apportioned their vote share to other parties based on the most recent British Election Study data depending on which of the other parties these voters voted for in 2010. While far from perfect, and lacking the nuances of things like incumbency bonuses, demographic weighting, tactical voting and pre-2010 performances I think it’s good enough to produce a general ballpark figure as to which party will win where.
These results are still up in the air and the final numbers will make all the difference, but here is the best guess at how today’s election will turn out:
This is my final poll of polls for Great Britain, with the polls contributing to it listed below.
|5-6 May||Lord Ashcroft||3,028||33%||33%||10%||11%||6%||8%|
|5-6 May||Ipsos MORI||1,096||36%||35%||8%||11%||5%||5%|
|30 Apr – 4 May||TNS-BMRB||889||33%||32%||8%||14%||6%||6%|
Here is the Scottish poll of polls, along with the polls it’s based on as well.
|5-6 May||Lord Ashcroft||282||54%||24%||11%||6%||1%||2%||1%|
|5-6 May||Ipsos MORI||128||51%||20%||20%||6%||2%||1%||1%|
|30 Apr – 4 May||TNS-BMRB||92||42%||28%||11%||9%||1%||4%||5%|
And finally, here is my prediction for the number of seats for each party:
|Conservatives||263 (-31)||0 (-1)||8||271||-32|
|Labour||242 (+51)||3 (-38)||28 (+2)||273||+15|
|Lib Dems||21 (-21)||2 (-9)||1 (-2)||24||-32|
|Sinn Fein||5 (-1)||5||-1|
You can click on one of the links below to find the predictions for each and every individual seat in the country, complete with expected vote shares and relative confidence in each ranging from Certain to Too Close to Call.
But in the essence of saving you time, and explaining the more interesting races in this election, here are some of the key constituency level results I’m predicting:
Aberdeen North – SNP
Perhaps not a massive constituency in the general context of the election, but Aberdeen North is my constituency and one where I believe the SNP will make one of their many gains. This was formerly a safe Labour seat with Frank Doran serving from 1997 until this year where he has handed over the candidacy to Richard Baker MSP.
While picking a sitting MSP to contest the seat might be a sign of the Labour party’s insistence on keeping grasp on the seat, I believe the groundswell of SNP support will be able to take this seat, although it might be closer than some of the other seats around here – such as Gordon over the River Don.
Brighton Pavilion – Green
This will be the only seat the Greens win in this election I predict, with Caroline Lucas being elected once again with a slightly increased majority. While the “Green surge” of a few months ago has definitely brought them into the limelight as a serious choice across the country, their base is far too narrow to be elected anywhere else and they haven’t made the inroads in the Lib Dem vote enough to make any gains it appears. There might be some close calls elsewhere, such as Bristol West, but this I believe that Brighton Pavilion will be the one speck of Green on the electoral map on Friday morning.
Renfrewshire East – Labour
Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy is in serious jeopardy of losing his own seat in what would be the ultimate humiliation for a party already facing their Waterloo. Recent polls have seen him gaining back on SNP candidate Kirsten Oswald, and if he indeed does win it’ll be on the backing of tactical voting from Conservatives. The margins between victory and defeat will be exceptionally narrow here, and it’s too close to call accurately, but at the moment I can only predict based on the figures at hand that show that Murphy will just scrape through.
Ross, Skye & Lochaber – SNP
Charles Kennedy’s long political career serving the Highlands will come to a halt, if not an end, tonight as he is poised to be unseated by the SNP’s Ian Blackford. Having lived in the constituency for most of my life it’s hard to believe that such a steadfast figure would fall, one that was leader of the UK Lib Dems and one of the leading politicians of last decades, but these are the turbulent times we live in. The last decade has been far from kind to Kennedy, with personal and political troubles befalling him at every corner, and while I’m sure every voter in Ross, Skye, Lochaber and beyond wishes him well I think another sad milestone will be reached as his Parliamentary career is ended tonight.
Sheffield Hallam – Liberal Democrats
Nick Clegg will hold on to his seat by his fingernails as a late surge of tactical voting from Conservatives will keep him in Parliament. While for a long time it looked like Clegg was a goner, with polls as late as last week showing Labour candidate Oliver Coppard in the lead, it appears that the name recognition of the leader has been able to see him pick up some momentum in the last few days that will get him re-elected. This is no sure thing, but for the Lib Dems it appears they’ll avoid the ultimate embarrassment of what will prove to be another disastrous election.
Thanet South – Conservatives
Another battle where the margins could be wafer-thin, Thanet South is currently in the Conservative column with Nigel Farage just a whisker behind. While the name recognition on the day could end up pushing Farage into Parliament, the seat looks like it will prove just that bit too hard to capture – considering the result will represent a 20 point swing to UKIP it isn’t too bad an achievement for the party at all.
In support of my predictions, I’ve placed several bets which I hope will not only bring a favourable result to the country, but also to my bank balance as well! Here are the bets placed, with a £5 going on each.
Most seats – Labour @ 3/1 = £20
Labour 251-275 seats @ 8/11 = £8.63
Conservatives 251-275 seats @ 11/2 = £32.50
Liberal Democrats 21-30 seats @ 4/7 = £7.85
SNP 51+ seats @ 8/11 = £8.63
Total potential winnings = £77.61
All predictions and their successes will be reported in my results piece coming on Saturday. Click below to find the individual constituency predictions.