Forecast update: 6 March 2015

Forecast main 150306

The Tories have pulled level with Labour, gaining a point in our polling average to make it 33%-33%.

That makes them firmer favourites to win the most votes in two months’ time, with a 74% chance to Labour’s 26%. We now also make them slight favourites to win the most seats, with a 55% chance – up from 48% last week.

Their chances of winning a majority, though, remain slim: our model gives them a 10% chance of doing so. Labour’s chances are even slimmer, down to just 4%.

That leaves an 86% chance of a hung parliament, and Ed Miliband’s clear advantage in government formation (last week we gave him a 52% chance of being able to put together a majority, at least for a confidence motion, to David Cameron’s 35%) has eroded.

Our model now suggests a 45% chance that a Labour-led alliance would have a majority – just slightly more than the 41% chance of a Conservative-led government doing so. In the remaining 14% of cases, it would essentially depend on the SNP.


Date of forecast: 6 March 2015
Days till the election: 62

Inputted current average poll shares
Con: 33%
Lab: 33%
LD: 8%
UKIP: 14%
Others: 12%

Forecast GB Vote Shares (with 95% Prediction Intervals)
Con: 34.4% (30% – 39%)
Lab: 31.5% (27% – 36%)
LD: 10.1% (6% – 14%)
UKIP: 12.9% (9% – 17%)
Others: 11.1% (9% – 13%)

Forecast Scotland Vote Shares (with 95% Prediction Intervals)
SNP: 43% (39% – 48%)
Labour: 30% (26% – 35%)

Forecast GB Seats (with 95% Prediction Intervals)
Con: 286 (240 – 335)
Lab: 278 (231 – 321)
LD: 22 (13 – 34)
SNP: 40 (27 – 50)
PC: 3
Grn: 1
(May not sum to 632 due to rounding of sums of probabilities. Prediction intervals not yet available for UKIP, PC and Grn.)

Central forecast: Con short of a majority by 37
(Criterion for majority now changed to 323 not 326, assuming Sinn Fein win 5 seats and do not take them.)

Probabilities of key outcomes
Con largest: 55%
Lab largest: 45%
Hung Parliament: 86%
… with Con largest: 45%
… with Lab largest: 41%

Probabilities of predicted government outcomes:
(See here for explanations and assumptions)

Con majority: 10%
Con+DUP: 6%
Con+LD: 13%
Con+LD+DUP: 12%

Con largest, SNP kingmakers or wreckers: 14%

Lab majority: 4%
Lab+DUP: 5%
Lab+LD: 14%
Lab+LD+DUP: 10%
Lab+LD+DUP+SDLP+PC+Grn+Hermon: 8%
Lab+SNP: 4%

(Probabilities may not sum due to rounding)

7 thoughts on “Forecast update: 6 March 2015”

  1. Even with a Tory – Lim dem, their 15 short. Take away SF and add in DUP, It might give them major of one. It would all depends on if ukip would join in and this would give them four.

    BUT a Lab, lid dem, SNP goverment is more likely to happen… espeical with the lib dems getting a battering.

    1. Well, the latest 3 opinion polls (Populus, Ashcroft and YouGov) now show an average 3% Conservative lead. And we all know that the Conservatives fare somewhat better at a General Election than opinion polls tend to suggest.

      This is my take on the situation. After the election you will see either a Conservative government with a small overall majority or a Conservative minority government (or continuing Con/Lib Dem coalition) where the Conservatives get close to 325 seats. The Lib Dems will do better (in the actual election) than polls suggest as they have a more established (and effective) vote-gathering organisation, and errant Lib Dem voters will return to the fold.
      UKIP and the Greens will fare somewhat worse (than polls suggest) as their novelty appeal will diminish.

      In Scotland, Labour will lose a lot of seats, but there will not be the ‘bloodbath’ currently predicted.

      I am convinced that as we get near to the election your current ‘nightmare scenario’ (!) of a likely Miliband government shored up by Alex Salmond will galvanise the British (and especially English!) electors to get out and vote for Cameron. Surely a Miliband-Salmond government will appear even more unpalatable (to the electorate) than the prospect of a Kinnock-led government was in 1992.

      And just imagine what the Sun, The Mail, the Express, the Times and other right wing or centre-right newspapers will make of the Miliband-Salmond threat in the crucial moments before the May poll. Kinnock’s head in a lightbulb will be nothing compared with what you are going to see!!

  2. Given that individual MPs may rebel against coalition agreements, a majority of 1 or 2 probably won’t be enough for a government to form. Based on the numbers here, it looks pretty likely that the only combination of parties to command a workable majority of 10 or more will be Labour + Lib Dem + SNP. It seems like that makes it quite unlikely for Cameron to stay on as PM.

  3. It seems somewhat likely that we’ll end up with the Tories having more seats than Labour, but the parties of the left having a majority of seats in parliament.
    You assume that this would lead to a Labour PM, but in reality how likely do you think this is? Would the public be able to stomach a government lead by a party that doesn’t have the most seats?

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