Be afraid; be very afraid.
As I write this, it’s past 1AM in London, and less than six hours from the start of voting. Meaning it’s time for yours truly to once again try to predict an election.
If anything, the approaching vote is increasingly looking like what I expected it to be: opportunities for the Conservatives in the pro-Brexit North, countered by some rear-guard problems in pro-Remain London. If anything, the Conservatives are doing a better in the South outside London than I thought.
The pollsters aren’t much help here. It appears they have decided their real problem in 2015 was “herding” toward a non-existent dead heat. Instead, as UK Polling Report notes today, the range of Conservative leads in the polls (no poll has Labour ahead) is one to thirteen. Even without the traditional problem of dropping Don’t Know respondents, the polling firms don’t provide any real guidance.
I think the extremes in the range are wrong. Survation, for example, has turnout at 78% – a number not seen since 1974. Even the EU referendum had 72% turnout. That said, ICM and ComRes (which have double-digit Tory leads) presume turnout at 2015 levels. I find that hard to believe, too.
In the end, I’m guessing turnout in the low 70’s (akin to the referendum), with the Conservatives winning 43% of the vote, and Labour on 35%. I think the Conservatives will pick up seats in Wales, Scotland, and north of London, while losing seats within London.
Overall, here’s my final call:
Conservative: 350 (+20 from 2015), Majority of 50
Labour: 217 (-15)
Scottish National Party: 50 (-6)
Liberal Democrat: 10 (+2)
Democratic Unionist Party (NI, pro-London): 7 (-1)
Sinn Fein (NI, pro-Dublin): 5 (+1)
Plaid Cymru (Welsh nationalists): 3 (No Change)
SDLP (NI, soft pro-Dublin): 3 (NC)
Alliance (NI, neutral): 1 (+1)
Ulster Unionist Party (NI, pro-London): 1 (-1)
Green: 1 (NC)
Independent (NI, pro-London): 1 (NC)
Speaker: 1 (NC)
UKIP: 0 (-1)