Thursday, 28 January 2010

2010 – A Conservative victory?

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There seems to be a general presumption amongst the majority of the public that David Cameron will be installed as the next Prime Minister with a comfortable majority. With poll leads of 14%, why should he worry?
Yet with the Conservatives needing roughly 10% just to gain a majority of just one in the House of Commons, it demonstrates the scale of the task for Cameron. No wonder he repeats the mantra of "no complacency".
So what are the current forecasts?
YouGov who have a strong track record on predicting elections only show a 9% lead for the Conservatives in their latest poll for The Sunday Times.
The BBC Tracker is showing a 11% lead for the Conservatives but doesn’t predict what that means for a majority.
However, the UK Polling Report is showing a Conservative majority of 20 on 11% lead. 

ForecastUK is predicting a large 90 majority based on 14% lead.
Full Forecast
Party
Seats
Since 2005
Since Prev
Conservative
370
+157
+7
Labour
199
-148
-13
Lib Dem
47
-13
+6
SNP
8
+2
-1
Plaid Cymru
5
+3
nc
Green
1
+1
nc
Irish
18
nc
nc
Other
2
-2
-1
Conservative Majority
90
But every poll or poll of polls or poll tracker has to be treated with caution. There is usually a +/-3% polling margin for error which can significantly change a headline figure for seats for parties. Then there are the rogue polls as one company found when conducting on a bank holiday. Poll methodology is a BBC webpage that links to different polling companies to help explain the details.
So whilst a Labour majority still looks a tall order, the race is far from over. If Cameron trips up between now and May 6th then he could quite easily (if we believe the polls) be denied an outright victory.
One week is an awful long time in politics so four months is an eternity. In spite of a dreadful recession with the employment trend up (give or take odd months), an unpopular Prime Minister, two wars and repeated attempts to oust Brown as Labour leader, the next election is no means a foregone conclusion. If the economy is picking up and if Labour can get home its key economic messages of jobs, health and show that it has new policies it can drag itself back to a respectable position.
Will the headlines be :
  •          The Lib Dems waiting in the wings knowing that Nick Clegg could be kingmaker with a seat at the cabinet table.
  •          Possibly the first Green MP for Brighton & Hove – Caroline Lucas could be elected.
  •          Will the dreaded BNP come through like they did at the last European elections and grab a seat?
  •          Will the turnout of 61% in 2005 rise higher?
  •          125 MPs have already declared they are standing down, so with election losses there could be over one third of the Commons with fresh faces.
  •         Will we have a second general election within a year if Cameron has a minority government?
It will be an interesting election night.



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