The British parliamentary election is set for Thursday, December 12 and it already looks as if current Prime Minister Boris Johnson will gain a substantial majority. A seat prediction poll by YouGov shows Johnson’s Conservative Party winning a solid majority of 68 seats while Jeremy Corbyn’s Labor Party losing 51 constituencies. The outcome would be the second worst result for the British left since World War II.
The MRP model (Multilevel Regression and Post-stratification) used by YouGov called 93 percent of seats correctly in 2017.
After much anticipation, YouGov’s official 2019 general election MRP model is here. The model, which called 93% of seats correctly in 2017, currently shows the Conservatives on course for a sizable majority.
Were the election held tomorrow, the Tories would win 359 seats (42 more than they took in 2017) and 43% of the vote (around the same as last time). In terms of seats won, this would be the Conservatives’ best performance since 1987.
Meanwhile, Labour are set to lose 51 seats – falling from 262 seats in 2017 to 211 now – and taking 32% of the vote (a nine percentage point decrease). In terms of seats won this would be the party’s worst performance since 1983.
What is significant is where Conservatives are gaining and Labor losing.
Most seats changing hands are ones that Labour won in 2017 that are now set to be taken by the Conservatives. What happens in these constituencies is the most important dynamic in deciding whether Boris Johnson has a majority, and how large it ends up being.
Of the 76 Labour-held seats where they lead the Tories by fewer than 8,000 votes, Jeremy Corbyn’s party is currently behind in 43 of them. The Conservatives also lead by 1 point in Leigh in Greater Manchester, which Labour won last time with a majority of 9,554.
But the swing is not uniform across all of these seats. There are much larger swings in the more pro-leave seats, allowing the Tories to gain Tom Watson’s old seat of West Bromwich East (9% swing) and win in Caroline Flint’s constituency of Don Valley (9% swing).
There is a myth among “Remain” supporters that given the choice again, British voters would want to overturn the results of the referendum and remain in the EU. That was never going to happen and the Labor Party is apparently going to pay for that delusion.
But it’s by no means a slam-dunk that Johnson will be able to get parliament behind his Brexit strategy. There’s still a lot of grumbling among Conservative MP’s meaning that Johnson still has some work to do. But with a much larger majority in parliament and what amounts to a mandate from voters to leave the EU, he will have a bigger margin for error as January 31, 2020 approaches.