• Thursday, July 18, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Polls predict record Conservative defeat in July 4 election

YouGov had the Conservatives at 108 seats and the Liberal Democrats at 67, while Savanta predicted the Conservatives would take 53 seats and the Liberal Democrats 50.

The Savanta poll indicated Sunak could lose his own parliamentary seat in northern England. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

THREE opinion polls on Wednesday predicted a significant defeat for the Conservatives in the July 4 election, forecasting a large majority for the Labour Party after 14 years in opposition.

Polling by YouGov showed Keir Starmer’s Labour on track to win 425 parliamentary seats in Britain’s 650-seat House of Commons, the most in its history. Savanta predicted 516 seats for Labour, and More in Common gave it 406.

YouGov had the Conservatives at 108 seats and the Liberal Democrats at 67, while Savanta predicted the Conservatives would take 53 seats and the Liberal Democrats 50. More in Common forecast 155 and 49 seats respectively.

Chris Hopkins, political research director at Savanta, said their projection put Labour on course “for a historic majority.”

The three polls used multilevel regression and post-stratification (MRP) surveys, which predict results in every voting district using variables like age, gender, and education. This method successfully predicted the 2017 British election result.

The new polls align with previous surveys predicting a Labour victory but suggest the Conservatives’ defeat could be worse than earlier projections. YouGov’s forecast of 108 seats for the Conservatives was about 32 lower than its previous poll two weeks earlier.

Both Savanta and YouGov predicted that the Conservatives could be left with the lowest number of seats in their nearly 200-year history.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak, who last week pledged to cut 17 billion pounds of taxes for working people if re-elected, has not turned the polls around in a campaign with several missteps. His task is complicated by the return of prominent Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, whose Reform UK party threatens to split the right-of-centre vote.

Britain’s first-past-the-post electoral system means Reform could get millions of votes without winning any individual seats. YouGov predicted Reform would win five seats and Savanta none. More in Common did not provide a figure for Reform.

The Savanta poll, published by the Telegraph, indicated Sunak could lose his own parliamentary seat in northern England, a once-safe Conservative constituency, with the contest too close to call.

Sunak has acknowledged public frustration with him and his party after more than a decade in power, marked by political turmoil and scandal. All three surveys projected several senior government ministers, including finance minister Jeremy Hunt, were likely to lose their seats.

Most opinion polls currently place Keir Starmer’s Labour about 20 percentage points ahead of the Conservatives in the national vote share. Recent polls also present a bleak outlook for Sunak, with one predicting “electoral extinction” for the Conservatives.

(Agencies)

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