Labour would now be the largest party if election were held today

Labour would now be the largest party if election were held today


Our forecast (or 'nowcast') puts Labour on for 294 seats to 283 for the Conservatives with the most recent polls ending as of 11 October.

In the closing days of August we produced an election forecast showing that though Labour at the time held a slim lead in the polls, the Tories would still come out in a hypothetical ‘if the election were held today’ as the largest party.

Today our forecast (or ‘nowcast’) now suggests that a Labour lead of 3pts in the polls (see our poll tracker) would have them secure the status of largest party in the House of Commons, with an estimate of 294 seats (up 32 on 8th June) to 283 for the Conservatives (down 34). From the 59 simulations conducted, we put the probability of the Tories retaining the status of largest party at 12.3%.

The Liberal Democrats would gain two seats (Richmond Park and St Ives, both from Con), totalling 14. The SNP would make no net gains but due to a fallback in Tory support in recent Scottish polls they’d gain four from the blues but also lose four to Labour.

No party would attain a majority in the Commons, but it seems from these numbers a minority Labour government would be the most likely outcome. It’s not clear as to how willing Labour are to opening talks with the SNP or Liberal Democrats about a confidence and supply agreement or even a coalition.

Seats by probability of changing hands


wdt_IDConstituencyProbabilityForecastResult
1Southampton, Itchen93.20%Lab gain from ConLoss very likely
2Camborne and Redruth88.10%Lab gain from ConLoss likely
3Calder Valley86.40%Lab gain from ConLoss likely
4Stoke-on-Trent South83.10%Lab gain from ConLoss likely
5Stirling81.40%SNP gain from ConLoss likely
6Preseli Pembrokeshire81.40%Lab gain from ConLoss likely
7Richmond Park79.70%LDem gain from ConLoss likely
8Chipping Barnet79.70%Lab gain from ConLoss likely
9Hendon76.30%Lab gain from ConLoss likely
10Pudsey74.60%Lab gain from ConLoss likely

It should be noted that though not evident in the forecast, there is a great deal of uncertainty in our forecast (see probability column in above table). To make these estimates we used probability based on 59 simulations, and among the 294 seats we have for Labour is, to name one example, the constituency of Watford. The model for Watford forecasts a 57.6% of Labour gaining the seat from the Conservatives. A 57.6% chance of something happening is in no way certain, and so should be taken with caution.

Naturally, because a model is a model, this forecast does not account for the potential incumbency bonuses that will inevitably play a part at the next election.

If public opinion has shifted noticeably, or if new data becomes available, we will issue an update to our forecast.

Note:

The model we use to make this forecast is the same model used for the 2017 General Election, where our final projection (or ‘nowcast’) overstated the Conservatives by around 40 odd seats and understated Labour by around the same number. It follows the same methodology as outlined on our Nowcast page, which involves playing 59 simulations that can gauge the potential vote shares each party may attain within a constituency based on current national and regional polling. Our model was reliant on such polling at the time, which underestimated Labour on average by 4pts. Had the polls been accurate in measuring the Labour share, then so would our forecast, which would have produced a final projection on 08 June of Con 322, Lab 256, SNP 37, LDem 14.


Ben Walker is the Co Founder of Britain Elects.
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Tories would still be the largest party in parliament if an election were held today

If an election were held today, we project the Conservatives would retain the status of largest party in the House of Commons, though down 19 seats.

Our poll tracker, which covers Great Britain only, has Labour at 42.1 per cent and the Conservatives 41.1 per cent. With a slender lead of 1pt, this would, according to our forecast model, translate into Labour still falling short of overtaking the Tories in the Commons, albeit by 10 seats.

On current polling we do not expect any party to attain a majority in the Commons. The forecast projects the Tories to take 298 seats to Labour's 289. 13 of Labour's gains are expected to come from Scotland and London. High profile gains from the Tories would include Theresa Villiers' Chipping Barnet constituency, Stephen Crabb's Preseli Pembrokeshire,  Chloe Smith's Norwich North, Amber Rudd's Hastings & Rye and Putney, represented by Education Secretary Justine Greening.

We expect the Scottish National Party to come away with 25 seats, down 10 on June, and the Liberal Democrats to net 3, totaling 15.

ConstituencyForecastProbability
ArfonLab gain from PC50.9%
Perth and North PerthshireCon gain from SNP54.4%
Milton Keynes NorthLab gain from Con54.4%
AberconwyLab gain from Con56.1%
TelfordLab gain from Con56.1%
Glasgow NorthLab gain from SNP56.1%
WatfordLab gain from Con57.9%
St IvesLDem gain from Con57.9%
Milton Keynes SouthLab gain from Con59.6%
Barrow and FurnessCon gain from Lab61.4%
Finchley and Golders GreenLab gain from Con61.4%
Glasgow South WestLab gain from SNP61.4%
PutneyLab gain from Con63.2%
Hastings and RyeLab gain from Con63.2%
Glasgow EastLab gain from SNP63.2%
Lanark and Hamilton EastLab gain from SNP64.9%
Calder ValleyLab gain from Con66.7%
PudseyLab gain from Con66.7%
North East FifeLDem gain from SNP66.7%
Harrow EastLab gain from Con68.4%
Dunfermline and West FifeLab gain from SNP68.4%
Norwich NorthLab gain from Con70.2%
South SwindonLab gain from Con71.9%
Preseli PembrokeshireLab gain from Con71.9%
HendonLab gain from Con73.7%
Motherwell and WishawLab gain from SNP73.7%
Camborne and RedruthLab gain from Con77.2%
Airdrie and ShottsLab gain from SNP77.2%
InverclydeLab gain from SNP77.2%
Southampton, ItchenLab gain from Con80.7%
ThurrockLab gain from Con82.5%
Chipping BarnetLab gain from Con84.2%
Richmond ParkLDem gain from Con98.2%

Naturally, because a model is a model, this forecast does not account for the potential incumbency bonuses that will inevitably play a part at the next election.

If public opinion has shifted noticeably, or if new data becomes available, we will issue an update to our forecast.

Note:

The model we use to make this forecast is the same model used for the 2017 General Election, where our final projection (or 'nowcast') overstated the Conservatives by around 40 odd seats and understated Labour by around the same number. It follows the same methodology as outlined on our Nowcast page. Our model was reliant on regional and national polling at the time, which underestimated Labour on average by 4pts. Had the polls been accurate in gauging the Labour share, then so would our forecast, which would have produced a final projection on 08 June of Con 322, Lab 256, SNP 37, LDem 14.