Final Opinion Polls Forecast Labour-Lib Dem Minority SNP Supported Government - Election 2015ElectionOracle / UK General Election May 06, 2015 - 08:41 AM GMT
Whilst the leaders of the three major parties may be busy dashing around the UK on the last day of campaigning ahead of Thursdays poll, in reality they are unlikely to make any difference to election outcome, just as the last 2 months of frenetic campaigning has seen hardly any change in the opinion polls that unanimously point to an extreme hung parliament where even with Lib Dem backing neither Labour, nor the Conservatives will be able to muster a parliamentary working majority.
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The opinion pollster seats forecasts average to:
- Conservatives : 277
- Labour : 270
- SNP : 53
- Lib Dems : 25
- DUP 8
The target number of seats for parties to achieve an effective majority is 323, this is due to the fact that Sinn Fein refuses to send its 5 MP's to Westminister. Which if this time, given an extreme hung parliament choose to act on their advantage then they would probably lean towards favouring the Labour party to deny the Conservatives a majority.
Conservative Led Coalition Calculations
The Conservatives where the opinion polls are concerned face a potential nightmare election outcome where despite being the largest party looks set to be unable to form a majority with the Lib-Dems, even when including other smaller parties such as the DUP due to the weight of the Labour+SNP anti-tory voting block.
Conservatives + Lib Dems = 302 - FAIL
Add DUP 8 seats = 310 - FAIL
Which means that a Conservatives Queen speech would always be out voted and hence the Conservatives will fail to form a government.
Labour Led Coalition Calculations
The Labour Leader has categorically stated that he would not do a deal with the SNP, no coalition or any formal agreement such as a Confidence and Supply agreement. However, this does not mean that post election Labour would not enter into informal discussions so that the SNP would not vote against a Labour Queen speech as the mantra of the SNP politicians for several months has been to support Labour to keep the 'Tories Out'. Thus strongly implies that the SNP would NOT bring down a Labour government as it is in their interests to pressure Labour towards their policies of going on a debt fuelled spending spree on a UK credit card, which would be impossible to achieve with a Conservative led government.
Labour + Lib-Dems = 295 - FAIL
Labour + Lib-Dems + Plaid Cymru + Greens = 302 - FAIL
However, in reality all Labour would need is the Lib-Dems as they only need to be able to out vote Conservative+DUP on 285 seats as the SNP would not even need to vote to support the Labour party i.e. to abstain from voting which would achieve the same outcome as keeping the Tories out. Therefore Labour wins by default despite only being able to call on 295 MP's to vote in favour of a Labour Queens speech if all of the other left of centre parties also abstained.
To further illustrate the advantage to Labour is if the SNP did vote for a Labour Queens speech then a Labour government would be able to muster an overwhelming commons majority of 348 MP's.
Conservative Nightmare - Minimum of 290MP's
Therefore the Conservatives face a nightmare outcome where even if they clearly lead Labour by say a dozen MP's, they would still lose to the Labour party. For the Conservatives to stand any chance of wielding power then they need to achieve at least 290MPs for 290+ Lib Dem 25 + DUP 8 for 323. And they need to win the extra seats without taking them from the Lib-Dems i.e. taking 13 seats directly from the Lib-Dems would still result in a losing outcome of 302 seats total hence why we will see tactical voting on an unprecedented scale amongst Conservative voters such as my in-depth analysis of Nick Clegg's Sheffield Hallam constituency concluded would happen:
Where instead of Sheffield Hallam being an election battle between Labour and the Lib-Dems -
Instead the reality for many voters following 5 years of coalition government is one of this -
So whilst the Tories are seeking to take at least 15 seats from the Lib Dems, at the same time are trying to ensure that the Lib-Dems retain as many seats as possible where Labour is second, and conversely Lib Dem voters whilst to a lesser extent are also likely to vote for the Tory candidate where Labour is opposing, especially as the prospects of a Labour- SNP outcome sends shivers down the spines of many English Labour and Lib-Dem voters. This will also prompt many potential UKIP voters to vote Conservative or Lib Dem rather than risk a Labour - SNP.
The following are individual forecaster trends and my analysis.
Literally flip flops between Labour and Conservative from week to week within a tight 10 seat range of one another. The last swing has been in favour of the Labour party.
Have consistently exhibited a strong bias towards Labour which has slowly eroded over time that has now swung in the Conservatives favour. The recent seats forecasts have also swung towards the SNP.
Has tended to consistently put the Conservatives in a clear seats lead with little change over the past 6 weeks.
Has tended to exhibit a marginal advantage to the Conservatives within a tight 10 seat band. Implies the Conservatives seat range on election day will be between 274 and 276 seats.
Opinion Polls Seats Forecast Trend Analysis
The last set of opinion polls are flat lining which implies an outcome of Conservatives on 277 against Labour on 270 which would result in a default win for Labour even if the SNP abstain from voting for a Labour Queens speech. Whilst for the Conservatives to stand any chance of forming a government then they need to win at least 290 seats and even then to take most of the extra seats from Labour rather than the Lib-Dems.
In terms of what I actually see as the most probable outcome for the general election primarily based on economic and market analysis rather than opinion polls, I refer to my in-depth analysis of 28th Feb that was most recently iterated in the following video:
- 28 Feb 2015 - UK General Election 2015 Seats Forecast - Who Will Win?
- 28 Feb 2015 - UK General Election 2015 - Forecasting Seats for SNP, LIb-Dems, UKIP and Others
UK General Election May 2015 Forecast Conclusion
My forecast conclusion is for the Conservatives to win 296 seats at the May 7th general election, Labour 2nd on 262 seats, with the full seats per political party breakdown as follows:
Therefore the most probable outcome is for a continuation of the ConDem Coalition government on 326 seats (296+30) where any shortfall would likely find support from the DUP's 8 seats.
The alternative is for a truly messy Lab-Lib SNP supported chaotic government on 327 seats (262+30+35) which in my opinion would be a truly disastrous outcome for Britain, nearly as bad as if Scotland had voted for independence last September.
Another possibility is that should the Conservatives do better than forecast i.e. secure over 300 seats but still fail to win an overall majority, then they may chose to go it alone with the plan to work towards winning a May 2016 general election.
The bottom line is that the opinion polls do not reflect how people will actually vote on May 7th when they are faced with a stark choice of steady as she goes ConDem government or take a huge gamble on Ed Milliband's Labour party. So in my opinion several millions of voters will chose to play it safe with ConDem which thus is the most probable outcome.
Also available a youtube video version of my forecast:
The bottom line is that a continuation of the Coalition government is the most probable outcome which means a combined total of at least 323 seats. Therefore come May 8th virtually all pollsters will have egg on their faces as the mainstream media will have flushed untold millions down the drain on commissioning opinion polls that turned out to be WRONG just as the polls were wrong in the run up to the Scottish referendum that was never a 50/50 proposition which at the time I concluded was mainly so as to allow pollsters to sell opinion polls and the mainstream press to sell copy and so it is the case with today's election campaign.
There is another reason as well for why the polls were so close and that is one of SALES, the polling industry SELLING a tight election so that the gullible mainstream press would buy their polling services. Therefore painting a picture of a tight race by manipulating the data will have turned out to be a huge money spinner for the polling agencies.
My article concluded in the most probable forecast for the outcome of the result would be for at least show a 10% gap between NO and YES, and definitely not reflective of the mass hysteria.
Therefore the most probable outcome is inline with the polling ranges of before the YES campaigns intimidation and fear phase began to play a prominent role in the frenzy of campaigning of September that rather than a 50/50 tight race is more probably going to result in at least a 55% NO vote victory, and I would not be surprised if the NO vote even breaks above 60%!
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By Nadeem Walayat
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Nadeem Walayat has over 25 years experience of trading derivatives, portfolio management and analysing the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem's forward looking analysis focuses on UK inflation, economy, interest rates and housing market. He is the author of five ebook's in the The Inflation Mega-Trend and Stocks Stealth Bull Market series that can be downloaded for Free.
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