In 9 days times, Britain could be on course for a hung parliament. According to international internet-based market research firm YouGov, Theresa May’s Conservative Party could miss out on an overall majority in Parliament by 16 seats following the General Election on June 8th.
In a constituency-by-constituency projection by YouGov for The Times the Tories are set to win 310 seats which is short of the 326 seats required to form a Government and 21 fewer than secured by David Cameron’s successful General Election in 2015.
Of course if YouGov’s projection is accurate it would be disastrous for Theresa May who called a snap General Election in the hope to give the Conservatives a greater majority in Parliament, and provide ‘stability and strong leadership’ as the UK enters negotiations to leave the European Union. This will be even further humiliating following her u-turn over the proposed social care reform, mockingly dubbed ‘dementia tax’.
The Conservative manifesto published Conservative plans to allow elderly people who require social care the opportunity to not pay for until after their deaths. However, following criticism, Thereas May announced there would be a cap on the amount people were expected to pay. This u-turn was laughed at during this week’s leaders debate when Jeremy Paxman suggested she would not be taken seriously in Brussels.
YouGov have admitted there is a wide margin for error with their projection model with their results possibly indicating also as few as 274 Torie seats or as high as 345.
YouGov chief executive, Stephan Shakespeare said, “The data suggests that there is churn on all fronts, with the Conservatves, Labour and the Liberal Democrats likely to both lose and gain seats. Based on the model’s current estimates, some seats are likely to change hands along EU referendum dividing lines.”
Opinion polls predicted a hung parliament in 2015, however, Ed Miliband’s Labour party suffered a significant loss to David Cameron’s Conservative Party. The former Labour leader tweeted a response to the recent projections:
The pollsters have been off my Christmas card list since 2015. #justsaying
— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) May 30, 2017
If YouGov’s projection does prove to be true, Jeremy Corbyn would need to be willing to enter into negotiations for a coalition with another political party if he is to replace May in Downing Street. However the Labour leader has unequivocally ruled out a deal with the SNP and Nicole Sturgeon who infamously swallowed up the Labour majority in Scotland in the 2015 election. Furthermore, the Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron has said there will be ‘no deal, no deal with anybody’, unlike his predecessor Nick Clegg did when he formed a coalition with David Cameron’s Conservative’s in 2010.
Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP with a forecasted 50 seats would be the only party with enough backing in Parliament to prop up the Conservatives. However, a deal is unlikely seeing as the party infamously opposes Brexit and many other Conservative initiatives.
This YouGov projection is one of the first polls to provide such a result. Other recent polls such as ComRes and ICM have suggested Labour would gain some ground on the Conservatives, but the Tories would prevail and maintain a majority.