Students Staff

02 February 2015

The Guardian publishes our Election 2015 prediction

The Labour Party will secure 291 seats, the Conservatives 281 seats and the Liberal Democrats 48 seats in the upcoming General Election according to analysis by Professor Paul Whiteley published in The Guardian.

This would give a coalition between Labour and the Liberal Democrats a small majority with 339 seats out of 650 seats or a coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats a wafer thin majority with 329 seats.

Professor Whiteley, co-director of the British Election Study from 2001 to 2012, said: “The forecasting model works by combining the number of seats won by parties in the previous election with vote intentions data from polls conducted six months prior to the election. Despite being a relatively simple model it had a pretty good track record in predicting the elections of 2005 and 2010.

“The chart shows Labour is forecast to be the largest party, just ten seats ahead of the Conservatives, but quite some distance from a working majority which is around 340 seats. The surprising thing is that the Liberal Democrats are forecast to win 48 seats rather than half or less of their present total of 57 seats which some commentators have suggested might happen.”

The forecast predicts higher success for the Liberal Democrats than many other forecasts, Professor Whiteley said: “The model shows the party benefits from greater inertia provided by the seats it won last time in comparison with the other two parties.”

The strong performance of the SNP might impact on the forecast, but Professor Whiteley argues the Election campaign was likely to be significant in Scotland and there was also likely to be a lower turnout compared to the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence.

Our General Election experts.

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