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YouGov predicts minority Tory government


9:31 pm - May 5th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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YouGov’s final eve-of-election poll results show the Conservatives ahead on 35%, with Labour and the Liberal Democrats neck-and-neck on 28.

Con 35% (+2 since 2005)
Lab 28% (-8 since 2005)
Lib Dem 28% (+5 since 2005)
Others 9% (+1)

Sample: 6,483, polled on 4th and 5th May 2010. On those figures, Labour is back to its 1983 levels of support, under Michael Foot.

YouGov also polled nearly 2,000 respondents in Labour-held marginal seats that would go to the Conservatives on a swing of 3-7%:

Con 36% (+3 since 2005)
Lab 33% (-11)
Lib Dem 23% (+6)
Others 8% (+2)

Sample: 1,909, polled on 4th and 5th May 2010.

This means the swing from Labour to the Conservatives is 5% nationally, but 7% in key Labour marginals.

On these figures I would expect the Conservatives to gain around 100 seats from Labour.

It will be a closer race for second place in overall votes, and it’s harder to call Con-Lib and Lab-Lib marginals. But I would expect Liberal Democrats to gain more from the Tories than they lose – and for them to gain up to 20 seats from Labour.

Overall, YouGov President Peter Kellner’s prediction of the outcome tomorrow is:

Conservative: 300-310 seats
Labour: 230-240
Lib Dem: 75-85
Others: around 30

[Sunny adds: If that turns out correct, Cameron would not have enough seats to form a majority government.]

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Bizarrely though, YouGov’s Peter Kellner says that even though Cameron will not have a majority – they expect he will form a minority government.

But a minority government would not have a democratic mandate at all.

A Lib-Lab coalition would have more of a democratic mandate than a minority Conservative government would.

@Sunny, agreed. But I can see the Lib Dems really struggling with giving their support to a LibLab coalition – the Labour Party are toxic at the moment, and the antithesis of the mood of change the Lib Dems have come to embody. I would rather see the Lib Dems join forces with Labour than see a minority Conservatives government, but the political price for the Lib Dems will be so high that Labour need to concede a lot:

– electoral reform
– raising the tax threshold
– pupil premium
– reforming the banks
– an agreement on the level and timing of cuts
– ditch Brown and elect a less toxic leader
– at least 5 LD cabinet posts: Nick Clegg either as PM or Home Sec (PM is unlikely but if one of the current New Labour cabinet shower were to become PM, it would cause public outrage and kill the coalition), Cable as Chancellor

The thing is, if a LibLab coalition did all of those things, and as important, communicated all of the good things it did effectively to the public, it would reinvigorate Labour and establish the Lib Dems as equal in electoral footing to the other two.

But it is absolutely, utterly important that if the Lib Dems go into coalition with Labour, that whoever they choose to be PM is either Nick Clegg or someone not associated too much with the current Labour government. Anyone else from Labour would cause massive resentment and people would rightly feel that even though most people voted for someone other than Labour, Labour still won.

“But a minority government would not have a democratic mandate at all.”

They don’t need no shitty mandate, these people believe in their soul that they should govern. And with the help of a few nutty northern Ireland Protestants and the right wing media they will just carry on.

I bet they will try to buy off the Lib Dems with a vague promise of a referendum on PR, which they are confident they can win on a low turn out with most Labour and Tory supporting first past the post..

Kellner’s prediction is generally in line with mine, although I think the Tories will do slightly less well: Con 295, Lab 243, Lib Dems 84, others 28.

This would mean Labour and the Lib Dems would between then have just enough for an overall majority, though the margin of error is such that I wouldn’t put the probability of that happening at over 50%.

I also expect Labour to get more votes than the Lib Dems but only slightly so; if they don’t it will of course increase pressure for PR.

@2 blanco: But it is absolutely, utterly important that if the Lib Dems go into coalition with Labour, that whoever they choose to be PM is either Nick Clegg or someone not associated too much with the current Labour government.

If the Lib Dems get more votes than Labour, they’d have a good moral case to make for Clegg as PM. Whether Labour would accept it, I don’t know. Maybe they could do a deal whereby Clegg was PM for the first 2 years, then Labour’s leader (whoever replaces Brown) for the rest of the term.

@1 Sunny H: But a minority government would not have a democratic mandate at all.

All governments in recent years have had a minority of the votes, and thus no democratic mandate.

A Lib-Lab coalition would have more of a democratic mandate than a minority Conservative government would.

Indeed. And more of a mandate than the current Labour government.

@Sunny: Remember if the Tories get more than about 294 seats, give or take, a Lib-Lab coalition won’t have enough seats for an overall majority. They’d have to bring in other parties as well. As soon as the Tories get beyond that mark of about 294, every additional seat makes it drastically more likely that we’ll end up with a Tory minority government.

1 – except that a significant minority of Lib Dems would prefer a Con-Lib coalition.

9. bernardcrofton

So the Tories are doing better in marginals than elsewhere. Surprise! Well we have paid for those votes through our taxes – via Lord Ashcroft’s offshore tax fiddle!


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. N Bradley

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  2. Alex Mitchell

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  3. Isaac

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  4. Claire Simmons

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  5. Matt Dodd

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  6. The NakedTruth

    RT @Clarice007: RT @libcon: YouGov's predicts minority Cameron government http://bit.ly/9ena4j YouGov is Murdoch remember? #IAgreeWithNick

  7. Liberal Conspiracy

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  8. sunny hundal

    According to YouGov's polling, Cameron won't have enough seats for a majority by Friday: http://bit.ly/9ntcRa

  9. Julie Russell

    RT @sunny_hundal: According to YouGov's polling, Cameron won't have enough seats for a majority by Friday: http://bit.ly/9ntcRa

  10. elizabeth

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  13. Frances Roberson

    This is what I've been thinking – YouGov's predicts minority Cameron government http://bit.ly/9ntcRa /via @libcon

  14. Liberal Conspiracy » Thursday 6th May

    […] YouGov: Cons 305; Labour 235; Libdems 80 […]





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