The widely anticipated YouGov MRP poll has predicted that the Conservatives are on track to win 359 seats in the upcoming election.
The analysis, based on tens of thousands of poll responses, is closely watched because it accurately predicted in 2017 that former Prime Minister Theresa May would lose her majority.
Known in academic circles as a ‘multilevel regression and post-stratification’ study, it allows you to use polls to predict what that means at a constituency level.
It has predicted a safe Conservative majority, with Labour picking up just 211 MPs, the SNP 43 and Lib Dems 13.
? ? ? @YouGov MRP projection published by @thetimes— Matt Chorley (@MattChorley) November 27, 2019
Con MAJORITY of 68
Con 359 (+42)
Lab 211 (-51)
LD 13 (+1)
Brexit 0 (-)
Green 1 (-)
SNP 43 (+8)
PC 4 (-)
Other 1 (-)
Tories breakthrough in Midlands. Lib Dems stall. Disaster for Labour.
Labour’s second-worst postwar defeat
The results, if accurate, could hand Jeremy Corbyn Labour’s second-worst postwar defeat.
Mr Johnson would command a majority of 68, making gains at Labour’s expense in places like the Midlands and north of England.
Of the 58 seats predicted to change hands on December 12, 44 are Tory gains from Labour.
The analysis suggests that the casualties for Labour could include Dennis Skinner in Bolsover and Caroline Flint in Don Valley despite their support for Brexit in the Commons.
For the Tories Zac Goldsmith appears doomed in Richmond Park. Mr Johnson is forecast to hold Uxbridge comfortably.
Pinch of salt
However, the projected margins of victory are below 5 per cent in at least 30 seats predicted to be Conservative.
YouGov cautions that a fall from the present Tory national poll lead of 11 percentage points to less than 7 could yet deny Mr Johnson a majority.
Warning signs have been signalled elsewhere too.
Writing in the Spectator, Stephen Bush said the poll itself could change the result of the election.
With two weeks still to go until Britain heads to the ballet box, it is still too soon to call which way many marginal seats will swing.
Tactical voting in just 57 closely-fought seats could keep Boris Johnson out of Downing Street, especially if voters in those seats feel it is a safe bet for the Tories.
As Bush pointed out, “several Tories in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat battleground have told me that what they wanted more than anything was for YouGov’s MRP to show a hung parliament – and with their seat tipping the balance”.