BludgerTrack UK: CON 43.9, LAB 35.4, LD 7.9

Latest update from a country where the polls are actually doing something.

With ten days left before the general election, Labour’s recovery in Britain, at least as measured by the polls, has reached an extent sufficient to cause the Conservatives real alarm. Since I last conducted this exercise a week ago, the Conservatives have dropped another 1.8% to hit 43.9%, while Labour is up 2.6% to 35.4%. This leaves both parties well up on their totals at the 2015 election, which were 36.9% and 30.4% respectively. The Liberal Democrats are at 7.9%, which is unchanged on both last week’s reading and their disastrous 2015 election result, while 4.0% is all that remains of Ukip, who polled 12.7% in 2015 and hit a peak of 15.6% on the poll aggregate a month before the Brexit referendum in June last year.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

69 comments on “BludgerTrack UK: CON 43.9, LAB 35.4, LD 7.9”

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  1. The above Ipsos-Mori figures are adjusted for likely turnout. If there is no adjustment the results are:
    Labour 43%
    Conservative. 40%
    If UK had compulsory voting Labour would win!!!

  2. The idea that UK Labour are just a couple of points behind will I think motivate their supporters to turn out on election day, that being said I think we need to see more consistent polling demonstrating this is actually the case before we expect anything other than a Tory victory. A couple more campaign bungles by the tories, UK Labour continuing to make the debate about policy and reaching out to women and May speaking to the press a few more times should do it.

  3. A fantasy:
    YouGov have release their latest seat projections. They have not classified the NI seats but these are relatively predictable and will be DUP & UUP 10 -11 SDLP 2-3 SF 4-6
    I have grouped by my guess at coalition partners;
    Conservative: 313 DUP&UUP 10 Speaker 1 = 324
    Labour 257 SNP 48 LDP 10 SDLP 3 PC 2 Greens 1 = 321
    Sinn Fein 5 – Absent
    Would the possibility of having both a balance of power and denying a Unionists
    balance of power be enough for SF to abandon 112 years of abstentionism? I think they would certainly give it a long look particularly if it meant they could influence Brexit.


    A major objection of Sinn Fein to sitting in the UK Parliament is swearing or affirming allegiance to the British Monarch (what with them being Committed Irish Republicans and all). In 1999 Martin McGuinness (when he was the MP-elect for Mid-Ulster (1997-2013)) even took the UK to the European Court of Human Rights (and lost) over the requirement for an oath or affirmation to the reigning monarch. However, if Labour (or Labour and any or all of the SNP, SDLP, Plaid Cymru or the Green(s)) has a majority, Corbyn might try Oath/Affirmation reform to sure up numbers, especially against Blairite Labour MPs.

    If the Conservatives or the combined Conservatives and Northern Irish Unionists are just short of a majority, the Liberal Democrats are likely to side with them, as Labour and the LibDems would not make a majority, like happened in 2010 when Labour and The Liberal Democrats combined did not make a majority.

    If Labour is reliant on the SDLP for a majority or supply and confidence, which it probably would be if it wins government, a condition of that may be a United Ireland Referendum (which the SDLP want). Given Brexit, there is a much higher chance of it passing than there has been previously.

  5. Any chance if the Labour party win a majority, that they would try for electoral reform?
    i.e. do away with first past the post. Would such a move benefit them?

  6. Basically the upward trend in voting intention for Labour needs to continue, not simply be reflected in other polls (which it isn’t doing).

  7. While the Oath is the traditional issue for SD not entering Westminster, Adams has also said that the question of Irish sovereignty over England, or a form of the West Lothian question, is also key. The issue of entering Westminster was debated at the 2015 SF Congress (or Ard Fheis for the pedantic) and has some support but suffered a solid defeat.

    There is precedence for Republicans taking the oath – the scene became farcical when de Valera was required to take the oath before entering the Free State Dail:
    On 11 August 1927, over 40 Fianna Fail politicians entered Leinster House i small groups. Eamon de Valera was the last to enter the office of the Clerk of the House, accompanied by Frank Aiken and Dr James Ryan. The Fianna Fail leader then spoke to the Clerk in Irish, reading from a prepared note. Translating his own words, de Valera recounted his statement for Dail Éireann in 1932: ‘I said: “I am not prepared to take an oath. I am not going to take an oath. I am prepared to put my name down in this book in order to get permission to go into the Dail, but it has no other significance.”’1 The book into which de Valera put his name contained the signatures to the Oath of Allegiance which was a prerequisite to taking a seat in Dail Éireann. This signature book was, de Valera discovered, covered by another book, prompting further maneuvering, as observed by Aiken and Ryan:
    Mr. de Valera picked up the Bible which was lying on the book containing the oath, carried it to the other end of the room, and placed it on the couch there. He then went back, signed his name on the line pointed out by the Clerk, at the same time covering the writing above the line with some papers he held in his hand

  8. Hmmmm. Labor would probably benefit from doing away with FPTP except in Scotland, where a non-FPTP system would make it even harder for them to take seats back from the SNP. In England the parties splitting the vote are generally left of the Tories, with the exception of UKIP but the Tories have made a concentrated and effective effort to swallow it whole, so UKIP’s kind of irrelevant for this purpose.

    The Scotland thing is probably the toughest question, traditionally a fair chunk of their seats came from their but they also have SFA chance of taking many back either way in the near future.

    Doing away with FPTP is at least short term good but may be long term questionable depending on how much of a force you see the SNP being into the future.

    The real problem is that you need a referendum to change the voting system and going by past history it’ll sink into a more of STV Representative vs Proportional being pitted against each other , which will fail to beat no change. A problem which could be amusingly enough solved with preferential voting.

  9. FPTP won the SNP far seats in 2015 than any other system would have. Where would the SNP get preferences from under preferential voting? Not many places. More Labour and Lib Dem MPs would have survived under preferential voting than under FPTP as they would have got some preferences from each other and the Tories (the number of seats depends on preferencing policies of the major parties). They got only 50% of the vote, so proportional representation would have not given them much more than half the seats.

  10. Proportional and Single Rep Transferrable can have big differences. Proportional voting is likely not something UK Labor wants, as they’d be stuck in coalitions when in power for basically forever. Single Rep Transferrable risks Scottish Tories preferencing the SNP to kneecap UK Labor but as the largest left party in a fractured left in the UK it allows them to vacuum up the missing votes.

    (NB – I prefer proportional systems because they are more representative but major parties usually don’t, for the same reason, as they generally benefit from the distortion.)

  11. I think you underestimate political malice as a motivating force. Liberal preferences flow more weakly to Labor in seats where it’s actually a real Labor / Green contest in Australia even though from a political perspective that’s dumb.

  12. Proportional representation, with a low threshold needed to win a seat, is the most representative means of electing a legislature. For non-legislator posts where it makes sense to have a winner-take-all election, Judgement Voting, in which voters indicate an evaluation of each candidate, and the voters’ judgements are aggregated, is the most representative method.

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