UK general election minus three days

Labour remains about 20 points ahead in UK polls. Also covered: the first round results of France’s parliamentary elections and US polls after the debate.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

The UK general election is on Thursday. The Electoral Calculus site has Labour on 40.4% in its aggregate of national polls (up 0.9 since last Monday’s article), the Conservatives on 21.2% (up 1.3), the far-right Reform on 14.9% (down 2.9), the Liberal Democrats on 11.7% (down 0.1) and the Greens on 5.8%. Reform leader Nigel Farage’s pro-Russia comments on the Ukraine war ten days ago may have deflated Reform’s surge.

Owing to first past the post, Labour would win a massive landslide if these vote shares are replicated Thursday. Electoral Calculus gives them 465 of the 650 House of Commons seats, with the Lib Dems ahead of the Conservatives by 71 to 65 seats. The Scottish National Party would win 18 seats, Reform six and the Greens three.

Individual poll results range from Labour leads over the Conservatives from 15 to 25 points, though two have Reform ahead of the Conservatives in second place. The People Polling poll that had Reform 11 points behind Labour last week this week gave Labour 40% (up five), Reform 21% (down three) and the Conservatives 15% (steady).

In Scotland, Labour continues to lead the SNP by single-digit margins, and should make a large seat gain after winning just one of 59 Scottish seats in 2019. A recent seat poll of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s Islington North, which Corbyn is contesting as an independent, has Labour’s candidate leading Corbyn by 43-29.

PM Rishi Sunak’s net favourablility in a YouGov poll conducted last week was -57, his lowest as PM. He has fallen from -42 in late May. Labour leader Keir Starmer’s net favourability was -20; it has been between -12 and -25 this year. The Conservative party’s net favourability was -56, while Labour’s was -12.

I covered the UK, US and French elections for The Conversation last Thursday (before the US debate). This has when to expect UK results on Friday AEST. Under Boris Johnson’s leadership, the Conservatives led in the polls until late 2021, and did not crash into their current position until after he was ousted.

Far-right RN underperforms in French first round results

The 577 French lower house seats are elected by a two-round single-member system. In Sunday’s first round, the far-right National Rally (RN) and allies won 32.4%, the left-wing alliance of four parties (NFP) 28.7%, President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Ensemble 21.6% and the conservative Republicans and other right-wing candidates 10.1%. Pre-election polls had RN in the mid to high 30s.

Turnout was high at 66.9% of registered voters. This meant 77 seats have been filled, where the winner had at least 50% of valid votes and at least 25% of registered votes. It also means that many third candidates cleared the 12.5% of registered voters required to advance. On these results, 307 seats will go to three-way runoffs and six to four-way runoffs.

In the runoffs next Sunday, FPTP will be used, but candidates can withdraw prior to the runoffs, for example to create a two-candidate contest to block RN. Candidates need to register for the runoffs by Tuesday.

Biden’s position worsens after debate

The US election will be held on November 5. In Thursday’s Conversation article, which was published the day before the debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump on Friday AEST, Biden was only 0.1 point behind Trump in FiveThirtyEight’s national poll aggregate. Better economic data and Trump’s conviction probably explain Biden’s gains.

Three days after the debate, Biden trails Trump by 41.7-40.4 with 9,1% for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Biden’s position is likely to worsen further as more post-debate polls come in. In a YouGov poll for CBS News, by 72-28 voters thought Biden should not be running for president (63-37 in February). By 72-29, they thought he does not have the mental health to be president (65-35 three weeks ago).

62 comments on “UK general election minus three days”

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  1. MelbourneMammoth – I disagree with you sentiment that Biden is dishonourable. But you may have got the timing right. There is all staff meeting been called tomorrow at Noon at the White House….But do they wait 24 hours for everyone to get on same page… Or just go for that evening?

  2. Mexicanbeemer wrote,”That’s an overreaction by your standards and they were different coalitions but the point was a coalition government is only a coming together of parties and not a merger of parties. The Liberals / LibDems are similar to the teals because they appeal to the same liberal minded voters but the Tories are a separate political entity.”

    Wow, you seem to be one of those very literal people. Yeah, really the Lib Dems and Tories belong to different parties. Who would have known? Unbelievable!

  3. One extraordinary possibility at this election is that Labour achieve both of the following:

    a) The lowest vote share ever of a party winning a majority of seats; and

    b) The largest majority of seats ever won (or at least, for a very long time)

    Not my prediction as Labour’s average % in the polls is a few % above this, but the lowest numbers for them are hovering at only just above this number

    Labour 2005 election is the current record, at I think 35.3%.

    The reason for this, of course, is due to more votes going to other parties than the ‘big 2’ than ever before so the votes are split many ways and Labour still get a 15-20% lead in the popular vote.

    I think the lowest combined % for the ‘big 2’ is the approx. 65% in 2010, and 2015 was only a couple of % higher. 2017 was then the highest combined since 1970s.

  4. UK

    I doubt we’ve had them all quite, but final polls show Conservative miles below the previous lowest vote share for either of the 2 big parties ever, and a Labour lead of 17-18%.

    Reform seem to have gone up again in various of the polls. 16%+ does look realistic now, though whether that gets them more than a couple of seats remains to be seen.

    Some signs Labour are not necessarily ahead in the vote in Scotland, although it would be amazing if they didn’t still get a majority of Scottish seats ahead of the SNP even if they’re not, as SNP are competitive everywhere but Labour’s vote share is more efficiently spread to give more seat wins.

    Doubtful that Conservative will have any seats left in Wales, though I think they might keep a couple of their 6 Scottish seats where SNP fall as much as they do. I think any prospect of gains from SNP died away with the D-Day saga slump, but can’t be 100% ruled out in N-E Scotland I suppose.

  5. Green Party

    I think the perception that a Labour large victory is nailed on is giving a late boost to Greens, as people don’t feel the same need to tactically vote for Labour to get rid of the Tories.

    They may win a couple of seats, and should be set up competitively in a few more for next time. Any better than that, and they have the potential to start squeezing Labour from the left going forward in a way they are not used to.

    Unless winning in rural Tory seats as they may do this week, means they start dropping the somewhat communist economic policies and start taking a more centrist position economically. I doubt it.

  6. BTSays says:
    Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 6:40 am
    “Green Party…..”

    It seems that the UK Greens are in with a chance of 2 “rural” seats (Waveney Valley, North Herefordshire) as well as Brighton (which they hold) and Bristol Central.

    Waveney Valley (Norfolk/Suffolk border) is particularly interesting as that was seen as a “strong right” pro-Brexit area by some analysts .

    Mind you, the poll which shows them leading there had a small sample size (500) and was commissioned by the Greens.

  7. There is some poor civil servants at the moment writing the briefs in case the Tories are return, knowing fully well that their efforts are totally wasted. They technically have to do this stuff. I am pretty sure that Sunak’s speech writer has not put much effort into his victory speech.

    I threw a pound at the Tories to get over 24% because the odds were 6 to 1. Most of my money has been placed on a Labour victory months ago when the odds were still a $1.30 for a majority – This was money for jam. Will places some more bets in the coming hours where I spot good odds on Betfair.

  8. Poll open is a few hours. Looks like, in the final straight, reform has faded and a few Torys have returned to the fold (but not a lot).

    My guess is the Torys will land in the 100-150 seat zone. Odds on this have come in from $4 to $2.5. Getting over 150 seats seems a reasonable value bet at $7 (similar to @B.S. Fairman’s 6-1 on the Torys getting more than 24%).

    We might end up with the Torys having their worst result, but it being hailed as a Dunkirk miracle and Labour getting a large majority with a vote lower than their 2019 loss.

  9. Work to Rule

    Labour – their vote % won’t be lower than their 2019 loss, but their raw vote total could easily be if the apparent malaise amongst the electorate is reflected in a significantly lower turnout.

    Conservative – I would now expect them to get at least 24% as nothing has really occurred to change the trajectory of the late swing back to them, but it’s by no means certain. There are some signs that undecideds will go as much to Labour

  10. Reform – they haven’t really faded in the final straight, overall they are slightly up on the previous week. Some of the pollsters that showed them lower before have shown 3-4% increases for them in their final polls. Conversely, those that had them highest before are showing them steady or a slight decrease (one, from Whitestone Insights, showed -3% but that still left them on 18%).

    So what you have with Reform is something of a convergence in the polls around the 17% figure, with signs that their support is holding strong. What they actually get, and whether they might even have tapped into those that don’t normally vote and whether the pollsters have adequately picked up this possibility, all make them even more of a wildcard at this election as they have the potential to cost other parties a lot of seats. Obviously the Conservatives mainly, but they are also costing Labour some seats they would otherwise have won from the Conservatives so it’s not all one-way traffic (think Ashfield for example, Lee Anderson’s seat).

    Reform probably have to be within 16% of Labour (don’t ask me how this figure is calculated!) to be in the ballpark of taking seats directly from Labour in south Yorkshire region. This looks pretty unlikely but would contribute to an interesting discussion on the direction of UK politics after the election if it occurred.

    Long-term, Reform’s most fertile ground is absolutely ‘Red Wall’ territory not ‘Blue Wall’ where, even this election, they are not likely to get close to winning anywhere. Clacton is Tory but not ‘Blue Wall’ in the understood sense, it’s a deprived seaside area.

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