Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Hung Parliament - Labour Short By 50 - SNP Support Would Not Be Enough

This month the Scottish National Party is again forecast to have a key role after the next UK General Election - but the 48 seats forecast for the SNP, a little down on the more than 50 seats suggested by previous UK-Elect forecasts, would not quite be sufficient to give an Labour/SNP alliance an overall majority. In fact, in theory, the result forecast would leave any Labour/SNP alliance needing to secure the support of two other MPs to obtain an overall majority. Of course, in reality any result similar to that forecast would put the SNP in a very strong position to choose who governs Britain. Taken together with the rise of the UK Independence Party and the fall in Liberal Democrat support in the polls, there can be little doubt that British politics is going through one of its most fascinating periods ever.
This forecast was done by the UK-Elect v9.2 method. This method, a little less experimental than the technique used in the previous two UK-Elect forecasts, is based on the traditional Uniform Swing forecasting technique, but enhanced to take take account of many other factors such as regional differences, recent local constituency opinion polls (including the latest Scottish polls from Lord Ashcroft) and byelections, tactical voting, enhanced levels of support for incumbent candidates (particularly from smaller parties), and the use of multiple iterations to achieve the correct target percentages. (The Greens will be disappointed to see that Norwich South, a four-party contest, is forecast to be won by Labour using this more mainstream forecasting configuration.)
The GB percentages used for this forecast were Lab 32%, Con 32%, UKIP 16%, Lib Dem 8%, Green 7%. For Scotland the percentages used were SNP 43%, Lab 26%, Con 14%, Lib Dem 6%, UKIP 6%, Green 4%, for Wales the percentages used were Lab 37% Con 23% UKIP 16% Plaid Cymru 10% Green 7% Lib Dem 6%, and for London the percentages used were Lab 42% Con 32% UKIP 10% Green 8% Lib Dem 7% Other parties votes were not specifically set.

(If you prefer to forecast using alternative forecasting methods, your own percentages, the current opinion polls, using tactical voting, or even using different electoral systems, browse the UK-Elect on-line shop. UK-Elect v9.2 is already proving a hit with MPs, academics and newspaper editors - why not try it yourself: "UK Elect 9.2 is a superb piece of software. I love its advanced, flexible and sophisticated functionality. It is, for me, seriously addictive.."
Note: for political campaign analysis maps showing in which constituencies the parties are currently doing better or worse than would be expected by current opinion polls, see the UK-Elect maps page.
Party Seats Change
Labour 275 +18
Conservative 271 -32
SNP 48 +42
Liberal Democrat 31 -25
UKIP 2 -
DUP 8 -
Sinn Fein 5 -
SDLP 3 -
Green 1 -
Plaid Cymru 3 -
Others 3 -3
Labour Short By 50 - Hung Parliament

UK-Elect Election Forecast Maps
Forecast for Eastern England Forecast for Scotland
Forecast for Wales Forecast for UK
Forecast for London Forecast Gains
Click on image to enlarge. See also more maps.
Notes: The forecast base was the 2010 General Election, although gains are compared with the current situation (at February 2nd 2015). The UK-Elect v9.2 forecasting method was used. This is based on Uniform National Swing, but the forecast was made on a separate regional basis for Scotland, Wales, London, and Great Britain, with many other factors taken into consideration, including by-election results, local constituency opinion polls, tactical voting, and enhanced support for incumbent parties. Options to compensate for some of the oddities of UNS were also set - e.g. to prevent the forecasting of negative vote totals. Multiple iterations were used to achieve the correct target percentages.
See UK Election Forecasting Theory, Techniques and Controversial Discussions and UK Election Forecasting - A detailed explanation of the techniques used by UK-Elect for more details of UK-Elect forecasting techniques, or if you have a Windows-based PC then try some forecasting yourself using the UK-Elect Trial Version
UK-Elect v9.2 users can reproduce the above forecast by doing a UK-Elect v9.2 "Guided Forecast" and specifying the separate percentages for Scotland, Wales, London and the overall GB percentages. Note that additional tactical voting and incumbency support was NOT enabled, but that UK-Elect v9.2 method includes built-in support for incumbency in any case.
Results from Northern Ireland are based on those of the last election and included for completeness only.Suggestions and Corrections: UK election forecasts are sometimes very controversial. To notify us of any suggested change to this one, or to let us know of any part of it that is just dead wrong, please email us on

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