Tuesday, 3 March 2015

UK-Elect General Election Forecast

UK-Elect General Election Forecast, March 3rd 2015. 
Hung Parliament - Labour Short By 37 - Lab + SNP = Workable Majority?
This month Labour is again forecast to be the largest single party (although the margin is not great), and the Scottish National Party is again forecast to have a key role in deciding who will form the next UK government. Although the 44 seats forecast for the SNP is a little down on the seats suggested by previous UK-Elect forecasts, it would be sufficient to give an alliance with the Labour Party a workable majority - if they could agree on the politics.
The margins,however, are very narrow and this, taken together with the rise of the UK Independence Party and the fall in Liberal Democrat support in the polls, means there can be little doubt that British politics is going through one of its most fascinating periods ever.
This forecast was done using new UK-Elect v9.3 functionality. The method chosen this time was a highly modified form of Uniform National Swing, but combining separate forecasts for Scotland, Wales, London and GB, and using the latest by-elections, constituency opinion polls and known candidate lists as part of the input. Incumbency support was enabled, and each constituency calculation was influenced by whether the previous winner was known to be standing again, standing down,or the situation is not yet known. Different incumbency calculations were used for each party. A small amount of tactical voting was also enabled. Multiple iterations were used to better achieve the correct target percentages.
The GB percentages used for this forecast were Lab 33%, Con 32%, UKIP 15%, Lib Dem 8%, Green 6%. For Scotland the percentages used were SNP 43%, Lab 28%, Con 14%, Lib Dem 5%, UKIP 5%, Green 5%, 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 33% UKIP 9% Lib Dem 8% Green 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 is 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 288 +31
Conservative 262 -41
SNP 44 +38
Liberal Democrat 32 -24
UKIP 1 -1
DUP 8 -
Sinn Fein 5 -
SDLP 3 -
Green 1 -
Plaid Cymru 3 -
Others 3 -3
Labour Short By 37 - 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 March 3rd 2015). The forecasting was based on highly modifed form of 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. Extra incumbency support was enabled based on additional party and candidate-specific weightings (the latest available candidate lists were used as part of the forecast and consideration was given to whether the sitting MP was standing again or standing down, as well as which party he or she belongs to).
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 v9.3 users will be able to reproduce the above forecast by doing a UK-Elect v9.3 "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 enabled, but that date-specific adjustments (adjusting the calculation depending on the number of days until the election) was not used for this forecast.
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 support@ukelect.co.uk.

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