It has been almost a week since Boris Johnson became leader of the Conservative Party and shortly after Prime Minister. Since becoming leader, the Conservatives have since enjoyed a ‘honeymoon’ period, with a lead in the polls from two to ten percent.
But how would this translate in a general election?
For this prediction, I’ve taken an average of the five national polls from the last week, as well as the most recent polls for Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland’s most recent poll was back at the end of 2018, so I’m focusing on results in Great Britain, with a brief look at Northern Ireland.
Based on the current polling and using Electoral Calculus’ model, the Conservatives would be the largest party, with 90 more seats than Labour. However, the Conservatives would be 19 seats short of an overall majority. The big winners would be the Liberal Democrats, gaining 38 seats, and the SNP, gaining 15 seats.
Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party beats UKIP’s best performance at a general election, with 15 percent. However, the party would still only manage to win only three seats; namely Ashfield and Torfaen from Labour, and Boston and Skegness from the Conservatives.
Northern Ireland’s poll from the end of 2018 puts the DUP on nine seats, Sinn Fein on five, the Ulster Unionist Party on two, with the SDLP on one, along with one independent.
Ordinarily, a government would need at least 326 seats to have an overall majority. With Sinn Fein not taking up their seats and the Speaker not voting, that’s reduced to a working majority of 323.
The Conservatives, who would seek to form a government, would find themselves short even if they arranged a new deal with the DUP; this projection would give a Tory-DUP government 316 seats. If the Brexit Party’s MPs and the UUP were included in this as well, that would bring them to a total of 321, short of a majority by two on the assumption that such a deal could be made.
On the opposition benches, Labour – far behind the Conservatives in terms of seats – would have to come to some sort of arrangement with both the Liberal Democrats and the SNP to even come close to forming a government. This grouping adds up to a total of 317 seats, the same number won by Theresa May in 2017. If other left of centre parties were included (Plaid Cymru, SDLP, Green), this takes Labour’s ‘rainbow’ coalition to 323 – just over the threshold for a majority.
What this shows is that, with the polls still relatively close and with four parties polling at over 15 percent each, any swing in one way or the other could have a dramatic impact on any election result.