Last updated 5 October 2020 – updated every fortnight
Boris Johnson has marked his first year in office, after winning the leadership of the Conservative Party in July 2019 and achieving a landslide victory in the general election in December. However, his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the election of Keir Starmer as Labour leader has dented his support in the polls.
The next election is not due to take place until May 2 2024, but this could change as the government plans to scrap the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, which would allow them to call an election at a time of their choosing. So what would happen if a general election was held today?
Based on current polling, the Conservatives would remain the largest party with their vote share slightly down on last year’s general election. Labour would see their vote share increase by almost seven percent, whilst the Liberal Democrats would see their support shrink by more than a third.
So how might such a result translate into seats at a general election?
Based on Flavible’s constituency model, such a result would leave the Conservatives as the largest party but short of an overall majority by 32 seats. Labour, meanwhile, would win 271 seats – a gain of almost 70 seats. Such an outcome would be outperform Jeremy Corbyn’s performance in 2017, when the party won 262 seats.
Many of the gains made by Labour in this scenario include those lost by the party in the 2019 general election, including Darlington, High Peak, Kensington, Stroud, Stoke-on-Trent Central, Clwyd South, Workington, Wrexham, Peterborough and Gedling, as well as others like Shipley, Watford, Wycombe, Vale of Glamorgan, Reading West, and Chingford and Woodford Green – the constituency of former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith. However, several seats that Labour lost at the last election would remain in Tory hands, particularly Bishop Auckland, Redcar, Great Grimsby, Penistone and Stocksbridge and Ashfield.
In Scotland, the SNP would gain eight seats, with Labour holding onto its only Scottish seat in Edinburgh South and the Conservatives holding only two of their seats in the region.
The Liberal Democrats would lose five of the 11 seats won in 2019, including all of their seats in Scotland. Plaid Cymru and the Green Party would make no further gains.
In such a situation, it would appear that a Conservative-led government would find it all but impossible to reach a majority in Parliament. Labour on the other hand could make it to Number 10 but would need SNP support to do so – something which could prove contentious if they demand a second referendum as the price of co-operation. Any arrangement without the SNP would leave Labour at least 40 seats short of a majority.
This projection should be taken with a pinch of salt, however, as boundary changes are due to be completed by the next general election, which may vary how many seats each party would win.