Posted by Patrick Dunleavy.

Update on Poll Information and MPs projections for 10:30am on Wednesday 5 May

Votes Shares

Votes for the top three
parties (and Others)
LSE % Vote SharesCompare Sky News % Vote Shares
Conservatives3535
Labour2928
Liberal Democrats2627
Other Parties1010
Tory Lead over Labour+6+7

Note: Our five polls here include two YouGov daily polls.

Projected MPs

Projected MPs
LSE seats
Projection without tactical voting
LSE seats
Projection with tactical voting
Compare BBC ‘polls of polls’ seats projection
Conservatives275251258
Labour264286261
Liberal Democrats798182
Other Parties141411
Northern Ireland181818
Tory Lead over Labour+ 9- 42+ 17
Tories short of working majority (318 seats)- 43- 67- 40
Labour short of working majority (326 seats)- 62- 40- 56
Possible majority coalitionsCon+Lib Dem
Lab+Lib Dem
Lab+Lib Dem
Con+Lib Dem (but only just)?
Con-Lib Dem
Lab-Lib Dem

Technical note: Our poll tracking methodology is described here. For seats projections we use a uniform national swing from the 2005 adjusted results, with some small tweaks for tactical voting. The working majority level is 326 for Labour, but only 318 for the Conservatives, who can rely on Unionist MPs from Northern Ireland to support them.

Brief Commentary

Two polls published today suggest Labour support firming slightly and the Liberal Democrats slipping into third place. The Conservatives are unchanged and support for the Other parties is still a high 10 per cent. There will be record numbers of Other party candidates on ballot papers tomorrow, which may remind voters about their presence in their local contest.

In our seats projection we show first a uniform national projection of our vote shares, in which the Tories the are largest party and the outcome is close to the similar BBC projection of their polls of polls. We then add in our normal tactical voting adjustments, however, which envisage that a small number of Labour voters (2 per cent) support Liberal Democrat candidates in contests against the Tories, and that some Liberal Democrats (2 per cent) back Labour in Labour/Conservative battles. Effects on these lines have been strongly present in all general elections since 1997. They may have been jeopardized by Gordon Brown’s poor performance and dissatisfaction with the government. Labour ministers have pushed hard to reactivate them, but Nick Clegg has rebuffed the idea.

If tactical voting effects operate again, then today’s vote shares would make Labour the largest party in terms of MPs. Tactical voting has little impact on the number of Liberal Democrat MPs. However, it could provide useful insurance for Clegg’s party if its support slips back further.

What this means in terms of seats

From the LSE projection with tactical voting, the new political map of the UK would look like this:

How does this map work? Each seat is one dot (irrespective of the size of the area). The white boundaries show the government standard regions.

Advance Notice: Stay with us on Election Night

We’ll be blogging all day and night through Thursday 6 May to 1.30am on Friday 7 May, with the latest updates from LSE’s all-night Election Event, which will also be Webcast live. Bookmark us for an impartial alternative view that cuts through the chatter to the significant developments.

If the seats and government outcome is still substantively unclear at 9.30 am on Friday 7 May, we will restart our coverage until the outcome is resolved.

Even more advance Notice: Post-election analysis and the transition to a new Government

From Friday 7 May this blog will be bringing you the most up-to-date and factually comprehensive analysis of how British voters decided, and what the UK’s voting system did with their preferences. LSE Experts from many disciplines will also be assessing what the election means

- for all the main parties

- for the political and constitutional development of the UK, and

- for the full range of public policies and UK economic development.

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