Posted by Patrick Dunleavy.

Update on Poll Information and MPs projections for 8:30pm on Polling Day, Thursday 6 May

We have now slightly updated our projections to take account of the final poll of the campaign, published today.

National Votes Shares

There are 8 final opinion polls published this morning and our median score measure below is based on all of them. There is a high measure of agreement that

- the Conservatives are on 35 to 37 per cent,

- Labour are on 27 to 28 per cent,

- the Liberal Democrats are on 26 to 28 per cent, and

- the Other parties are on 7 to 12 per cent.

ConLabLib DemOtherCon Lead over Lab
Populus3728287+ 9
ComRes3728287+ 9
Ipsos Mori3629279+ 7
ICM36282610+ 8
Median Scores3628279+ 8
Austin Reed36242911+ 12
Harris3529279+ 6
YouGov3528289+ 7
Opinium35272612+ 8
TNS/BMRB33272614+ 6


GB Change of Votes 2005 – 2010

Votes for the top three
parties (and Others)
LabourConservativesLiberal DemocratsOtherCon lead over Lab
20053633238- 3
2010 Nationally2836279+ 8
Change- 8+ 3+ 4+ 1
Change in marginal seats- 11+ 3+ 6+ 2


Projected MPs

1. On a uniform national swing basis, from our votes shares the Conservatives are narrowly the largest party but a Labour + Liberal Democrat coalition is still feasible.

2. If tactical voting by Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters operates this year (as in the last three elections), Labour could gain over 20 more seats and be the largest party. But the Liberal Democrats would see little extra benefit. Both Conservative/Liberal Democrat and Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition governments are viable.

3. If Labour loses more support in its marginal seats than nationwide (see above), the Conservatives would soar ahead in winning MPs, putting Cameron in sight almost of an overall majority. The Liberal Democrats’ seats tally would also grow a lot at Labour’s expense. Labour’s parliamentary representation would reduce by nearly 140 MPs. Hence only a Conservative minority government or a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition are feasible outcomes.

Projected MPs
LSE seats
Projection with Lab/Lib tactical voting
LSE seats
Uniform swing
LSE seats
add Con lead in marginal seats
BBC Seats Model
Liberal Democrats89849780
Other Parties14141411
Northern Ireland18181818
Majority Shortfall (for Cons from 326)52381642
Viable coalitionsCon + Lib
Lab + Lib
Con + Lib
Lab + Lib
Con + Lib onlyCon + Lib
Lab + Lib

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.

4. These differences dramatize how much the electoral system can now behave in a very volatile way in response to very small variations in the balance of parties’ support.