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UK Insights

Conservatives heading for election win

Luke Taylor

Head of Social and Political Attitudes

GE 07.06.2017 / 21:00

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A Kantar Public view on the 2017 General Election

The expressed voting intentions in this poll suggest a 43% vote share for the Conservatives, 38% for Labour, 7% for the Liberal Democrats and 4% each for UKIP and the SNP. The Conservative lead over Labour has shrunk from 10 percentage points in our last poll to 5 percentage points in this one (and from 22 percentage points in our first poll after the election was called).

June 7Poll

Since last week’s poll we have seen movement away from the Conservatives and towards Labour among those aged under thirty, as well as among those in late middle age (fifties to early sixties). We also see some movement among 2015 Green voters and non-voters toward Labour.

One additional variable worth noting. ‘New’ voters - people who did not vote in 2015 - make up nearly 15% of all 2017 voters in this poll. As a group, their expressed voting intentions have fluctuated through the campaign but now largely favour Labour over the Conservatives, These ‘new’ voters contribute around six or seven points to Labour’s total of 38% but only five points to the Conservative total of 43%. A risk for Labour is that this group shifts intention at the last minute, leading to a bigger than anticipated loss.

Although expressed voting intentions are the most straightforward (and common) way of judging relative party support, it is also useful to look at particular dimensions of opinion such as ‘Who would make the best Prime Minister?’ and ‘Which party would best manage the economy?’. 

The chart below illustrates the notional Conservative lead over Labour based on these additional dimensions, compared to the expressed voting intention data.  

Based on data from this poll, we would have a lead of 14% points if the ‘best PM’ rating was the most reliable metric, and 11% points if the ‘best party to manage the economy’ was the most reliable metric. Both of these leads are substantially greater than the 5% point lead in expressed voting intention and reflect the relativedepthof Conservative support when compared to Labour support.  However, as the chart below shows, all these advantages have somewhat eroded over the course of the campaign.

June 7Poll2

Note: These metrics are calculated assuming that the joint vote share for Conservative and Labour is equal to the joint share of expressed voting intentions (for this poll, 81%).

Based solely on expressed voting intentions, we have used multi-poll data to estimate seat totals for each party, accounting for eleven different constituency ‘types’.  Our central estimate is that the Conservatives will win 341 seats (+10), Labour 232 (nc), the SNP 44 (-12), the Liberal Democrats 10 (+2), Plaid Cymru 3 (nc) and Greens 1 (nc).  This would mean a formal majority of 32 for Theresa May, only slightly larger than it is now.  However, there is a wide margin of error around these seat totals as specific constituency effects (which we cannot reliably detect) can be quite substantial. Furthermore, if the ‘best PM’ or ‘best party to manage the economy’ metrics are more indicative of the final result, a much larger Conservative majority is possible.

For example, if the ‘best PM’ metric was the most accurate, on a uniform national swing we would expect 366 seats for the Conservatives and a comfortable 82 seat majority. Regional variations in swing might even lead to a larger total, possibly even up to the landslide territory of 400 seats. This illustrates the impact a double digit vote share victory could have on the makeup of the House of Commons.

Source : Kantar Public

Editor's Notes

SURVEY

Download the survey data and further details on the methodological approach here.

2,159 interviews were conducted online among adults living in Great Britain between 1st June and 7th June 2017. Interviews were conducted using the Kantar TNS Omnibus, which uses the Lightspeed access panel as its sample source.

The data was weighted to match population totals for age, gender, working status, 2015 General Election voting patterns, 2016 EU referendum voting patterns, education, region, and likelihood to vote in the next General Election. Our voting intention figures have been adjusted to take into account likely turnout patterns at the General Election

Since our last poll we have added an additional weighting target has been included to fix the share of the 2017 vote coming from 2015 Labour and Conservative voters at 61%.  This is based on analysis of the vote flow in the 2015 British Election Study. This change has added one point to the Conservative lead.

Final paragraph added 0930 on 8th June quantifying possible variations in seat count to reflecti potential impact of ‘best pm’metric.

For more information, please contact us.

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