The first election predictions for a May 2015 UK general election are now visible on the right of the page. The headline numbers are: the model believes there is a 55% chance of a Labour overall majority, an 18% chance of a Conservative overall majority and a 27% chance of a hung parliament. Although things look good for Labour currently, with a steady lead of about 6% in the polls, there’s still time for a lot to change and things don’t seem as hopeless for the Conservative party as some commentators are suggesting.
The biggest single uncertainty associated with election predictions at this point is how much the polls might move between now and May 2015. If things remain as they are, the model suggests the Conservatives have only around a 1% chance of achieving an overall majority. However 18 months is a long time in politics and historical data shows a 10% swing in the Conservatives’ favour is far from impossible.
It will be very interesting to watch how public opinion changes in the run up to the election. I suspect a lot will depend on the perceived state of the UK economy. Sufficient good news that the Conservatives can paint a picture of broad recovery under the current parliament is probably essential for their election chances.