I’ve used a vast data set to map the battleground which can still make—or break—Boris Johnson’s dreams of a Brexit majorityby Paul Hilder / December 8, 2019 / Leave a comment
There are fewer than 100 hours remaining until the polls open. We have just released the findings of our final Datapraxis model on the state of the election race, in a new report entitled “Tory Landslide or Hung Parliament?” It is based on advanced analytics of an extraordinarily large YouGov data set of almost half a million polling responses nationwide.
The race has narrowed slightly since I wrote about our mid-campaign model findings in Prospect two weeks ago. Then we had Boris Johnson’s Conservatives on track for a thumping majority of 48. This has now been slightly reduced, to a Tory majority of 38 seats.
Yet everything is still to play for. We have never seen as many undecided voters this late in the campaign. As many as 80-90 constituencies are still up for grabs. A much larger Conservative landslide is still possible—but so is a hung parliament. Under first-past-the-post, it is the decisions of just a couple of thousand swing voters in each of these seats that will determine the final outcome.
The new model finds the Conservatives winning 344 seats, a total they reach by snatching dozens of Labour seats that have always been thought of as Labour heartlands—across the midlands, the north, Wales and coastal towns: the crumbling of the so-called red wall. We estimate that Labour could drop to 221 seats as a consequence of this, 41 down on its 2017 result. The party has reclaimed eight seats since our last projection—mostly from the Conservatives—but a Corbyn majority is now clearly impossible.
The Scottish National Party is set to win more seats from both the main parties, but its new tally of 47 seats is two less than the mid-campaign Datapraxis model predicted. The Liberal Democrats’ campaign continues to stagnate, with them picking up just 14 seats, two more than they won in 2017 and significantly less than they had at the end of the last parliament. Many prominent defectors to their party, such as Chuka Umunna, Sam Gyimah, Sarah Wollaston, Luciana Berger and Phillip Lee, are currently projected to lose.
This is the final Datapraxis public model, but not the final call. If the Conservatives outperform the model and win a landslide, it will be first and foremost because a critical number…