If these figures were replicated at a general election then the Conservatives would win around 338 seatsby Stephen Fisher / May 5, 2017 / Leave a comment
By the normal standards of these things, the results of yesterday’s local elections were excellent for the Conservatives—the basic point made here by Chris Hanretty.
At the time of writing they have made net seat gains of 304 in England, 121 in Scotland and 77 in Wales. Labour has so far suffered net losses of seats in all three countries. As the principal opposition party it should be making gains. It has now become the first opposition party to lose seats two years in a row since the restructuring of local government in the mid-1970s.
However, when thinking about the general election on 8th June, it is not clear that the Conservatives have done as well as they ought to have—if they were on course for a really thumping big majority.
The BBC’s projected national share of the vote (PNS) this year is Conservative 38 per cent, Labour 27 per cent, Liberal Democrat 18 per cent, Ukip 5 per cent. These figures represent the share of the vote as it would have been, had these local elections—which took place only in certain councils—taken place across the whole of Great Britain, and with all the wards fought by all the major parties, and with the further assumption that opinion has everywhere shifted in line with the movement seen since the English county council elections in 2013.
The 11-point lead for the Conservatives over Labour in the PNS is well short of the 19-point lead that they have in the average of the most recent polls. It is also not so much bigger than the 7-point lead that the Conservatives achieved at the last election.
If these figures were replicated at a general election, and if the SNP were also down a bit as the results in Scotland suggest, then the Conservatives would, on a traditional uniform change calculation, win 338 seats, little more than the 331 that they secured last time. A majority of 26 is well short of the kind of result that Theresa May is hoping for. But although these results do not themselves, crudely mapped onto Westminster, suggest a landslide, context is everything.
Although the modest swing from Labour to the Conservatives in the PNS would deliver seats to the Tories, May would not increase her majority much on this projection because the Liberal Democrat…