NEWS
28/11/2019 2:56 PM AEDT | Updated 28/11/2019 3:00 PM AEDT

UK PM Boris Johnson Set To Win Parliamentary Majority, Crunch Poll Forecasts

YouGov's survey correctly forecast a hung parliament two years ago.

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party is set to secure a big 68-seat majority at the general election as it wins seats in Labour’s heartlands, an influential YouGov poll for the Times has forecast.  

The constituency-by-constituency estimate also suggests Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party could win just 211 seats, which would be the party’s worst performance in terms of seats won since 1983, YouGov said.

If the election were held this Thursday, the poll puts the Tories on 359 seats, a gain of 42 on 2017. They would also take 43% of the vote, a result that would make it the party’s best performance since 1987.

Labour would lose 51 seats and the Lib Dems would gain just one to secure 13 constituencies. The SNP would win 43 seats, a gain of eight, while Wales’ Plaid Cymru and the Green Party would remain static with four seats and one seat respectively.

In conducting the research, YouGov said it had interviewed around 100,000 people over the last seven days.

The poll is seen as significant as it accurately forecast the hung parliament in the 2017 general election, and even correctly projected that marginal seats including Kensington and Chelsea and Canterbury would swing from the Conservatives to the Labour Party.

YouGov used a computer model known in the polling industry as MRP (or multilevel regression and post-stratification), which analyses the specific demographics of each seat.

But commentators were quick to point out that there was still two weeks to go until polling day and that other surveys were signalling Labour narrowing the gap.

According to a Savanta ComRes poll for the Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, Johnson’s lead has fallen to seven points.

Support for the Conservative Party fell a point to 41% since the weekend, while Labour gained two points to 34%, the poll showed.

In the YouGov poll published on Wednesday night, it warned Labour’s “red wall” is crumbling and projected the Tories will pick up 44 seats from Labour including deputy leader Tom Watson’s vacated seat and Caroline Flint’s Don Valley constituency.

They could also pick up Barrow and Furness, Wakefield, Ashfield, Bishop Auckland, Dudley North, Derby North, Bassetlaw, Great Grimsby, Stoke-on-Trent North, Stoke-On-Trent Central, Crewe and Nantwich, Darlington, Scunthorpe, Workington, Ipswich and Leigh.

Johnson’s party Tories could gain Norman Lamb’s seat in North Norfolk, it forecasts. 

YouGov
YouGov's projection of which seats will change hands at the election as it suggests Labour’s “red wall” is crumbling.

Chris Curtis, political research manager at YouGov, said the current analysis shows the Tories have a “comfortable majority”, with seats coming their way at the expense of Labour in the North and Midlands.

“As expected, the key thing deciding the extent to which each of these seats is moving against Labour are how that seat voted in the European Union referendum.

“In the seats that voted most strongly to Leave in 2016 (60% or more in favour of departing the EU), the swing to the Conservatives is over 6%.

“This is allowing the Tories to overturn quite substantial majorities in places like West Bromwich East, the seat held until recently by Tom Watson, and Don Valley, the seat currently held by Caroline Flint.

“The only silver lining for Labour is that there are still 30 seats where it is currently 5% or less behind the Tories.

“If it can manage to squeeze the gap over the coming fortnight, it may be able to paste over the cracks in their so-called Red Wall. But with just two weeks to go, time is running out for Labour.”