+++ Exclusive general election prediction: too close to call

With new polling figures in, the 2010 general election prediction model I covered in November and December has churned out a new results prediction – and it’s a striking one:

New prediction: Conservative lead of 6% but Labour largest party with 299 seats (27 short of an overall majority)

December  prediction: Conservative lead of 9% with 315 seats (11 short of an overall majority)
November prediction: Conservative lead of 10% with 322 seats (4 short of an overall majority)

The academic team who have compiled the prediction say,

The race remains too close to call under reasonable scenarios, either favorable to the government or the opposition. The election of a hung Parliament cannot be discarded at this point.

Background to prediction

In November Lib Dem Voice published the first of our exclusive general election predictions, based on the work of a group of academics who have analysed polling data (not just party support levels) in the run up to previous British elections:

Their predictive model works on a three-month lagged structure; i.e. their model uses current information and says “if a General Election were held in three months time, here’s what the result would be.” That is because according to their work, looking at previous general elections, the situation in terms of figures such as leader ratings and government satisfaction three months out from polling day has provided a reliable guide to what then happens on polling day….

The forecasters explain: “These forecasts are based on the Ipsos MORI polling data gathered mid-October (16-18). The key variables from which our votes and seats forecasts are derived are the average approval rate of the government and PM (27.5) and the approval rate of the leader of the opposition (49.0) measured three months before an hypothetical election.”

But with the most likely election date being May next year, there is yet time for those ratings to change before we get to three months out from the election and the point at which the prediction gets ‘frozen’.

Further details of how the prediction is calculated are in my November post.

Thanks to Richard Nadeau and colleagues for providing the predictions.

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