The UK General Election – Odds, Polls, and Predictions Update

The Brexiteers shouldn’t celebrate just yet. The polls, the predictions, and the odds favor a Tory victory, but it’s far from convincing…
Bob Mason
Europe and United Kingdom political and
economic relationship, 3

The opinion polls reflected a narrowing going into the start of December and the penultimate week.

In spite of the narrowing, the markets were relatively calm through the day, with the Tories still predicted to win with a majority, albeit a narrower one.

The Opinion Polls

Following YouGov’s 28th November prediction of a Tory 359 seat haul on 12th December, the latest opinion poll tracker delivered a different message.

On Sunday, YouGov released its opinion poll tracker, covering polls between 28th and 29th November.

According to the latest poll,

  • The Tories saw their share of the vote hold steady at 43%. While up from 42% back on 22nd November, the share had fallen from a high 45% on 15th
  • For the Opposition Party, the share of the vote increased from 32% on 26th November to 34% on 29th
  • The pickup in support for Labour saw the Tory party lead narrow to single digits for the first time in quite some time. The Tories had enjoyed a double-digit lead since calling a General Election.
  • There was no improvement for the Lib Dems, which saw their share of the vote held steady at 13%. That’s down from a 16% share back on 22nd

The Predictions

With the latest opinion polls and poll trackers out over the weekend, Electoral Calculus released its latest predictions.

Based on opinion polls from 26th November to 30th November, there was some good news for the Tories and the Sterling bulls.

In spite of the Tory lead narrowing, Electoral Calculus predicted the Tories to win 342 seats. This was up from 331 seats based on polls from between 20th and 26th November.

While the seats were up, a jump in the predicted majority from 12 to 34 was key and certainly provided support to the Pound.

So, with the latest predictions out:

  • The Labour Party is now predicted to win 226 seats, down from 235 seats from last week.
  • While down from 235 seats, it’s still up from 202 seats from a week ago.
  • For the Lib Dems, the latest predictions gave the Lib Dems just 15 seats, down from 16 seats from the previous week.

The Odds

The latest bookmakers’ odds saw some minor changes at the start of the week.

According to Oddschecker, the odds for the Tories to win with an overall majority moved back from 2/5 to ‘1/2’. The odds of the Tories winning the most seats held steady at 1/20 after moving from 1/16. The odds had moved from 1/14 to 1/16 ahead of the weekend of 23rd November.

For the opposition party, the odds of winning the most seats held steady at 14/1. The odds of an overall Labour majority, however, narrowed from 28/1 to 25/1. This reversed a widening from 25/1 to 28/1 ahead of the weekend.

In spite of falling support for the Lib Dems going into December, the odds of a hung parliament narrowed from 5/2 to 2/1, reversing a widening ahead of the weekend.

Over the weekend of 23rd November, Oddschecker had the odds of a hung parliament stand at 11/5.

UK bookmakers had the odds of a hung parliament at 5/4 in the 1st week of November.

A Hung Parliament

While Electoral Calculus gives the Tories a greater majority, after having fallen to a low 12 seats, the chances of a hung parliament have risen, despite Electoral Calculus’s latest predictions.

Increased support for the Labour Party in itself supports that view.

When factoring in the margin of error and shift in voter intentions from opinion polls to actual voting day, then a 9 point lead is not much at all…

By definition, a marginal seat is a constituency where the current MP won by a margin of 10% or less. That should at least be a red flag…

In a similar trend, Theresa May enjoyed a lead of as much as 21 points before the narrowing began ahead of the 8th June 2017 General Election.

Last time around, the electorate was choosing who should negotiate the Brexit deal. This time around it’s whether Britain should have another chance at remaining with the EU or calling it a day…

The Pound

For the Pound, there was more resilience at the start of the week.

One can only suggest that the resilience comes from the fact that the Tories have maintained a lead, with the predicted number of seats having bottomed out.

More televised debates this week and more opinion polls and predictions are unlikely to leave the Pound flat, however.

Any rise in the prospect of a hung parliament and expect a reaction… One that the Sterling bulls might like to avoid.

At the time of writing, the Pound was up by 0.08% to $1.29373, recovering from a late morning low $1.28961…

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