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Vote 2010: today's election barometer

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 13 April 2010

The latest polls still leave the Conservatives clear, but the markets lose a bit of their confidence in a Tory overall majority, explains Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams of Nottingham Business School's Political Forecasting Unit.

Broadly speaking, the latest polls show a similar picture to yesterday, with the Conservative percentage share of the vote in the upper 30s, Labour in the lower 30s and the Liberal Democrats at or around 20 per cent.

The markets continue to point to a small Tory majority, albeit down now to only ten seats, compared to over 20 just a few days ago. Meanwhile, the Political Forecasting Unit 'Polling Tracker' has the Conservatives seven points ahead of Labour.

Reproduced as a uniform swing across the country, this would make the Conservatives the largest party, by almost 20 seats, but 32 seats short of an overall majority.

Polling Commentary
There are four national polls out today.

YouGov/Sun: Con 39, Lab 33, LD 20
ICM/Guardian: Con 37, Lab 31, LD 20
ComRes/ITV/Independent: Con 37, Lab 30, LD 20
Opinium/Daily Express: Con 39, Lab 31, LD 17

Political Forecasting Unit's (PFU) "polling tracker" is unchanged since yesterday.

Put simply, the tracker is based on the most recent surveys by different polling organisations, and is adjusted so that the more recent the survey the more weight is attached to the vote shares.

There is also some statistical smoothing which has the effect that outliers or vote shares that diverge most from the general consensus are allocated less weight.

Election barometer
The Political Forecasting Unit’s 'election barometer', designed to capture the changing state of the race as it unfolds through the campaign, shows the Conservatives falling short of an overall majority based on the recent polling, assuming a uniform national swing.

But an analysis of the money bet in political betting markets currently translates into a Conservative overall majority of 10, and a 57.3 per cent chance of a Tory overall majority, down from 14 and 57.5 per cent yesterday.

Daily poll of polls
Conservative: 38 per cent
Labour: 31 per cent
Liberal Democrat: 19 per cent

PFU polling tracker (recent polls, weighted)
Conservative: 38 per cent
Labour: 31 per cent
Liberal Democrat: 20 per cent

Outcome (Based on polling tracker, assuming national swing reproduced in every constituency)
Conservatives: 294 seats
Labour: 275 seats
Liberal Democrat: 51 seats
Other: 30 seats
Conservatives short of an overall majority by 32.

Where the money is (Analysis based on money wagered on the election in political betting markets)
Conservative: 330 seats
Labour: 225 seats
Liberal Democrat: 62 seats
Translates into a Conservative overall majority of 10
(Chances based on odds from betting exchanges)

% chance of Conservative overall majority: 57.3 per cent
% chance of No overall majority: 36.5 per cent
% chance of Labour overall majority: 6.1 per cent

Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams is Director of the Political Forecasting Unit at Nottingham Business School.

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