Latest Channel 4 News:
Row over Malaysian state's coins
'Four shot at abandoned mine shaft'
Rain fails to stop Moscow wildfires
Cancer blow for identical twins
Need for Afghan progress 'signs'

Poll of polls: latest election forecast

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 22 April 2010

The Conservatives edge above the Lib Dems while Labour continues to languish in third place. Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams, of Nottingham Business School's Political Forecasting Unit, examines the latest trends.

There are five new national polls out, but only one based on fieldwork conducted in the last couple of days. This shows the Conservatives edging above the Liberal Democrats. All five are agreed that Labour continues to languish in third place.

Polling Commentary
There are five new polls published since yesterday, but most of them are based on fieldwork conducted some days ago. The only poll based on fieldwork conducted over the last two days is YouGov for The Sun, which continues to show the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats competing for the lead (Con ahead two days ago, Lib Dem ahead yesterday, Con ahead today), with Labour trailing in third.

YouGov/Sun: Con 33, Lib Dem 31, Lab26
The four other polls reported today are:
ComRes/ITV/Independent: Con 35, Lib Dem 27, Lab 25
Harris/Metro: Con 31, Lib Dem 30, Lab 26
TNS/BRMB: Con 34, Lib Dem 30, Lab 29
Mori/Evening Standard: Con 32, Lib Dem 32, Lab 28

There are problems with all four of these polls, however. ComRes are reporting a rolling poll, conducted on Monday and Tuesday, half of which was included in yesterday's results, and which is way out of line with every other poll published over the last few days. Fieldwork for the other three polls is even more dated, some of the surveys for the TNS/BRMB poll even being conducted before last Thursday’s debate. Even so, all these polls are included in today’s polling tracker, though not in the poll of polls.

Today's poll of polls, therefore, mirrors today’s YouGov survey, and puts the Conservatives on 33 per cent, the Liberal Democrats on 31 per cent and Labour on 26 per cent.

The Political Forecasting Unit 'polling tracker' currently paints a similar picture, with the Conservatives on 33 per cent, the Liberal Democrats on 32 per cent and Labour on 27 per cent. Assuming a uniform national swing, Labour would on this basis win 255 seats in the House of Commons, the Conservatives 246 seats and the Liberal Democrats 118 seats, all within a handful of seats of what is projected by the poll of polls. This would leave Labour 71 short of an overall majority. The markets agree that no one party is likely to win a majority in the House of Commons.

The Political Forecasting Unit polling tracker is based on 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 two points ahead of the Liberal Democrats based on the very latest polling, and one point ahead in the polling tracker. Labour is trailing on both measures in terms of vote share, but would still win most seats, assuming a uniform national swing.

An analysis of the money bet in political betting markets also suggests that no party will secure a majority of the seats in the House of Commons.

Daily poll of polls
Conservative: 33 per cent
Liberal Democrat: 31 per cent
Labour: 27 per cent

PFU polling tracker (recent polls, weighted)
Conservative: 33 per cent
Liberal Democrat: 32 per cent
Labour: 27 per cent

Outcome (Based on polling tracker, assuming national swing reproduced in every constituency)
Conservatives: 246 seats
Labour: 255 seats
Liberal Democrat: 118 seats
Other: 31 seats
Labour short of an overall majority by 71.

Where the money is (Analysis based on money wagered on the election in political betting markets)
Conservative: 310 seats
Labour: 223 seats
Liberal Democrat: 83 seats
Other: 34 seats
Conservatives short of an overall majority by 16 seats.

% chance of Conservative overall majority: 37.9 per cent
% chance of Labour overall majority: 3.7 per cent
% chance of Liberal Democrat overall majority: 1.5 per cent
% chance of No overall majority: 56.9 per cent
(Chances based on odds from betting exchanges)

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

Send this article by email

More on this story

Channel 4 is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Watch the Latest Channel 4 News

Watch Channel 4 News when you want

Latest Vote 2010 news

More News blogs

View RSS feed

Winners and losers


What can we expect from the Con-Lib Dem coalition government?

Cabinet connections

The Con-Lib coalition Cabinet (Reuters)

Who Knows Who looks for "new politics" in the Con-Lib Cabinet

Marriage of convenience

Wedding cake (Getty)

Can former political rivals make the Con-Lib coalition work?

Missing women?


With four women cabinet members has old politics really ended?

The rise and fall of Brown


The events that defined and ended Brown's political career.

Sibling rivalry?


Who Knows Who finds out who could replace Gordon Brown.

Loss leaders

Jacqui Smith (Getty)

Jacqui Smith is one of several high- profile election losers.

Election night in 60

Blue Big Ben

From single-party rule to a hung parliament in one minute.

Election results - live blog

Live blog teaser

Missed the day? Read our live blog to see how it happened.

Channel 4 © 2010. Channel 4 is not responsible for the content of external websites.