10 Sep 2019

General election may not end Brexit impasse, poll analysis suggests

Analysis conducted for Channel 4 News suggests an election would be closely fought and may lead to another hung parliament


A general election may not end the Brexit impasse, according to an analysis of polling data.

Opposition MPs yesterday rejected Boris Johnson’s bid to call a General Election for a second time. The prime minister hoped the vote might secure him a majority in the House of Commons and break the deadlock.

But projections now show that an election would be closely fought and may lead to another hung parliament – with no significant change to the overall parliamentary arithmetic.

The analysis of voting intentions was conducted by analytics company Focaldata for Channel 4 News.

It says the Conservative Party could win several seats from Labour – including in Wales and the North of England – but would also lose seats to the SNP and Lib Dems.

With 18% of those who voted Conservative in 2017 potentially switching over to the Brexit Party and splitting the vote, the party could be squeezed out of key marginals.

Altogether, Conservatives would end up with just 317 seats – exactly the same number as Theresa May won in 2017.

Meanwhile, Labour would do worse than before, shedding 35% of their 2017 voters. Analysis suggests the party could end up with 237 seats, compared to the 262 it won in the last election.

But many seats look set to be a closely-fought race, meaning the final result could swing significantly over the course of an election campaign. Non-aggression pacts between parties could also have a significant impact in many seats.

Thurrock looks set to be one of the tightest swing seats: Conservatives and the Brexit Party are both forecast to get 27% of the vote, with Labour getting 29%.

Justin Ibbett, the CEO of Focaldata, told Channel 4 News: “The Conservatives’ strategy is to make inroads into Labour areas in the Midlands and North. They are doing this, but not enough to counteract the fact that they are losing seats in Scotland to the SNP and to the Lib Dems in the south.”

He added: “It could change very quickly. Our predictions have it very neck and neck.

“In Places like Ashfield [the Conservatives] are slightly ahead; in strong Labour-held constituencies they are just behind. In a campaign there’s every chance they could pull ahead if they can take more of the Brexit Party vote share. There’s also a chance of a Labour surge like in 2017.”

Focaldata conducted the analysis using a modelling technique known as MRP (multilevel regression with post-stratification). MRP enables the survey data to be adjusted by more variables than traditional weighting

The analysis, which does not include seats in Northern Ireland, suggests:






Our Political Correspondent analyses the polling data here.