Mish's Fearless UK Election Forecast Seat-by-Seat

Mish

Here's my fearless UK election forecast: Tory Majority 40. Details below.

A Word About Predictions

Predictions can make one look like a genius or a fool.

In reality, no one is a genius, just lucky. And arguably, the only thing foolish about predictions is making them in the first place. So, take my projections with a grain of salt.

But I do have a methodology. It's based on Multi-Level Regression and Poststratification (MRP).

For a discussion of MRP, please see my December 8 post Number Crunching the Polls Points to Big Tory Win.

Don't knock the idea or YouGov if you do not understand what this is all about.

Fearless Forecast Methodology

  • I believe in YouGov's MRP methodology and so does Martin Baxter at Electoral Calculus.
  • The Electoral Calculus model, at least as I understand it, uses Baxter's own MRP methodology based on an average of the latest polls.
  • I have a different twist. Instead of using an average of polls, Baxter's MRP methodology with an an average of YouGov polls and enter those averages into the Electoral Calculus User-Defined Regional Predictor.

YouGov does not disclose its MRP and neither does Baxter, for obvious reasons.

Why Use Baxter's Model?

  • No one else has user-defined calculator.
  • Baxter's model performed better that YouGov's.

Why Use YouGov Data?

  • YouGov and ComRes are the only pollsters that present region-by-region data.
  • Variances in ComRes tend to be extreme.
  • YouGov does frequent polls and one can average them.

YouGov Data

The data I entered into Electoral Calculus is from MRP Methodology, Tables and Figures on December 10.

YouGov Regional Data

I plugged those numbers into the Electoral Calculus Base Calculator + Scotland and then again into the regional calculator.

The former predicted a majority of 42, the latter, a majority of 40. That's a nice cross-check. I went with the latter.

Mish's Fearless Forecast Seat-by-Seat Changes

Synopsis

  • Labour a Huge Loser: It picks up two seats from Plaid, a Wales independence party, but loses 38 seats elsewhere, 37 of them to the Tories the other to the Liberal Democrats.
  • SNP picks up 6 seats, 5 of them from Labour, only 1 from the Tories.
  • The Liberal Democrats pick up 5 seats, 4 from the Tories, 1 from Labour.

Tactical Voting

If the above expectations are in the ballpark, tactical voting will cost the Liberal Democrats dearly, perhaps as many as 10-15 additional seats.

Insead of 18-19% of the vote they will get 12-13% of the votes.

For What?

For a Tory majority and a handful of extra seats, with Jeremy Corbyn still potentially hanging on.

That's what.

By the way, 18% of 650 is 117.

Instead, I expect the Lib Dems to get about 17 seats. And the more tactical voting there is, the fewer pickups for the Lib Dems there will be.

YouGov Model vs Mish

The YouGov Final Projection is a Conservative Majority of 28.

As explained above, I estimate 40.

Final Thoughts

Any majority of 10 or greater is likely to be very stable and "Get Brexit Done".

Even 5 might suffice for 5 years because once animosity over Brexit is over, DUP will again side with the Tories in most legislative matters.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (27)
No. 1-13
Ensign_Nemo
Ensign_Nemo

There's a minor error in this paragraph:

"Labour a Huge Loser: It picks up two seats from Plaid, a Wales independence party, but loses 38 seats elsewhere, 37 of them to the Tories the other to Labour."

Labour loses to Labour? Methinks you have a typo here.

Bay-Brit
Bay-Brit

No gains for Lab or Lib. Bojo gets huge share of womens vote

Mish
Mish

Editor

correction thanks to @Ensign_Nemo

Labour a Huge Loser: It picks up two seats from Plaid, a Wales independence party, but loses 38 seats elsewhere, 37 of them to the Tories the other to the Liberal Democrats.

Voice567
Voice567

Rather confident I see. I remember leaving the tory HQ in 2017 and hearing someone boast how they believed the election was in the bag and how they 'just believed in the figures'. Look how off they were before and after that election.

NeverReady
NeverReady

Turnout figures in the "YouGov Estimated Vote Share By Region" table look high. If average turnout is less than 65% that will hit Labour harder, as I think it will be Labour supporters who can't countenance voting for the Tories, and so will stay at home. I think this is a real possibility and that the turnout figures in these models are high. Another unknown, but a known unknown (as another Donald might have said).

Mish
Mish

Editor

Not sure who turnout favors other than by age group. I hope those under 35 stay home

Deep Purple
Deep Purple

The terminology of Mish is a bit misleading. As I see it, he doesn't speak about tactcal voting but about the squeeze during the campaign. Tactical voting in Lab-Lib relation means that people vote for the candidate with the better chance in the local area. This cannot lead to seat losses for LibDems because it pulls votes only from candidates without chance of winning. On the other hand, they can win with it in places where Labour voters abandon their candidate for the same reason. Tactical voting is about the geographical distribution of votes, it works against the local division of the Remain side. Very bad for the Tories. Of course, there might be places where voters cannot know which candidate has more chance. There are also many voters who won't do it at all. The phenomenon has strict limitations, and this limitations are good for the Tories.

Lib-Lab tactical voting is one of the two factors that make prediction very difficult. It is a tactical decision that breaks party affiliation for the short term, only to get back to it immediately. It can happen on the polling day in the last minute.

The other critical factor is the performance of the Farage party. It is a populist force, very hard to predict. Maybe they can resist the pressure enough to prevent an outright Tory majority. Maybe not. The polls won't tell.

RobinBanks
RobinBanks

Your predictions fit in nicely with what the bookies are saying. Never thought in my lifetime I would ever see Bolsover turn Tory. People say this election is about Brexit yet Caroline Flint, John Mann and Dennis Skinner look in trouble even though they've campaigned to get Brexit done.

HenryV
HenryV

The turnout will be very low. This is another example of the metropolitan area getting carried away by itself. But the story is very different out here in the provinces. I remember the night of the last US election and as the polls in the USA closed (can’t remember what time of the morning it was here in the UK), pundits on the BBC were talking WITH ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE about a Clinton landslide. My, how the story changed over the course of the next few hours. It will be the same here in the UK. People feel totally disenfranchised. Nobody is interested. Nobody has a shred of trust in the political classes, and nobody seems to care, at least in my constituency. I had a canvasser come around the other day and apologetically handed me a leaflet and said, ‘There - something for the recycling bin’ and that just about sums up the mood. The choice is between the undesirable and the unelectable and the are absolutely sick to the back teeth of the lot of them. It will be a hung parliament.

Chip Talk
Chip Talk

thank you for the statistics, useful for those learning math modeling. side note...i would have give my vote to people that strongly believe in brexit and get it done. there's really no point in staying after so much drag.

Mish
Mish

Editor

"The terminology of Mish is a bit misleading. As I see it, he doesn't speak about tactical voting but about the squeeze during the campaign. Tactical voting in Lab-Lib relation means that people vote for the candidate with the better chance in the local area. "

Precisely what I am talking about and described!

People in many areas prefer Lib Dems. But Labour has a better perceived chance of winning. Lib Dem vote went from 18-20 a few weeks ago to 12-14

Labour picked it up.

What happened? Tactical voting plus miserable interviews by Swinson. People concluded she could not win so they abandoned her.

Lib Dems could have picked up more seats if they did not try to stop Tories.

Mish

CrypticPseudonym
CrypticPseudonym

Thanks for the analysis Mish

FloydVanPeter
FloydVanPeter

Thanks for your prediction, Mish.

It ended up in 10% range of actuals. Not bad.

  • CON winning 365 vs 340 predicted
  • LAB 203 vs 226 predicted
  • SNP 48 vs 41
  • LIB 17 vs 11

Global Economics

FEATURED
COMMUNITY