What to expect from an unexpected election
Theresa May has called a general election, after months denying that she had any such intention.
While election campaigns are unpredictable by nature, May’s decision suggests she is highly confident of expanding the Tory majority and — as she will present it — winning a mandate for hard Brexit.
Here are five graphs showing what we can expect from 8 June.
1. Voting Intention
All available polling suggests that the Conservatives are headed for a dramatically increased majority. According to a YouGov poll conducted last week, they currently enjoy a massive 21 point lead over Labour. The Lib Dems will be hoping to increase their voteshare and the Greens will be launching a massive effort to take a second seat in Bristol West.
2. How big a majority?
Based on the most recent YouGov poll, the Electoral Calculus forecast is for a Conservative majority of 150, with Labour reduced to just 159 seats. Here’s what that would look like on the map:
3. May for PM
While some of May’s colleagues in vulnerable seats will be unhappy with her decision to call a snap election, the prime minister is feeling supremely confident of her own prospects. According to the weekend’s polling, 50 per cent of people believe she would make a better prime minister than Jeremy Corbyn. Just 14 per cent expressed support for the Labour leader.
4. Curtains for Corbyn?
The strange thing about May’s approval ratings is that many of those who back her as PM don’t actually like her very much. Last week, YouGov found that of those who said May would make the best PM, 47 per cent said it was because of her strengths, but 46 per cent out it down to Corbyn’s weaknesses.
5. Happy markets
The pound rebounded strongly as the PM announced her election plans, breaking its 200-day average for the first time since 24 June. According to the FT, ‘dealers reckon that the ruling Conservative government is likely to increase its parliamentary majority’, which could ‘strengthen Mrs May’s hand to deliver a softer Brexit.’
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