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Election ’24 – weekly insight and analysis

Weekly insight and analysis: 3rd July 2024

The result

Six weeks and more than one hundred opinion polls after Rishi Sunak stood in a Biblical downpour in Downing Street and gambled on an early election and a long campaign, the moment of decision is now imminent.

The overall result is not, of course, in doubt. Rishi Sunak’s gamble has failed. On Friday, the UK will have a change of government for the first time since 2010. Keir Starmer will become Britain’s 58th Prime Minister.

But while the voting polls and the MRP polls, which extrapolates big national samples into precise estimates of how many seats each party will win – and have largely defined the overall narrative of the election – all agree that Labour will win with a healthy majority in Parliament, they disagree on much of the detail of the likely result. The various MRP polls disagree on which party will win in almost half of all constituencies.

The vote intention polls over the final few days put Labour support in a range between 35% and 42%, the Conservatives between 18% and 25%. Labour’s lead somewhere between 15% and 22%. It now looks quite possible that Labour will end up with less than 40% of the vote.

The five MRP polls in the final days of the campaign all project that Labour will achieve a landslide victory, but there is a difference of more than 100 between them when it comes to the Labour majority. They show a difference of more than 70 seats between the worst and least bad scenarios for the Tories. Two of them suggest there will be more than twice as many Conservative MPs as Liberal Democrat MPs, while two others have the Liberal Democrats becoming the Official Opposition to the new Labour government, with the Conservatives reduced to a rump 60 MPs or less. There is a consensus that Nigel Farage will win in Clacton, but disagreement as to whether he will be alone, or joined by perhaps up to six further MPs for Reform UK. These points of detail will make a material difference to how the next Parliament plays out, as well as to how well and by whom the new government is held to account.

In the background, the pollsters are nervous and worried that ‘shy Tories’, who caused the polls to be wrong at previous elections may have caused them once again to overestimate the scale of a Labour victory.

Download the full analysis here.