Boris Johnson has been predicted to secure a big majority in next month’s general election, according to a major poll that correctly predicted the shock outcome of the 2017 vote when Theresa May performed so dismally.
The survey, conducted by YouGov, says that the Conservatives will win 359 seats, with Labour slumping to 211, the Scottish National Party up to 43 and the Liberal Democrats with just 13, were the election to be held today. This would give Mr Johnson a majority of 68.
Chris Curtis, political research manager for the pollster, said the model showed the Conservatives winning a “comfortable majority” after voters go to the polls on December 12. “Time is running out for Labour”, he added.
The poll, which is based on more than 100,000 interviews over the last seven days, says that Jeremy Corbyn’s party is set to haemorrhage support in the Midlands and the north of England. Labour would be left with just two seats more than in 1983 under Michael Foot, its previous heaviest defeat since WWII.
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In 2017, the poll, commissioned by The Times, correctly predicted that Mrs MAy would lose her majority. It pointed to shock Labour victories in seats such as Canterbury, which the party had never previously won. YouGov bases its results on age, gender, education, past vote and other factors, along with local political circumstances.
The multilevel regression and post-stratification (MRP) model is then used to give a picture across every constituency in England, Scotland and Wales. It says national vote shares will be the Conservatives on 43%, Labour 32%, Lib Dems 14% and the Brexit Party 3%.
Unlike in 2017, YouGov will carry out another poll before election day. It would appear that Mr Johnson is holding off the Lib Dem threat in most Tory seats that voted to remain and could hold on to many seats in Scotland.
It also shows that in London constituencies the remain vote is being split between Labour and the Lib Dems, allowing the Tories to hold Putney and Westminster, and to regain the seat of Kensington.
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Outside of the capital, Labour stalwarts such as Dennis Skinner and former minister Caroline Flint, who have both voiced their support for Brexit, are predicted to lose their Derbyshire and Yorkshire seats.
In Scotland, the SNP will eight seats from rival parties under the model, two from the Tories and five from Labour.
In one of few spots of bad news for the Tories, Zac Goldsmith appears doomed to lose his seat in Richmond Park.
The pollster was keen to point to out that Tory majorities are less than five per cent in more than 30 seats predicted to be Conservative, and that a nationwide fall in the Tory lead - perhaps even caused by the headline figures of this poll - could see the numbers change dramatically before December 12.
What the pollsters say
Mr Curtis said the current analysis shows the Tories have a “comfortable majority”, with seats coming their way at the expense of Labour in the North and Midlands.
“The key thing deciding the extent to which each of these seats is moving against Labour are how that seat voted in the European Union referendum.
“In the seats that voted most strongly to Leave in 2016 (60% or more in favour of departing the EU), the swing to the Conservatives is over 6%.
“This is allowing the Tories to overturn quite substantial majorities in places like West Bromwich East, the seat held until recently by Tom Watson, and Don Valley, the seat currently held by Caroline Flint.
“The only silver lining for Labour is that there are still 30 seats where it is currently 5% or less behind the Tories.
“If it can manage to squeeze the gap over the coming fortnight, it may be able to paste over the cracks in their so-called Red Wall. But with just two weeks to go, time is running out for Labour.”