A poll which predicted Theresa May’s shock reverse in the 2017 snap election predicts her successor Boris Johnson will win a 68-seat majority in December — but top officials warn a hung parliament remains a “very real possibility” and that Brexit is in danger.
After routing Labour in local council elections, it was widely predicted that Theresa May would win a crushing victory in 2017, greatly increasing the slim, surprise majority won by David Cameron in 2015 and causing some Labour Blairites to claim she was seeking a “one-party state”.
In fact, however, the former prime minister lost her overall majority, forcing her to rely on Northern Ireland’s Brexit-supporting, socially conservative Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) for a razor-thin parliamentary majority which frequently collapsed during contentious votes and rendered both of their administrations unable to execute their preferred Brexit policies.
One major seat-by-seat poll conducted by YouGov using its so-called MRP model predicted the disaster, but now a poll using the same methodology predicts the Tories will win a “comfortable” 68-seat majority this time.
The results of the YouGov #GE2019 MRP model are finally here:
Con – 359 seats / 43% vote share
Lab – 211 / 32%
SNP – 43 / 3%
LD – 13 / 14%
Plaid – 4 / <1%
Green – 1 / 3%
Brexit Party – 0 / 3%
— YouGov (@YouGov) November 27, 2019
However, some commentators, such as Katy Balls, believe the MRP poll may in fact be “a cause of worry to senior [C]onservatives”, because it could cause voters leaning towards the Conservative voters to “feel complacent and thereby either stay at home or start to consider voting elsewhere to reduce the size of the majority.”
“[A] lot could change in two weeks… the margins for a lot of these seats are tiny,” she observed in the Brexit-backing Spectator magazine.
In the days after the 2016 referendum, Cummings emailed supporters saying 'keep an eye on my blog, if Brexit is in danger then I will send up a ‘bat signal’ here.'
This is that bat signal:https://t.co/NkSWmBeHH4
— Tom Harwood (@tomhfh) November 27, 2019
Indeed, Boris Johnson’s top advisor Dominic Cummings, often credited as the mastermind of the Tory-dominated Vote Leave campaign during the EU referendum, published a rare blog post warning: “You will see many polls in the coming days. Some will say Boris will win. Trust me, as someone who has worked on lots of campaigns, things are MUCH tighter than they seem and there is a very real possibility of a hung parliament.”
The post, titled ‘BATSIGNAL!! DON’T LET CORBYN-STURGEON CHEAT A SECOND REFERENDUM WITH MILLIONS OF FOREIGN VOTES’, advised Leave voters: “Tell your family and friends face-to-face: if Boris doesn’t get a majority, then Corbyn and [Scottish National Party leader Nicola] Sturgeon will control the government, their official policy is to give the vote to millions of foreign citizens to cheat their second referendum, we’ll all get screwed on taxes, Parliament will drag the whole country into crisis, and immigration will return to being a central issue in politics instead of being marginalised by Brexit…”
— John Rentoul (@JohnRentoul) November 27, 2019