Predicting the UK 2019 Election

Election Dec 11th 2019

Following on from our first look on the 7th of December (see here), there has been a small rise in Tory fortunes and a small drop in LibDem and the minor parties, Labour roughly static. The Tory rise has been due to a sharp uptick over the last 3 days, for the first time they have hit over 50% of the Zeitgeist.

This makes prediction “Interesting” as the smoothed curves (of all ilks – the main one we use, the cumulative curve, is shown above) still show the Tories below 50% of the vote but the momentum of the last few days may well propel them above on the day – or, of course, it may revert to the mean.

Therefore, to make our prediction we will embrace the first Weaselly Caveat, of probability mathematics.

In a nutshell, the most probable outcome is still a Tory Victory, but with less than half the seats in the house. In other words a Hung Parliament is the most likely outcome. This we calculate has a probability of about 60%

However the odds of a Tory victory have gone up to about 35% (from c 15%) and while that probably means a small majority of a few seats, Britain’s first-past-the-post system could deliver a larger majority depending on where the votes fall (see further Weaselly Caveats below).

In addition, the shift of the Tory support upwards at the expense of the LibDems has reduced the chance of a Labour + Libdem hung Parliament to c 5%.

Other Weaselly Caveats that apply are:

  • We still do not know what will happen to the Liberal Democrat vote on the day – at c 9% of the vote in a close race it can still distort the picture, especially in first-past-the-post vote distribution. Will it stay firm or will it collapse into (probably mainly) Labour support?
  • Tactical voting – what % of the population will indulge? So far the Remainer parties have steadfastly embraced the Judean Popular Front strategy of hating each other more than the Romans (Brexiteers) but the voters may not
  • “Shy Tories” – mainly upper class demographics who talk liberal and vote Tory – we don’t think there are any  anymore, but there may well be some shy Champagne Socialists who will vote to keep their taxes low.