If An Election Was Held Tomorrow
What the latest data tells us about the state of British politics
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What would happen if the UK held a general election tomorrow? Here’s a breakdown of the latest numbers and forecasts. I’ll be doing this regularly as the two big elections in the UK and the USA rapidly approach.
So, what would happen? In short, we’d see the first Labour majority government since 2005 and the total collapse of the Tories. This week, as MPs and the parties begin to think about returning to Westminster, across all polls Labour is averaging 44% and the Tories 27%. This leaves Labour with an average lead of 17-points —more than the 12.5 point lead they need for a majority.
Were these kinds of numbers replicated at an election, Labour would win a majority of close to 200 seats while the Tories would be reduced to around 140-150 seats. In fact, it could easily be worse. A recent MRP poll suggests that unless things change the Tories could be reduced to just 90 seats, losing three-quarters of their current seats and slumping to their worst result in British history.
So it would be worse than 1997. And worse than 1906. On this kind of swing, seventeen cabinet ministers, including prime minister Rishi Sunak, would be at risk of losing their seats. All of the northern and industrial Red Wall would flip back to Labour overnight while many ‘true blue’ Tory heartlands in the south would fall to either Labour or the Liberal Democrats.
Labour would further entrench its growing dominance over the big cities, the university towns, and the liberal enclaves and would make considerable gains in Scotland, re-establishing itself as a serious force north of the border and hence becoming less dependent on winning over working-class, non-graduate, and older voters in non-London England for a majority in Westminster.
Having lost these voters by failing to ‘lean in’ to the post-Brexit realignment, and also alienating the new elite, middle-class professionals, and young Zoomers through Brexit, and then Boris, and then Liz Truss, the Tories would simply have nowhere to turn. They’d be reduced to a rump of their core vote.
The entire map of British politics would be transformed overnight while many famous faces would be kicked out of Westminster. Lee Anderson. Iain Duncan Smith. Brandon Lewis. David Davis. Penny Mordaunt. Jacob Rees-Mogg. Kwasi Kwarteng. All gone. An entire generation of Tories would lose their seats. The party would need to completely rebuild from scratch, both professionally and ideologically or, perhaps, be replaced by something new.
Sure, the polls, the polls. Why read so much into the polls this far out from an election, some will ask? And that’s a valid point. But it’s also worth remembering ….
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