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Granny Danger

Polls and predictions

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This statement really gets on my wick. On what basis is there a moral right?

It may be custom for this to happen but moral? The implication here is that if a smaller party tries to form a government it is somehow immoral. Really?

If the largest party aren't the party who got the most votes, does that change the moral dynamic?

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Replace moral with 'first shot' then fix the surrounding grammar.

:thumsup2

This is really what it is, the continued use of moral is what I object to.

If the largest party aren't the party who got the most votes, does that change the moral dynamic?

Interesting question. Equally valid with or without the use of the word "moral". ;)

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It doesn't seem that unlikely that Labour could end up just having the most MPs, but a couple of percentage points behind the Tories.

I think it would be tricky to say 'we have the moral authority to govern' when any Tory could say 'but more of us voted Tory'.

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Interesting question. Equally valid with or without the use of the word "moral". ;)

It may be an interesting question, but it's pretty fucking ironic that drones of parties who support FPTP then try to talk about the morality of having the largest number of votes. Mind you I don't expect antything else from supporters of the 'big two'.

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It may be an interesting question, but it's pretty fucking ironic that drones of parties who support FPTP then try to talk about the morality of having the largest number of votes. Mind you I don't expect antything else from supporters of the 'big two'.

The Old Firm of UK politics. Pretend to be rivals, but in it together really.

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It doesn't seem that unlikely that Labour could end up just having the most MPs, but a couple of percentage points behind the Tories.

I think it would be tricky to say 'we have the moral authority to govern' when any Tory could say 'but more of us voted Tory'.

Whatever party or group of parties can get a majority has the right to govern. That's the whole point of Parliamentary democracy. If the Tories can't get a majority they've lost the election, more MPs were elected against them than for them.

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Labour would need 51 for a majority, so a Labour/SNP "coalition" would have a wafer thin majority of 1. Counting on the support from the Greens, Plaid Cymru, SDLP and Sylvia Hermon they would have 327 MPs giving them a majority of 14.

The DUP are standing against Sylvia Hermon this time, so it's not necessarily a safe assumption that she will get back in, because they stood aside for her last time around and had 45% of the first preferences in the Stormont election in 2011.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/dup-springs-a-surprise-bid-to-unseat-lady-sylvia-hermon-from-north-down-31126174.html

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If the largest party aren't the party who got the most votes, does that change the moral dynamic?

No, they didn't win. Tough.

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It may be an interesting question, but it's pretty fucking ironic that drones of parties who support FPTP then try to talk about the morality of having the largest number of votes. Mind you I don't expect antything else from supporters of the 'big two'.

My party may (broadly) support it. Doesn't mean I do though.

I also don't agree that the largest party has any 'moral' right to govern. My posts were an attempt to show what I believe to be a flaw in the 'moral authority' argument.

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Probably a stupid question, but if no government can pass a Queen's speech (or they do but quickly lose a no confidence vote), but two thirds of MPs don't vote for parliament to dissolve, what then happens?

Anarchy.

This statement really gets on my wick. On what basis is there a moral right?

It may be custom for this to happen but moral? The implication here is that if a smaller party tries to form a government it is somehow immoral. Really?

They have the moral right to have the FIRST CHANCE to form a government. If they fail to do so then the second party can have a shot.

If the largest party aren't the party who got the most votes, does that change the moral dynamic?

Interesting question. I've always thought a scenario where the Tories win the popular vote but Labour get more seats is the scenario where they might collaborate. Nick Clegg said that the party with "most votes and most seats" get first crack at the whip but there's a genuine possibility that no party meets both criteria.

The DUP are standing against Sylvia Hermon this time, so it's not necessarily a safe assumption that she will get back in, because they stood aside for her last time around and had 45% of the first preferences in the Stormont election in 2011.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/dup-springs-a-surprise-bid-to-unseat-lady-sylvia-hermon-from-north-down-31126174.html

This is quite important because the DUP will back the Conservatives in a hung parliament situation. Hermon will back Labour, and in fact she left the Ulster Unionists over this very issue in 2010.

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They have the moral right to have the FIRST CHANCE to form a government. If they fail to do so then the second party can have a shot.

My point still stands. There is no "moral" right.

ETA: The use of this term allows the political class to continue to ignore the fact that constitutionally, no right exists.

Edited by strichener

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My point still stands. There is no "moral" right.

ETA: The use of this term allows the political class to continue to ignore the fact that constitutionally, no right exists.

Constitutionally the right lies with the incumbent. In 2010 Labour should have gone first but the Lib Dems said all along they would speak to the largest party. Really the "right" lies with the 3rd largest party since they are the kingmaker and everyone needs to speak to them.

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They have the moral right to have the FIRST CHANCE to form a government. If they fail to do so then the second party can have a shot.

I don't think that adding "first chance" to the sentence actually changes the paradigm in question.

The fact is that official guidance does not state that the party with the most number of seats necessarily gets to do any of this.

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Constitutionally the right lies with the incumbent.

I am sorry but as I don't believe that statement, I think I will request some proof.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Cabinet Manual does not count as a constitutional authority.

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http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/04/no-really-snp-are-going-win-least-50-scotland-s-59-seats

Another prediction today:

No really, the SNP are going to win at least 50 of Scotland’s 59 seats

The swing in Labour’s heartlands is even greater than the swing implied by national polls.

Four things have changed in the polls – and in election predictions – since this site launched in early September.

Labour lost their 3-4 point poll lead and are now resolutely tied with the Tories; Ukip have gradually dipped since November, but are still set to win 4 million votes; and the Greens nearly caught the Lib Dems in the polls before fading.

But by far the most significant change has, of course, been in Scotland. If the SNP surge had never happened, Labour would be set to win more than 300 seats and take power in May. Instead, we are predicting the SNP will win 55 seats, and an average of different forecasts hands them 46. In 2010 they won 6. There are only 59 seats in Scotland.

Few pundits believe these predictions. Most people hesitate to give the SNP more than 30 seats (as a recent survey of hundreds of political academicsproved). Very few can conceive of more than 40. And almost no one predicts the SNP will win at least 50.

And yet no poll has implied the SNP will win as few as 35 seats, and the vast majority suggest they will win more than 40. 18 Scotland-wide polls have beenpublished over the past five months, and they have almost all suggested the same thing: the SNP will win 45-50 seats, and Labour will lose around 30 of its 41.

At their most favourable, the polls suggest Labour will only lose half their Scottish seats. But no poll has been so favourable to Labour since February began, and constituency polls published since then have suggested that national polls are underrating the scale of Labour’s collapse.

Lord Ashcroft has polled 40 per cent of Scotland’s seats over the past two months. His polls have been devastating for Labour. He has polled 19 of Labour’s 41 seats. 16 of those polls have been in the harder half of seats for the SNP to win – the ones where Labour are protecting majorities of at least 29 points (for comparison, Ed Miliband won his seat, Doncaster North, by 26 points in 2010).

14 of those 16 polls have put the SNP ahead, all by at least 3 points (in other words, almost all are outside the margin of error). These polls imply Labour will lose all but 3-4 of their seats. That is significantly fewer than the 9-11 seats that national polls imply Labour will hold.

In other words, the swing to the SNP in Labour’s heartlands is even greater than the swing in national polls. The swing in national polls is 20.5 points, which means any Labour seat with a majority of less than 41 per cent would turn SNP on an uniform swing. [1]

But Ashcroft has shown an even greater swing than 20.5 points in the 19 Labour-held seats he’s polled. The swing he’s found has been just under 25 points, which would wipe out all Labour seats where they hold majorities of less than 50 points (David Cameron won his seat, Witney, by 39 points in 2010). The graphic below shows the percentage point difference between what national polls imply for the SNP in every seat and what Lord Ashcroft’s polls have actually shown.

How much better are Ashcroft's polls for the SNP than national polls imply?

The swing to the SNP is greater in Labour heartlands (and weaker in Lib Dem seats). National polls suggest 48 SNP wins. Ashcroft polls imply 55.

The SNP are, on average, doing eight points better in Labour-held seats than national polls imply. In other words, the swing is four points greater, hence it is nearly 25 points. This is laughable. It’s the kind of swing one might type intoour seat calculator for fun, along with predictions of a Green majority or extra seats for the Lib Dems. Yet this is what almost every poll has implied, and Ashcroft’s polls have more than confirmed.

National polls imply Labour will hold 9-11 seats. This underrates the swing in Labour heartlands.

This is why May2015’s election-forecasting model suggests the SNP will win 55 seats in one month, as it has since Ashcroft first polled Scotland in February (we actually predicted 56 seats at first – a figure that was later widely reported). That prediction is based on both Ashcroft and national polls. We use Ashcroft’s numbers in the seats he’s polled, and otherwise use a variation on uniform swing for the other 35 seats in Scotland. [2] If we ignored Ashcroft’s polls, we would be forecasting 48-49 seats for the SNP.

Why we’re confident in SNP 50+

We are forecasting an extra 6-7 wins for the SNP because of this extra swing in the heartlands, and we are increasingly confident in doing so. Ashcroft’s polls are not the only evidence of this.

John Curtice, who runs the exit poll room on election night and is the BBC’s chief psephologist, has used recent national polls to suggest the same thing. He has been given access to the disaggregated results of these national polls – in other words, he can break down the national poll into regions. By doing this, Curtice has also argued the swing in Labour’s heartlands is even greater than swing shown by national polls.

John Curtice, the UK’s pre-eminent psephologist, has used recent national polls to suggest this too.

He recently went so far as to suggest Labour could lose all but two of their seats, and end up with as few as the Lib Dems and Tories. (As we speculated a few weeks ago.) Academic forecasts have also been inching up towards 50 SNP seats since January. Elections Etc – the model created by Oxford psephologist Steve Fisher, another of the hallowed few that run election night’s exit poll room – now predicts 47 seats for the SNP.

Election Forecast ‘only’ predict 42 for the SNP, but that’s because they are discounting current polls based on how UK-wide polls have moved in the past. But there is little basis for doing this. The SNP surge is a post-referendum, once-in-a-generation change. It is an out of sample event. It is a stretch to suspect the SNP will fade because smaller parties have faded in UK-wide elections before.

If Election Forecast offered a ‘nowcast’, and just projected current polls into an election result rather than predicting how the polls will change, they would be predicting more than 50 seats for the SNP. The Guardian, whose model works on very similar principles to ours, already do. As for the bookies, in January they were predicting just 25-26 SNP seats. Now they are forecasting 42-43 (so much for following the money – the money moved as polls and predictions moved). We’re still taking the ‘over’ on that bet.

[1] The SNP are polling 26 points higher than in 2010 and Labour 15 points lower = 20.5 point swing.

[2] Because Scotland polls have scarcely moved in the past two months and there are comparatively few of them, Ashcroft’s polls are ‘static’. We do not change them in-line with changes in national polls, as we do for Ashcroft seats in England and Wales.

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@britainelects: Latest YouGov poll (07 - 08 Apr):

LAB - 35% (-)

CON - 34% (+1)

UKIP - 13% (-1)

LDEM - 8% (-)

GRN - 5% (-)

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Interesting poll tomorrow then.

I reckon the debates will have done little or nothing to impact upon the polls in Scotland.

We will see the Daily Retard, the Hootsman and the British Biased Service spin for the next four weeks but that will have little effect either.

With a week to go the polls will still be showing broadly what they are at the moment and, in all likelihood, will underestimate the SNP support in Labour heartlands.

The most interesting polls over the next 27 days will be those carried out by Ashcroft in individual constituencies.

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Cant wait to see the Murphy bounce tomorrow

I'm a bit worried about how you will fare after the election and there's no more polls.

I have this vision of you wandering up and down the High Street with a clipboard asking folk random political questions in order to get your fix.

You may need to detox or go on a 10 stage plan. ;)

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