British election May 7:Labour and Miliband on the road to power ?

The British election will be held on May 7 two months from now and the latest opinion polls show Labour ahead at 34 % well up from their 2010 result of 29 %, the Tories at 33 % down from their 2010 result of 36.1 %. The Liberal democrats, the coalition party of David Cameron’s Conservative party are way down at 7 % as compared to 23 % in 2010. UKIP the anti Europe anti immigration party is at 14 %, the Greens at 7 %. Taking data from the poll of polls and adjusting it for the most recent polling of the 69 marginal Labour constituencies and the 32 marginal Conservative seats where small shifts in the vote swinging away from the Conservatives and toward Labour or away from Labour and toward the Scottish nationalists and also seats where despite the swing the Tories and Lib dems will hang on to seats by narrow margins, it is possible to project the seat distribution if the vote breaks this way on May 7 as follows. Labour 283 seats, Conservatives 255 seats, Scottish nationalists 55 seats, Greens o seats, Liberal democrats 27 seats UKIP 7 Plaid Cymru(the Welsh party )9 seats , Other including seats in Northern Ireland 11. With these results Labour can form a government with the support of the Scottish nationalists since 323 seats are required to govern. In 2010 the Conservatives won 306 seats, Labour 258 seats, the Lib Dems 57 seats the Scottish nationalists and the Welsh Plaid Cymru 9 seats and others 20 seats.

Of course , these results are based on the most recent polls and election campaign events can change preferences and voter turnout is always an issue. In this respect the refusal of the Conservatives to agree so far to 3 one on one debates proposed by the media, ITV,BBC and Sky TV between Ed Miliband the Labour leader and David Cameron the Conservative leader looks likely to portray Cameron as being afraid to debate Miliband. This can only hurt the Conservative chances. It is difficult to understand Conservative thinking here even given Miliband’s superior debating skills.At this point there are three proposed debates involving all seven party leaders as well as three proposed debates involving the Conservative and Labour party leaders. Whether these latter debates will take place or Cameron’s place will be taken by an empty chair is still to be determined.

sources: The Poll of Polls seat calculator; Nicholas Allen&John Bartle Britain at the Polls 2010, London: 2010; The New Statesman and the Guardian various issues.

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About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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