24 April 2015

Clear as mud

by John Royden

Head of Research


As we get closer to the general election the outcome looks increasingly uncertain. Although making a prediction on the result is a mug’s game, I couldn’t resist having a go.  In my opinion, to predict this election correctly, you have to:

  1. get the share of votes right and then
  2. work out how this translates into constituency wins and then
  3. work out which party is going to get into bed with which other party for a Coalition

You need 321 seats for a majority: there are 651 seats with one for the Speaker and three for his deputies.  Remove five for the Sinn Feins that don’t come to Westminster and that leaves you with 642 which divided by two gives you 321.

My own view is that the Tories stand the best chance of pulling rabbits out of a hat and surprising us.

  • I think that UKIP voters will desert to support the Tories.  In previous elections UKIPs have switched allegiance at the last minute because of wasted vote theory of which they are well aware.
  • Kellner’s Law says that no incumbent has lost an election if he scores highly on (a) Economic Competence and (b) Personal Approval Ratings. 
    • David Cameron is 44% on Economic Com petence vs Ed Miliband’s 17%. 
    • David Cameron’s personal rating is at +30 vs Ed Miliband’s (climbing quickly in the run-up to the election) -30. 
    • I think Ed Miliband’s Personal Rating is now probably at -15 but still way behind David Cameron.
  • First time new MPs at the previous election tend to do better than the polls suggest in their second election; probably because they are more youthful, energetic and committed.  I think they also get a grant of £100,000 to spend on promoting themselves when they get elected as well.  I am told that this should help the Tories.

So I think that the Tories will do better than expected and that they could probably form a government with the Northern Irish DUP (8 seats) and the Liberals (24 seats).  I’ve illustrated the various permutations below, based upon my predictions of the number of seats won be each party.
 

Figure 1:  John Royden’s expectations analysed

As clear as mud 

John Royden

Head of Fixed Income Research


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