Labour still ahead of Conservatives but UKIP is potential kingmaker

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Labour still ahead of Conservatives but UKIP is potential kingmaker

UK elections are scheduled for 7 May 2015 (see Figure 1). On present form, the Conservatives don’t have the votes to form a new coalition government (assuming they can find a partner), let alone form a majority government. Analysts tentatively forecast that Labour will win slightly more seats than the Conservatives, with both parties falling short of a 326 parliamentary victory. This would give Labour first right to form a minority or coalition government.

Figure 1: 2015 election timetable. Source: www.parliament.co.uk

Figure 1: 2015 election timetable. Source: www.parliament.co.uk

The opposition Labour Party is still a few percentage points ahead of the ruling Conservative Party (See Figure 2), with around 33-34% support, according to the latest BBC poll of polls[1]. Support for Labour has eroded from about 42-43% two years ago, due in part to leader Ed Miliband’s very low popularity, as well as discontent across the political spectrum with proposed policies such as the Mansions Tax.

The greatest beneficiary has been the UK Independence Party (UKIP), with its support doubling in the past two years to around 15-17%. This puts it in third place, comfortably ahead of the Liberal Democrats, with support for the Conservatives’ coalition partner hovering around 7-9% after having inched to around 11% in 2013.

 

 

olivier desbarres fig 3

Figure 2: Labour still edging Conservatives in recent polls (BBC poll of polls). Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27330849

 

With neither Labour nor the Conservatives likely to be in a position to form a majority government, UKIP finds itself as a potential kingmaker in a future government. More on that in following commentaries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olivier Desbarres is a former G10 and emerging markets economist, rates & currency strategist with 15 years experience. He has written extensively on EU membership and is now an independent commentator.

 


 

[1] The BBC poll of polls uses the same methodology as the London School of Economics, known as the median smoothing method, looking at the middle value for each party in the five most recent polls. The ‘others’ figure is taken by subtracting the results for the three main parties from 100. Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13248622

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