Tories on course for 28-seat Commons majority as new poll shows election race tightening
Labour has closed the gap on the Conservatives but Boris Johnson in still on course for a small Commons majority, according to a major new poll.
The YouGov survey of more than 100,000 people for the The Times predicts the Tories will win 339 seats on Thursday - 20 fewer than forecast a fortnight ago.
Labour would win 231 - up 20 on the last poll - with the Lib Dems picking up 15 seats and the SNP 41. That would be enough to give the Conservatives a majority of 28 seats.
That would be the Tories' best election performance since 1987 and Labour's worst since the same year.
However, YouGov said that the margin of error meant that the Tories could win as little as 311 seats, meaning "we absolutely cannot rule out the 2019 election producing a hung Parliament".
That would be fewer seats than Theresa May won in 2017 and would raise serious questions about whether Boris Johnson could remain as Tory leader.
The so-called "Multi-level Regression and Post-stratification" poll, known as MRP, predicts that the Tories will receive 43% of the vote, Labour 34%, the Lib Dems 12% and the Brexit Party 3%.
YouGov's previous MRP poll had Labour losing 44 seats to the Conservatives, but this has now dropped to 29.
It predicts Mr Johnson could still take the key target seats of Bishop Auckland, Dudley North, Bury South, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Scunthorpe and Don Valley.
But Mr Corbyn could also hold on to Canterbury and Kensington, which were surprise wins in 2017, and take Chipping Barnet and Putney from the Tories.
And Jo Swinson’s Lib Dems could take Richmond Park, St Albans, Sheffield Hallam and South Cambridgeshire, despite her party falling in the polls since the election campaign began.
The MRP survey mapped the voting preferences of 105,612 people based on age, gender, education, previous votes and other factors, a much larger sample than usual polls, to come up with estimates for each constituency.
Chris Curtis, YouGov’s political research manager, said: “Our latest and final poll shows that a small Conservative majority is likely, with the Tories taking 22 more seats than in 2017 and Labour losing 31.
“This would be the best and worst results respectively for each party since the 80s.
“But the margins are extremely tight and small swings in a small number of seats, perhaps from tactical voting and a continuation of Labour’s recent upward trend, means we can’t currently rule out a hung parliament.
“As things currently stand there are 85 seats with a margin of error of 5% or less.”
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“The tightening of the YouGov MRP poll would suggest that Labour are managing to squeeze the Liberal Democrat vote, and that their wins in the air wars have had a notabale effect, even if the change is not huge.
"It looks a virtual certainty that the Tories will win the most seats, as they are 1/33 (97.09) to do so. They are still seen as very likely to win a majority (Star go 4/11, or 73.53%) but a Hung Parliament is within the margin of error based on this data and Star bet 9/4 on that being the case – a 30.77% chance. It’s important to note how tight this contest still is – the MRP poll had no less than eighty-five seats with 5% or less between the first two parties – and a huge amount of options are on the table.
"Punters with a specific view should head to Star’s election page website, where we have Seat forecasts for the Conservatives (342.5 seats), Labour (221.5 seats), the Liberal Democrats (17.5 seats), SNP (43.5 seats), Plaid (4.5 seats), and the Brexit Party (0.5 seats)."
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