Today is General Election day 2017 and it’s one that could well go down in history. After a cavalcade of U-turns, Theresa May has seen poll leads disappear and re-open, Labour have seen almost unprecedented levels of support at their rallies, and social media has been a bigger part of this election than any before it. The polls have swung from a 24 point gap at their peak, to a one point gap on June 7th (Via Survation), but the Conservative numbers haven’t dipped below 40 points at any stage.
In fact, the only polling company predicting a Labour polling victory tomorrow is Qriously, who have predicted Labour to take 41.3% of the vote and the Conservatives to take 38.5% aren’t a certified member of the British Polling Council, but who did successfully predict Brexit. They have predicted a high turnout (somewhere around 70%) and, crucially, the CEO revealed that “only 85 per cent of ‘very likely’ Labour voters are certain of their voting intention on Thursday, versus 92 per cent for the Conservatives”, leaving room for a significant margin of error.
The only other pollster to put Labour and the Tories neck and neck was Survation, who declared a one point leader for Theresa May. Survation accurately predicted the Brexit referendum result with these figures,
Con – poll:37% result:37.8%
Lab – poll:31% result: 31.2%
LibDem – poll:10% result: 8.1%
UKIP – poll:11% result: 12.9%
Greens – poll: 5% result: 3.8%
CON LEAD – poll: 6% result:6.6%
But their current model is based on an almost 90% youth turnout, so this has called into question the legitimacy of the projections. Unweighted polls have the gap much closer than many would have predicted, but the massive spread of polling numbers has come as a result of an unpredictable youth turnout. Given the massive role of social media, and Labour dominance over the youth vote, this could end up being the deciding factor, if youth vote sees another bump from the EU referendum they could see key marginals swing towards Labour and Jeremy Corbyn.
We previously expressed the opinion that this election would be won on the framing of the narrative, domestic vs foreign policy, and we feel that still rings true. Labour have carved a niche out of Theresa May’s weaknesses on domestic issues and could go on to win more seats than expected if people are worried about the NHS.
Ultimately we won’t have any idea until well into this evening, when turnout becomes clearer and the exit polls are published. It is going to be a long a stressful day for all involved, with a Conservative majority predicted by most pollsters, Labour praying for a youth surge, and civil servants preparing for a hung parliament. It would be easy to write of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, but perhaps a little premature. If the last two years of elections have taught us anything, it’s that we should never underestimate the populist cause. Trump and Brexit both defied the pollsters and Corbyn shares one key characteristic with these upsets – an anti-establishment message. We think Britain could be headed for a hung parliament, but what do you think? Let us know!