National seat projections
Possible coalitions or alliances
According to this projection a hung parliament is likely. There are few viable coalitions, but multiple ad hoc alliances are possible.
If no coalition can form a majority, a “confidence and supply” deal with smaller parties could allow a minority Conservative or Labour government to pass its Queen’s Speech and its Budget. All other issues would then be decided vote by vote.
% intending to vote for a given party
In national polls, which estimate the likely share of vote, the Labour and Conservative parties are neck-and-neck while the UK Independence party has overtaken the Liberal Democrats as the third most-popular party.
Under Britain’s first‑past‑the post electoral system, the popular vote does not translate directly to the distribution of seats in parliament.
The key constituency battles
With the UK’s traditional party system fragmenting, the outcome of this election will be determined by four battles.
Each constituency’s miniature chart compares the result of the 2010 election (or any subsequent by‑election) with the current constituency‑level projection from electionforecast.co.uk.
The SNP surge in Scotland
Dozens of new Scottish National party MPs could soon head south to play a kingmaker role in a hung parliament at Westminster. SNP membership has quadrupled to 100,000 since last year’s independence referendum and polls give it a near 20-point lead over Labour in Scotland. Related article »
The Tory-Labour marginals
Despite the fragmentation of British politics, many of the most competitive constituencies are still contests between the two largest parties. In 2010, the margin between Labour and the Conservatives in 55 constituencies was less than 5 per cent of votes cast. The rise of the UK Independence party and the uncertain distribution of votes from disaffected Liberal Democrat voters will, however, confound fans of the traditional swingometer even in these contests. Related article »
The Lib Dem fight for survival
Traditionally Britain’s third-largest political party, the Liberal Democrats’ popularity has collapsed since joining the Conservatives in coalition government. The Lib Dems now languish in fourth place in many national polls, trailing the UK Independence party and only just ahead of the Green party. The party is seeking to cling on to as many of its 57 seats as possible, but Labour, the Conservatives and the SNP all expect to make substantial gains at the Lib Dems’ expense. Related article »
Ukip target seats
The anti-EU, anti-immigration UK Independence party is one of several nationalist, populist parties in Europe benefiting from a rise in anti-establishment feeling. It hopes the general election will confirm its place in the political mainstream. Ukip has so far succeeded primarily by appealing to disaffected Conservative supporters, but is also targeting Labour areas in northern England. Related article »