Rather than their usual poll for the Times, this week YouGov have a full MRP model of voting intention (that is, the same method that YouGov used for their seat projection at the general election). Topline voting intention figures from the YouGov MRP model are CON 39%, LAB 34%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 5%. The fieldwork was Sun-Thursday last week, with just over 40,000 respondents.

The aim of an MRP model is not really the vote shares though, the whole point of the technique is project shares down to seat level, and project who would win each seat. The model currently has the Conservatives winning 321 seats, Labour 250, the Liberal Democrats 16 and the SNP 39. Compared to the 2017 election the Conservatives would make a net gain of just 4 seats, Labour would lose 12 seats, the Liberal Democrats would gain 4 and the SNP would gain 4. It would leave the Conservatives just shy of an overall majority (though in practice, given Sinn Fein do not take their seats and the Speaker and Deputies don’t vote, they would have a majority of MPs who actually vote in the Commons). Whether an extra four seats would really help that much is a different question.

The five point lead it shows for the Conservatives is a swing of 1.4% to the Conservatives – very small, but on a pure uniform swing it would be enough for the Tories to get a proper overall majority. The reason they don’t here is largely because the model shows Labour outperforming in the ultra-marginal seats they won off the Conservatives at the last election (a well known phenomenon – they gain the personal vote of the new Labour MP, lose any incumbency bonus from the former Tory MP. It is the same reason the Conservatives failed to gain a meaningful number of seats in 2001, despite a small swing in their favour).

For those interested in what MRP actually is, YouGov’s detailed explanation from the 2017 election is here (Ben Lauderdale & Jack Blumenau, who created the model for the 2017 election, also carried out this one). The short version is that it is a technique designed to allow projection of results at smaller geographical levels (in this case, individual constituencies). It works by modelling respondents’ voting intention based on their demographics and the political circumstances in each seat, and then applying the model to the demographics of each of the 632 seats in Great Britain. Crucially, of course, it also called the 2017 election correctly, when most of the traditional polls ended up getting it wrong.

Compared to more conventional polling the Conservative lead is similar to that in YouGov’s recent traditional polls (which have shown Tory leads of between 5-7 points of late), but has both main parties at a lower level. Partly this is because it’s modelling UKIP & Green support in all seats, rather than in just the constituencies they contested in 2017 (when the MRP was done at the last election it was after nominations had closed, so it only modelled the actual parties standing in each seat) – in practice their total level of support would likely be lower.

The Times’s write up of the poll is here, details from YouGov are here and technical details are here

1,157 Responses to “YouGov MRP seat projection – CON 321, LAB 250, LDEM 16, SNP 39”

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  1. Survation shows LD taking the biggest hit from IG. SkyData poll shows the reverse. I would think some of the IG support will be coming from people indicating that they think a new party is a good idea rather than that they will actually vote for it.

  2. NEILJ

    You can’t treat all migrants as if they were the same average person, there are huge variances (as there are among the UK-born population). What we do know is that the fall in the EU-born workforce has been put down to low-paid people from the A8 states leaving the country; they are not the ones pushing up the average lifetime contribution of EU immigrants. Indeed, their departure ought to result in that average lifetime contribution going up. By the same token, there can be a lot of difference in earning potential and labour force participation between people who arrived in earlier waves of non-EU immigration and those that are being allowed working visas under the current regime. What that article does highlight is that there is still a worryingly low average contribution from non-EU migrants overall, which must be down to something (though I couldn’t tell you what).


    It’s not that the UK as a whole is rich, it’s that rich British people are the ones who tend to emigrate and will probably still find it easy to do so post-Brexit. Lower skilled British people don’t tend to make use of freedom of movement. Sad, perhaps, but unless you can refute that with statistics then I don’t see what your argument is supposed to be. I do recognise that losing freedom of movement is a price, but it’s a question of whether it’s a net benefit to the UK overall compared to a tailored immigration system, and I don’t believe that it is.

    On a personal note I have numerous friends who have moved abroad, but they have been pursuing well-paid careers which pass visa requirements and would have little difficulty in doing so under a post-Brexit system. I equally know a lot of people who have moved to the UK under freedom of movement (I’m a Londoner in my 30s, it would be wierd if a good chunk of my friends weren’t from abroad) indeed, this would potentially be the larger impact on me personally (don’t underestimate that attachment to European friends and partners may be a larger reason for younger people not wanting to lose FoM than the prospect of emigrating themselves), but I also think that most of them would have faced few if any difficulties in moving to the UK if they’d had to secure a visa in order to do so.

  3. May has told her MPs that the Malthouse compromise won’t work and is no longer being pursued.

    So that’s clear then.

    May negotaites a deal, and tells MPs that it’s the best and only deal they will get.

    May then votes against her own deal, in favour of the Malthouse Proposal.

    She is now saying her new proposal can’t work, so she is dropping it.

    Everyone clear on this?

  4. Hugo

    “Reports coming out of Brussels claiming the Southern Irish getting increasingly concerned that the EU planning a concession on this backstop issue.” 1:10pm

    “Straight from the horse’s mouth!” 1:19pm

    Wrong end of the horse, perhaps?

  5. Forgot the tag line – ‘strong and stable’!

  6. Colin,

    “The convention is that the Party in Power is responsible Peter.”

    Eh no, that’s a pretence….the convention is you blame the Party in power even if you would have done the same while claiming you would have done so much better.

    It’s also the pretence you have indulged in but dodging the fact that with regards to the years before the financial crisis, both Tory and Labour policies on the banks were to all intents and purposes identical.

    When both sides play at attacking each other while pursuing the same policy you are heading for problems because there is no detailed scrutiny.

    A majority in Westminster backed light regulation in some for and a majority also backed the war in Iraq. That’s the problem with triangulation…you a
    have raging arguments about the colour of the new car but you both want to buy the same car!


  7. TCO
    ” they are content to allow FoM, then you are right, PatrickBrian has written total nonsense. But if UK people do want any restriction on FoM, then it is likely you who has written total nonsense.”

    I long since lost interest in any detail of what might or might not happen after Brexit, but I suppose I just assumed that things would revert to the status quo ante – in other words EU people wishing to come here would need whatever paperwork they needed before we joined the EEC and vice versa. I can’t see any reason why the UK or EU would treat each others’ citizens in any different way to say Americans or Chinese. So yes, Leave voters wanted a restriction on FoM but to suggest that this means that UK citizens will never be able to live or work in Europe (and vice versa) is ridiculous. That was what the original post said.

    Sometimes you people seem to be argumentative just for the sake of it. Or just obtuse.

  8. Oh and for the sake of balance and fairness, with the idea of the “Celtic Tiger!” Most of the SNP bought into a lot of the same narrative.

    Few if any were challenging the orthodoxy of the time!


  9. COLIN

    So? The point I was making is that zero hours contracts are bad for the health of those who are engaged on them. If I had chosen the year 2018 rather than 2017 I could still have said accurately that more than 1.8 million people have been employed under these damaging contracts

  10. COLIN

    “Yep-which you described as “last year”. It isn’t.”

    The year 2017 occurs in an extract from the article at the link. I quoted from the article. I forgot the quotation marks.

  11. Good evening all from a very mild Winchester


    Curious how many posters here are ever more dogmatically insisting that nothing will happen when we leave the EU. Is this anxiety showing? Certainly if we leave without a transition period quite a lot will happen quite quickly

    Any anxiety

  12. Try again…

    Curious how many posters here are ever more dogmatically insisting that nothing will happen when we leave the EU. Is this anxiety showing? Certainly if we leave without a transition period quite a lot will happen quite quickly

    Any anxiety over Brexit will surely be offset by the home office decision to strip that IS bride of her British citizenship.

    Personally, after she had given birth and the baby in a safe place I would had asked Putin if he would fire one of his very impressive Kalibr cruise missiles to take the TNT worshiper out.


    Sorry, no source – just an opinion.

  14. “Lower skilled British people don’t tend to make use of freedom of movement. Sad, perhaps, but unless you can refute that with statistics then I don’t see what your argument is supposed to be.”

    I don’t understand this at all. I’m not making an argument. I am stating the fact that we are about to lose a right that I value hugely, for me , my children, the skilled , the unskilled, the rich and the poor. Whether they are currently “making use of it” or not. FoM works both ways. You think it’s worth losing it for other gains, I don’t.

    If you have statistical evidence that ‘lower skilled British people’ – by which you mean what?- don’t make use of FoM, then I’d be interested to see it. ( Hal and Neil J above think otherwise, as do I). But it’s you that is making an assertion about this, not me.

  15. Pyrmonter

    “I can remember the likes of OldNat saying years ago the Scots Tories were next to dead, too.”

    Well remembered! I got that wrong.

    IIRC, that was in the context of Westminster FPTP elections. Ironically, PR for Holyrood and local elections was the great saviour of SCon, just as it was the mechanism that allowed the SNP to break through, but prevents them from dominating the political scene.

    Laszlo and Roger Mexico

    Thanks for the explanations re Liverpool.

    It’s one of the less attractive aspects of politics here that SCon seem to be looking to build on divisive “othering” as a political tactic. It tends to assert itself by associating itself with support for the DUP, Orange Order, and Rangers FC.

    While all politicians (an amoral breed, by and large) will posture over (often inconsequential) issues, that is a potentially dangerous approach to take.

  16. @ rogermexico

    “One query about employment figures. How much of the increase in employment levels in 16-64 year olds is driven by changes in retirement age? The ONS report:….”

    Another factor which might be in play is the need for some of the population to take low paid precarious jobs who might previously have been full time parents, carers or retirees to service increasing personal debt or simply to cover household bills following a period of wage stagnation:


    The financial squeeze has affected low income households the most. According to ONS figures, the poorest 10% of households spent two and a half times their disposable income, on average, in the financial year ending 2017 – while the richest 10% spent less than half of their available income during the same period. 

    The record level of indebtedness is not something celebrated by our enthusiastic posters.

  17. Peter Cairns,
    “Unemployment is dropping to under 4%, Employment is at almost 76%, inflation is only 1.4% and wages are growing by 3.4%…but the economy is only growing by 1.4%.

    We have record employment & low inflation so where is the growth, conventional wisdom should have as powering forth at US levels of 3-4% with tax receipts flowing in like never before.”

    It struck me that figures of falling unemployment and wages ahead of inflation and ahead of growth, means that in fact productivity is falling (more people employed to create the same amount), and cost of labour is going up. That the boasted success is in fact a measure of economic decline?

    “More and more of our GDP will be made up of financial activity rather than production,”

    I dont understand why there is a belief that the finance industry will be unaffected. Why would it?

  18. Pete B
    “Sometimes you people seem to be argumentative just for the sake of it. Or just obtuse.”

    Substitute ‘or’ with ‘and’ and I fully agree.


    On his zero contract, my brother in law has never been in better health and for a 60 year old too. You make too many generalisations.

  19. ALEC
    “May then votes against her own deal, in favour of the Malthouse Proposal.”

    She voted for the Brady amendment. Not the Malthouse Proposal, that was not taken to any vote in the commons so far as I know.

    That said its reasonably obvious she will get nothing of any real legal significance from the desperate grovelling thats going on in Brussels.

    Its going to come down (yet again) to her dressing up some mouldy old mutton as lamb and hoping MPs will swallow it for fear of total starvation otherwise.

    With any luck the Kyle proposal will be taken up by the commons in time. Seems to me to be the best way out.

  20. “Barnier told Barclay that suspending EU law on the border was not a viable solution to the problem. Weyand later privately lamented that the EU was having to repeat arguments to Cox first made in August 2017.”

    This is all so embarrassingly pathetic.

  21. Sorry for the late answer, I had a far too busy and long day.

    Roger Mexico

    You are right about the myths of these cities. It has to be added though that the various communist groups were strong in Glasgow (while they never been in Liverpool).

    The shift of the socio-economic structures in the cities are also important. The dockers here were replaced by various service and public service employment creating a broader basis (yet the rockers still have their pub on Hope Street, and it is also a meeting place for various leftist factions.

    Th He breaking of the sectarian boundaries were also helped by moving families to Kirkby, Works and alike which changed demography.

    On Liverpool’s political history, and in particular the 1970s and 1980s Liverpool John Moore University (then polytechnic) did some really excellent research going through archival material, interviews and so on. Probably some of the books are still accessible, but some of the working papers are probably forever lost.

    It is very strange that Garston and the surrounding still give quite a few votes to the Liberals even if it is the most traditional working class area (by the look, the demographic changes underneath are present there too).

  22. COLIN

    I went back to my first post on zero hours contracts and I give you my apologies.

    I have posted a link that is not to the source of material I posted though It is still relevant. As I said before your criticisms are factually correct. I can’t find the source of the first post.Sorry.

  23. PTRP

    I think the Toyotaist model of manufacturing went to the point when it became extremely sensitive to very small statistical fluctuations (not enough buffer). And it also became too reliant on patronage. 6 sigma here just in time there, Toyota ran their ERP software for their manufacturing only once a month because plant managers disliked rescheduling.

    Th He car industry is facing massive turmoil (Audi is in preparation of abolishing the third shift and increasing intensity in the other two). Probably Volkswagen’s model of delegating responsibilities to its main suppliers to manage the supply chain will get into trouble because of the regulatory changes, and it seems that the nationalised car manufacturing may come to an end.

    The semi-condutor industry is interesting (especially the foundries that you mentioned) using open innovation models and so on. It requires a quasi monopolistic market based on debt finances growth and price reduction (yield gaining) strategy both in Korea and in Taiwan (but the two models are very different in vertical integration).

    The financial sector is still figuring out what to do with technology, with fintech companies and the tone of independents at the level of organisation, company. It will be major shkeup.

  24. @WES, MATT126

    via @BritainElects:

    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 32%
    LAB: 26%
    IG: 10%
    LDEM: 9%
    UKIP: 6%
    GRN: 4%

    via @SkyData, 19 Feb

    Have they included some level of DKs in order to get more excitingly low Con/Lab figures? Cos 13% for Others would suggest the SNP will be winning everything north of Halifax…

  25. @RandD

    And yet Channel 4 are saying there are 2 teams working on the backstop and they may be getting their heads together tomorrow.

  26. @bantams

    I seem to remember you thought there was an agreed backstop solution waiting in the wings to be produced after the meaningful vote!

  27. Increasing speculation that 2 possibly 3 Tory MPs will move to become TIGs tomorrow.

  28. @BANTAMS

    There were four teams working on scoring goals in the Champions League tonight, but endeavour doesn’t ensure results :-)

  29. Joan Ryan MP , Enfield North, has resigned from the Labour Party.

  30. @ Edge of Reason

    I didn’t say a solution was pending just pointing out there are various parties giving different information on both sides.

  31. “Out and into the world…”
    @hugo February 19th, 2019 at 11:19 am

    Yes indeed. Exciting times.

    I wonder if the 3-4000 Honda workers will agree, though. I wonder what will happen to Swindon when one of their major employers goes? I wonder how the government will react. My first thoughts are perhaps they’ll do the same as they did when they closed the mines. Bugger all.

    Will the (soon to be) unemployed workers go out into the world? Will hugo?

    Or are you one of those who gets a guaranteed 2.5% pay rise every year, irrespective of the economy?

  32. @BANTAMS

    Yeah, I wasn’t trying to be snide – I just mean that they kinda have to say that, regardless of whether they’re actually trying to achieve anything. Much like the teams tonight have to say they were trying to win, when in reality not losing was a much more important objective for all four.

    For the UK or the EU to say “yeah, it’s obviously hopeless, we’re not going to talk any further” would be pretty extraordinary and politically insane.

  33. Hireton
    “According to ONS figures, the poorest 10% of households spent two and a half times their disposable income, on average, in the financial year ending 2017”

    Crikey. It’s a different world. I saw the other day that 70% of adults have NO savings. Perhaps we need more home economics lessons in schools. The government could do with an adult version too.

  34. @ Hireton

    I don’t remember saying that but as the real meaningful vote hasn’t happened yet I do think a solution will be hammered out but it will have to be presented BEFORE the vote so everyone can rightly have a proper debate on whether it’s acceptable.

  35. @Colin

    “The convention is that the party in power is responsible Peter ”

    Hmmm. But recently you were saying Corbyn and co would be at least partly responsible for the economic mess if we leave without a deal.

  36. @Hulagu – “Curious how many posters here are ever more dogmatically insisting that nothing will happen when we leave the EU.”

    Well one thing we know after today is that if we leave with no deal, food price inflation is going to go up, as well as the UK food and farming industry suffer some pretty severe losses.

    If what Gove said is correct, and the plan is for tariffs on agricultural imports, then as most of these come from the EU, that means a big increase in food prices.

    On top of that, if we put tariffs on their goods, they will obviously respond likewise. We rather did this to death a couple of weeks ago, but we can pretty much write off the UK sheep meat sector for a start, where a third of production is exported to the EU. Lose that third, and the entire industry collapses, such are the margins.

    Other sectors will also be badly affected, with the industry reckoning 25% of agricultural exporters will go bust within 6 weeks of tariff introduction, and 10% of the entire food processing industry likewise.

  37. “Really? I think it’s great to see more people working, and certainly better for the rest of us who pay for other’s unemployment pay.”
    @The Other Howard February 19th, 2019 at 11:57 am

    Maybe great for you to see others working, but what about the child of a single mum, who is struggling to make ends meet? They may not have your enthusiasm.

    And remember I am paying for your (state) pension. Not you.

  38. @Hireton

    “Increasing speculation that 2 possibly 3 Tory MPs will move to become TIGs tomorrow.”

    Call me if it happens. I really can’t see it. This is a Labour split predominantly by those critical of Labours approach to antisemitism (I believe the last one to resign today was chair of LFI?)

  39. EOR

    The Sky tables are somewhat strange.

    No category for “Don’t Know”, but “I would not vote” is there. Actual numbers are only quoted for the overall GB column (from which the VI figures being quoted are calculated).

    It seems unlikely that Sky found no DKs. Have they (for some unimaginable reason) dumped them in with WNV?. Seems unlikely, as 26% say WNV and a turnout of 74% would not be surprising.

    Perhaps included in “Others”? Might be, as the “Others” line in the table has 5% (though the tiny Scots sample shows 11% as others – which seems remarkably high given that 7 options would have been available to the 87 folk (only 72 individuals).

    The weightings show rather a disproportionate number of responses from those in the South and Midlands of England, which had to be quite severely weighted down. Does that tell us something about those with Sky subscriptions?

    Even though they weight their sample to GB demographics, that they are only sampling from Sky customers (I believe) must bias the sample to some extent.

  40. @ALEC

    Your “we did this to death a couple of weeks ago” is well-heeded, but I am curious… if there’s a collapse in the demand for the large amounts of lamb we sell to the EU, and a simultaneous steep rise in the cost of the large amounts of beef we import from Ireland, is that not a situation that would find its own solution fairly quickly?

    (If it’s a recently-cited question of massively differing volumes, or that “Irish” beef in shops is mostly reprocessed UK beef or something similar to that, then my apologies)

  41. @garj “A source would be nice because this to me has the ring of “We all know” or “This guy down the Pub said!””
    @Peter Cairns (SNP) February 19th, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    In an earlier post @hugo said he got it from a horse that worked for his auntie in Brussels.

  42. What a smug person the Labour MP Chris Williamson is. His interview on Newsnight was excruciating.

    It seems clear that he would be happy for the Labour Party to be reduced to a rump in Parliament – as long as they adhere to the policies adopted by “conference”.

    Compromise is a dirty word I guess and that, of course, is the dilemma with the idea that parties are “broad churches”.

    In the end there has to be a limit to just how broad a church one can tolerate, and I am increasingly thinking that I can no longer vote for a party that has such people representing it.

  43. New thread.

  44. “Don’t you remember that economy “before”.?

    The one lauded by Balls & Brown. The one powered by Cheap Credit ,Venal Bankers & Predatory Lending . The one financed by short term Inter Bank Lending backed by collateral consisting of Dodgy US Mortgage Debt-which suddenly dried up.
    The one which disappeared in a pile of Finance Industry Bad Debt write offs & shattered Balance Sheets.

    The one which has gone forever-we hope.”
    @colin February 19th, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    I remember the one before the one before that (ie the one before Thatcher).

    I remember when you could afford to buy house on a ‘normal’ wage.

    Where only one person needed to work, and the other (always the wife) could stay at home and look after the kids. And even with that one wage all of you could afford to eat — at the same time.

    When I could go to university (the first urqa in a thousand generations) without coming out with too much debt.

    Where if I didn’t work I could still afford to live on benefits (sssshh! That’s a dog whistle word to some.)

    Then someone came along and said, nope, we can’t have that. Let’s change it.

  45. AL UEQA

    “And remember I am paying for your (state) pension. Not you.”

    What nonsense.

    If you knew how much tax i pay now and have payed since i retired you would know that I have paid, and am still paying for my pension and a lot of others.

    Gave me a laugh though, and no i don’t mind paying the level of tax i do as I think it quite fair, especially as I will get a nice tax cut in April along with most people.

  46. @TOH Clearly we have done really well compared with most others despite being in the EU. Once we have got through the initial economic hit of leaving the EU it will be fascinating to look at the comparative figures again.

    It might be less tendentious to say ‘this is how we have done while we are in the EU’. Apart from that I would have thought that everyone could agree with these sentiments.

    From an economic point of view I personally can see absolutely no reason why we should do better outside the EU than in it. And I expect the economic hit to be lasting and damaging, particularly if we leave with no deal. As you will no doubt point out, time will tell, but I had much rather it was not given the opportunity to do so.

    That said, I realise that your reasons for wishing to leave the EU are not primarily economic. To open an area of agreement I have recently discovered that the EU requires us to refrain from crossing the road when the red man tells us not to. Personally I can see no justification for the EU’s restricting my freedom in this way.

    I have, however, been told by a Swede that while the EU requires this as a matter of law, it does not set any punishments for failure to comply. Hence I am happy to continue my practice of crossing the road whenever I deem it safe to do so (except when with my grandchildren, when I religiously comply with the green man’s instructions, for fear of setting a dangerous example).

    The fact of the matter is that government bureaucracies, while absolutely necessary for a civilised life, are inevitably tempted to over-reach themselves, in which case they appear ridiculous, or overbearing, or irritating depending on one’s mood. To my observation, however, my local authority is far more prone to these failings than the distant, and largely invisible EU. Brexit is not radical enough. Passport to Pimlico is what we really need.

  47. RosieandDaise,
    “In the end there has to be a limit to just how broad a church one can tolerate, and I am increasingly thinking that I can no longer vote for a party that has such people representing it.”

    The fault lies with the system. FPP means two monolithic parties which cannot have anything except broad views.

    If the system requires two parties, but voters cannot stomach those parties, then support for the parties will fall even while they continue to govern and the entire system falls into disrepute.

    There is no meaningfull voice in parliament for remaining in the EU. So supposedly 55% of voters are being disenfranchised on that alone. It might be the current example, but it is hardly a new problem.

    To continue with brexit knowingly against the wishes of a majority, not just a majority of remainers but also at least a minority of leavers who will not like the final single chosen course, looks pretty much suicidal.

    Which is why I keep banging on that conservative MPs must understand this, and must therefore oppose brexit even if they will not say so.

  48. @DANNY

    What really surprises me is that we seem to bithly accept that a party can get only 37% of the vote and basically have minority electoral dictatorship.

    It is my rationale for saying we are going to leave without a deal in order to make that electorally damaging you need over 60% of people to want to remain

    Which is why I think DANNY hope that the Tories will miraculously turn remain is wishful thinking. A a minimum a 30% of Tory voters support no deal in all circumstances and over half support it compare to remain. He is right about the numbers as I suspect 55% of people would vote remain and if there was not a Tory DUP government I suspect we would have had a second referendum but that is not where we are at

  49. @Danny

    “To continue with brexit knowingly against the wishes of a majority, not just a majority of remainers but also at least a minority of leavers who will not like the final single chosen course, looks pretty much suicidal.”

    To not follow the express will of the majority clearly expressed in 2016 would be suicidal Danny.

    70% of Conservative constituencies voted Leave, 60% of Labour constituencies voted Leave. Decisive.

    A few straw polls doesn’t trump that, but you’re clutching at them.

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