Mike Smithson is Editor of PoliticalBetting.com. In advance of the publication of a ConservativeHome poll on party members' attitudes to co-operation with the Liberal Democrats he suggests that Britain may be heading for a hung parliament after the next General Election. A Liberal Democrat himself he then considers how the parties might position themselves for possible coalition government.
When I am pressed on how I think people will vote at the next General Election I say something like this:- CON 39%: LAB 33%: LD 22%: OTH 6%. This is roughly where we are with the latest polls but with the “others” total being compressed because of the likely polarisation that a close election would bring.
In terms of seats according to Anthony Wells’s excellent “Swing Calculator” on UK Polling Report these shares would produce this distribution: LAB 284: CON 283: LD 54: OTH 29.
The Tories would almost certainly be the majority party in England – an outcome that could have colossal consequences of itself. But the overall result would be a hung parliament with Labour having the most seats. Prime Minister Brown, if indeed it is he, would not have to go to the Palace to resign and could wait to take his chances in the Commons vote after the ensuing Queen’s speech.
The election result would, of course, be an abomination in terms of electoral fairness. Labour with less than one third of the vote, and having barely five-sixths of the votes of the Tories, would still have most seats.