Hung parliament prediction described as “bollocks” by party insiders
Conservatives still polling on average 10 points ahead of Labour as YouGov seat predictor points to a hung parliament
Corbyn polling - PA
Political parties have dismissed a prediction in today’s Times which would see the Conservatives lose their overall majority at next week’s general election.
The analysis of YouGov research puts the Tories on course to win 310 seats - down from the 330 they held when the election was called, and 16 short of an overall majority.
Labour, on the other hand, would see its number of MPs jump from 229 to 257, with the Lib Dems up one to 10, the SNP down four to 50, and the Greens staying on one.
YouGov have warned the research is "not a prediction".
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The result would mean neither Labour nor the Conservatives could form a government, even with the help of the Liberal Democrats.
A Labour/SNP power-share would be impossible, even though such an arrangement has been ruled out by Jeremy Corbyn.
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However experts have warned the prediction, based on 50,000 interviews with voters in constituencies has “a wide margin of error”.
YouGov have acknowledged the predictions are “controversial” and big swings in the usual voting patterns for many voters meant the figures could “change dramatically” before June 8.
However, YouGov director Joe Twyman said the model was based on current data, “not a prediction”.
The Conservatives on average are still polling 10 points higher than Labour, which would be enough to give them an increased majority.
This is despite Theresa May having had a difficult campaign, performing a u-turn on social care funding promised in an uncosted manifesto, avoiding television debates and looking uncomfortable under questioning.
Conservative and Labour insiders told Holyrood’s sister site Politics Home the parties were sceptical about the prediction.
One Labour source said: "It doesn't feel right. It has definitely got better out there because of the dementia tax and also school meals getting taken away, but I don't believe that poll."
Another said the shock study is “bollocks - but would be hilarious", while another insisted "it doesn't chime with the reports we're getting from the doorstep."
Meanwhile a senior Scottish Tory source predicted the SNP will get "nothing like" 50 seats.
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According to a YouGov poll, support for the Tories is now on 42 per cent