Election 2015: The Tories are losing ground, but still look likely to hang on to power
The election race is still extremely tight. But Adrian Sykes is sticking to his view that the Tories will cling on to power despite their ‘lacklustre’ campaign. Here’s why.
Adrian goes into more detail aboutthe reasons behind his predictions here: Why the Tories could surprise us all in Scotland
Since I made my predictions last week, I have revised my forecasts to reflect various developments and a much better showing by Ed Miliband and Labour over the last ten days, and the odds and spreads now quoted by the bookies.
The Conservatives are fighting a lacklustre campaign, and the bookies' odds are not moving in their favour. Without this there will be no late 'surge' the result could be horrifyingly close.
I would however, still like to back the LibDems winning five seats in Scotland.
|Party||Previous prediction||New prediction|
|Sinn Fein (will not vote)||6||5|
- The Tories are flagging on the doorsteps (fewer members and canvassers) and sounding unconvincing;
- Miliband has presented himself and Labour well;
- The SNP is overwhelming on the ground (momentum);
- The LibDems are looking irrelevant (and squeezed);
- The Ulster Unionists won't stand against each other.
The SNP vote, though surging in the polls, is likely to be softer in the privacy of the booth, and will come under tactical attack from the other parties which also reduces my Tory forecast by two (to five). Labour should hang on to six seats in Scotland.
There will be high-profile casualties (Danny and Douglas Alexander are likely to lose their seats, for example).
323 needed - note:the incumbent has a strong advantage and should enjoy a 1-2% uplift on election day.
Tories 286LibDems 24DUP 9UKIP will vote with them (but the LibDems would not accept UKIP in any coalition) 4323
Labour 269SNP 43SDLP, Plaid Cymru and others 9321
The LibDems will not work with the SNP, and Labour will not enter coalition with the SNP. Sinn Fein and the Speaker will not vote. Given that Labour has ruled out a formal coalition with the SNP and that the LibDems will not associate with them (or Ukip, for that matter), Cameron remains the only man able to command a majority for a Queen's Speech - with or without Clegg.
With seven parties and at least sixty marginal seats, It is no wonder that the polls are all over the place.
Look out instead for any significant movement in the bookies' odds and spreads (seats). This election will go down in history. If Cameron flops, Boris Johnson will seize his chance. Miliband will also go if he loses. Ed Balls will go whatever the outcome.