Johnson has only 19% chances of majority of more than 100 seats, PSA data show

Prof. Fisher, Trinity College Oxford, "In case of hung Parliament it's likely a Labour led administration
and second referendum" 

London, 9 Dec. 2019  - Boris Johnson has only 19% chances to win a majority of more than one hundred seats. That's the result of the survey from the London based PSA (Political Studies Association) who questioned 380 experts among academics, pollsters and  journalists.  

The selected panel say there’s only 19% probability of Boris Johnson winning a majority of more than 100 seats. Half of the people's answers suggest that Tories will fall short of a majority as a result of Thursday’s vote.




Asked to share their predictions of the vote shares for each party, the number of seats won, the probability of a Conservative majority of more than 100 seats, and the level of turnout, the results were as follows:


  • 50% of respondents forecast a Conservative majority while half predicted that the Tories would fall short of a majority. On average they gave a 19% probability of Boris Johnson winning a majority of more than one hundred seats.


  • The average vote share prediction for the Conservatives was 39%, with a lead of eight points over Labour. This is below the average leads in the polls at the beginning (13 points) and end (10 points) of the fieldwork period. The predicted share for the Liberal Democrats was 15%, with 6% for the Brexit Party and 4% for the Greens.


  • There is a prevailing view among experts that the Conservatives will end up as the largest party: the average prediction was that the Conservatives would win 326 seats, Labour 231 seats, the Lib Dems 23 seats and the SNP 45.


  • The average predicted turnout for the election was 66%, slightly below the 69% turnout at the general election in June 2017 and far below the 72% achieved at the 2016 EU referendum.

Stephen Fisher, Associate Professor of Political Sociology at Trinity College, Oxford.

“If there is a hung parliament and if the Conservatives have too few seats to form a government then it is likely that there will be a Labour led administration which legislates for another referendum on EU membership - Prof. Stephen Fisher, Associate Professor of Political Sociology at Trinity College, Oxford, explained to Talk Europe. "That government is unlikely to be a coalition. It is more likely to be a minority Labour government that would be dependent on the Scottish National Party and other parties for support in parliament”.

"The experts who answered the survey generally believed that the Conservative Party would emerge from the elections with more seats than any other party, but were divided over whether they will manage to gain a majority of seats - says  Joe Greenwood, fellow at LSE Government Department commenting the result of the survey - This cautious prediction may indicate that experts have learned from the 2017 general election when they, along with the majority of polls, predicted a majority for the Conservatives but the election resulted in a hung parliament".

As PSA released figures are a prediction "we will have to wait and see what happens on Thursday. - Greenwood explains - However, if a hung parliament results, then it is fair to say that it increases the likelihood of a second referendum on whether or not to leave the EU. The Conservative Party has few parties that would be willing to support it in the House of Commons (either as a coalition partner or via a confidence and supply arrangement), especially because their proposed Brexit deal has alienated the DUP. If the Conservative Party does not have the capacity to form a government with the support of a majority in the House of Commons then we may see a minority government or a coalition government of other parties, though the Liberal Democrats have ruled out entering coalition with either the Conservatives or Labour. So, it may be the case that a hung parliament extends the impasse over Brexit".


Dr Joe Greenwood Fellow

Department of Government LSE

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Iterviews has been carried out between 20th November and 2nd December 2019, “with most responses in the first few days of that period, when the opinion polls were recording Conservative leads over Labour of 13 percentage points on average, and forecasting models were suggesting that the Conservatives were on course for a majority of around 60”.


Only 5% of the interviewees gives a chance to a Labour victory. Corbyn is expected to suffer a substantial fall in their vote share of 10 points on average and consequently Conservatives are expected to increase their lead.


More academics commented the figures:


Martha Kirby, Doctoral Student in Sociology at Nuffield College, Oxford remarked:“Whilst the forecast vote shares from the 2019 PSA Expert Survey are broadly in line with vote-intention opinion polls, the experts in the survey are much more sceptical than most forecasting models as to whether the Conservative lead on votes will translate into a majority of seats for the party. This fits with the predominant media narrative of being cautious about reading too much into the polls.”

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