YouGov MRP poll puts Tories on big majority – but Labour can breathe a sigh of relief in Bristol

yougov mrp poll puts tories on big majority but labour can breathe a sigh of relief in bristol - YouGov MRP poll puts Tories on big majority - but Labour can breathe a sigh of relief in Bristol

The polling model that accurately predicted a hung parliament in 2017 has found that the Tories are on course to win a majority of 68 at this election – but that Bristol’s Labour candidates will keep hold of their seats.

YouGov’s MRP poll for the Times has predicted that even the seats thought most to be of risk of a switch – Bristol West and Bristol North West – will stay in Labour hands.

The national picture points to a thumping majority for Boris Johnson, who is predicted to win 359 seats in the election and standing on the ticket of getting his Brexit deal through parliament.

The poll, in which 100,000 people were interviewed, makes for grim reading for Labour, who are set to lose 51 seats, taking them to just 211 overall.

And the Liberal Democrats, who are standing on a platform of cancelling Brexit, are set to gain just one seat, taking them to 13 in total.

The SNP in Scotland are set to pick up 43 seats in Westminster, up from their current 35.

Thangam Debbonaire, the Labour candidate for Bristol West who has represented the seat since 2015, is predicted to storm ahead with 62 per cent of the vote, suggesting that she will eat up some of the votes that would have gone to the Liberal Democrats had they chosen to stand.

Ms Debbonaire’s seat was thought to be vulnerable to a change in power because of the so-called Remain Alliance pact between the Lib Dems and the Greens, in which the former agreed to stand down to give Carla Denyer, the Green candidate, the best chance of winning.

However, according to the poll, the Greens are set to take 19 per cent of the vote, while the Tories come in on 15 per cent and the Brexit party three per cent.

Bristol North West, a Labour marginal held by Darren Jones that the Tories have targeted in this election, is set to stay in the hands of Mr Jones with 46 per cent of the vote, compared with 38 per cent for the Tory candidate Mark Weston.

YouGov’s MRP poll has been hotly anticipated by election watchers because it correctly predicted that Ms May would lose her majority in the 2017 election, when others forecast that she would win a majority.

This type of polling is thought to give a more accurate picture of the nation’s voting intention than the standard poll by identifying voters types across the country and weighing them against local factors on a constituency-by-constituency basis.

The full list of results for our area are below (per cent):

Bristol West

Labour – 62.03

Conservatives – 15.19

Greens – 19.76

Brexit party – 3.02

Bristol North West

Labour – 46.84

Conservatives – 38.66

Lib Dems -10.88

Greens – 3.61

Brexit party – not standing

Bristol East

Labour – 53.44

Conservatives – 30.23

Lib Dems – 8.3

Greens –  3.99

Brexit party – 4.03

Bristol South

Labour – 51.83

Conservatives –  28.09

Lib Dems – 8.55

Greens -5.41

Brexit party – 6.11

Filton and Bradley Stoke

Conservatives –  48.87

Labour – 36.24

Lib Dems – 9.92

Greens – 3.26

Brexit party – 0

Thornbury and Yate

Conservatives – 51.65

Lib Dems –  40.09

Labour – 8.26

Greens – 0

Brexit party – 0

Kingswood

Conservatives –  51.38

Labour – 34.62

Lib Dems – 9.17

Greens – 3.14

Brexit party – 0

North Somerset

Conservatives – 54.12

Labour – 20.43

Lib Dems – 21.05

Greens – 0

Brexit party -4.4

North East Somerset

Conservatives – 46.99

Labour – 24.97

Lib Dems –  22.51

Brexit party –  0

Greens –  3.7

Commenting on the research, Chris Curtis, Political Research Manager said: “YouGov’s official election MRP model currently shows the Tories with a comfortable majority with almost all of those coming at the expense of Labour in the North and Midlands.

“As expected, the key thing deciding the extent to which each of these seats is moving against Labour are how that seat voted in the European Union referendum. In the seats that voted most strongly to Leave in 2016 (60% or more in favour of departing the EU), the swing to the Conservatives is over 6%.

“This is allowing the Tories to overturn quite substantial majorities in places like West Bromwich East, the seat held until recently by Tom Watson, and Don Valley, the seat currently held by Caroline Flint.

“The only silver lining for Labour is that there are still 30 seats where it is currently 5% or less behind the Tories. If it can manage to squeeze the gap over the coming fortnight it may be able to paste over the cracks in their so-called Red Wall. But with just two weeks to go, time is running out for Labour.”

What is an MRP poll?

MRP stands for Multilevel Regression and Post-stratification and it is a method that is thought to give a more accurate picture of the national voting intention than your average standard poll.

For starters, the sample sizes tend to be larger at over 50,000 compared with 1,000 for the average poll. The poll looks to identify lots of different types of voters – for example a retired former fisherman from Grimsby who voted to leave the EU, and a London University graduate who voted to remain.

Identifying these voters, it then works out how many of these voter types there might be in any given constituency.

This is then weighed against local factors (previous voting history, how it voted in the EU referendum) and the method is replicated across the 632 seats across England, Scotland and Wales to give a predicted outcome for the general election. This poll does not cover Northern Ireland.

Why has there been so much hype?

In the 2017 general election, when all polls were pointing to a Tory majority, YouGov’s MRP poll was the only one that correctly forecast that Theresa May would lose her majority.

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