Labour on course for 200-seat majority and Tories to have fewest MPs ever, new poll shows

Politics

Labour are on course for a majority of 200 according to a new YouGov projection, which also suggests the Tories will slump to their lowest number of seats at an election since the party’s formation in 1834.

If this projection is replicated when the country goes to the polls on 4 July, Labour would have the second largest majority since the Second World War.

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This is the second of three polling projections of this election campaign by YouGov, which Sky News has partnered with for the election. It uses a modelling technique known as MRP.

House of Commons seat projection from second Sky/YouGov MRP

The latest poll suggests Labour are on course for a majority that is six seats larger than their initial projection on 3 June, which suggested a majority of 194.

If this and other MRP polls are accurate, it suggests Britain is on the cusp of a fundamental redrawing of the political landscape.

The projection suggests Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives would plummet to 108 seats – down from the 365 won by Boris Johnson in the 2019 election.

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This would break all historical records, putting the Tories well below their previous low of 141 seats in 1906 under Arthur Balfour.

It puts Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour on course for a commanding 425 seats, more than double the 202 seats won in the 2019 election and beats all previous records for Labour since the party was founded at the start of the last century.

Sir Tony Blair’s won a peak of 418 seats in 1997.

Labour could be on track for a 200 seat majority

The Liberal Democrats would win 67 seats under this projection, a huge six times the number of seats they won in 2019.

This would be the highest number since the formation of the Lib Dems, a record previously set in 2005 when Charles Kennedy was leader.

Meanwhile, John Swinney’s SNP are projected to drop to 20 seats under this projection, down from the 48 won by Nicola Sturgeon in the last general election.

Nigel Farage’s Reform party is on course for five seats, the Greens on two seats and Plaid Cymru on four seats.

Vote share projections from second YouGov MRP put Labour on 39%, 18 points up on the Conservatives

Since 3 June, when the last YouGov MRP was published, the pollster has changed its calls in 59 seats.

The Tories have dropped 32 seats since, Labour has gained three seats in this projection, while the Lib Dems are up 19, SNP up three and Plaid up two.

Reform wins five seats under the new projection, having previously been on course to win none according to YouGov. This includes Mr Farage winning his seat in Clacton.

Big name losses projected

The MRP poll also means big name losers on election night.

Some 15 of 27 cabinet members still standing in the election are set to lose, according to this projection.

The new cabinet casualties are Victoria Atkins, the health secretary, Lucy Frazer, the culture secretary, Richard Holden, the Conservative Party chair and Michael Tomlinson, who attends cabinet as an immigration minister.

This adds to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, Grant Shapps, the defence secretary and Penny Mordaunt, the leader of the Commons.

Some 29 of the 45 ministers running in this election are projected to lose, including Steve Baker, the Northern Ireland minister, Chris Philp, the crime minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the foreign office minister and Greg Hands, the trade minister.

Other notable Tory casualties include Robert Jenrick in Newark and Caroline Nokes in Romsey and Southampton North.

One Labour shadow cabinet member, Thangam Debbonaire, is still set to lose her Bristol West seat to the Greens.

What is an MRP poll?

You might come across the term MRP quite a lot in the coming weeks as we head towards the general election on 4 July.

An MRP poll – which stands for multilevel regression and post-stratification – is a type of poll that gets pundits excited because it draws from large amounts of data, including a large sample size and additional information like locations.

MRP polls first ask a large representative sample of people how they will vote. They then use that information of how different groups say they will vote combined with information about the sorts of people who live in different constituencies. This allows the pollster to estimate how people will vote in each constituency across the country – even when they may have surveyed just a few people, or even none, in some places.

This can then be broken down into smaller groups to see how voters in different areas say they plan to vote. Rather than making more generalised assumptions that everyone behaves the same way in different constituencies, it takes into account the fact that every constituency is its own race and local issues and trends may be at play.

What MRP can’t do is account for very specific local factors – such as a hospital or large employer closing down in a constituency, or a scandal relating to a particular candidate.

It still involves a lot of assumptions and estimates – and some races are too close to call with any level of certainty. It also only gives a snapshot of people’s opinions, and a lot can change over the course of an election campaign. However, it does give us a more nuanced idea about what the general election result could be than other more generic polls.

Some 109 seats are still listed as a “tossup”.

If all tossup and close races in every seat where Conservatives are second went in their favour, rather than in the direction assumed in this poll, then Labour would still have a majority of 132. The Conservatives in that scenario would win 153 seats – still their lowest on record and far below what Labour won in 2019 under Jeremy Corbyn.

The projection vote shares, implied by this MRP, are Labour on 39%, the Tories on 22%, Reform on 15%, Lib Dems on 12% and Greens on 7%.

The Conservatives are 32 seats worse off compared with the last YouGov MRP

This means the Labour majority and seat tally have both gone up, even though Labour’s implied vote share is down three points since the start of June. The big winners are Reform, up from 10% to 15% and the Lib Dems, up from 11% to 12%.

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The polling for the projection was conducted from last Tuesday until this Tuesday with 39,979 people interviewed online: 36,161 in England and Wales and 3,818 in Scotland.

It suggests the Conservatives would be a party predominantly of the south east, south west and east of England. The party risks an all or near wipe out in the north east, in Wales and the north west.

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