UK General Election 2015 – Likely Marginals

By April 27th 2015

With the UK General Election just over a week away, Lovell Johns thought that it would be fitting to create a map to help to visualise and further our knowledge of where the election outcome may be decided.

The map was created using data from Election Forecast to show the likely marginals across Great Britain. This data isn’t based on the percentage swing needed for a constituency to change hands, but instead on where election forecasters are unsure which party will win a constituency.

There’s a major element of uncertainty in this General Election, and the public are asking themselves if one party will secure enough votes to win by an overall majority, or whether some form of relationship is to be formed between multiple parties.

Data extracted and correct on 20/04/2015.

The map has to be taken with a pinch of salt, as the limitations in the data can obviously make for less reliable result. Even with this data, we are still left with a high level of uncertainty. If you think back to the 2010 election, the forecast predictions were quite weakly correlated with the final outcome of the election.

Here are some key points about this map:

  • This map shows the seats where the Election Forecast model is less than 95% confident which political party will win seats in a particular constituency

  • The map is only as good as the forecast model used, but it is a better guide than the percentage swing required for a seat to change hands

  • There isn’t much constituency-level polling in the UK, so predictions are not as strong as the the Presidential Election in the United States, for example

  • However, the map is likely to highlight many of the key seats where the election outcome will be determined

  • The map and Election Forecast model only covers Great Britain. The data and the political dynamic is different in Northern Ireland so no seats have been included

  • A weakness of the model is that is isn’t strong at predicting how newer parties, such as UKIP, will fare in the upcoming election

What do you think the election outcome will result in on May 7th? Tell us in the comments below. Click here to see a more detailed version of the map, as well as a list of likely marginals for seats across the UK.

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