Push/pull factors

In News on May 7, 2015 by dadge

In trying to get a sense of what’s going to happen today, it’s good to analyse what factors are (dis)advantageous for the two main parties in this election…

Factors that favour Labour

– boundaries: the 2013 boundary review would’ve helped the Tories but it wasn’t implemented.
– differential turnout: turnout is very low in safe Labour seats, so they can win more seats on a lower national vote share.
– GOTV: Labour have more activists to get people to vote.
– austerity: people don’t like it.
– NHS: people do like it.
– “uncaring Tories”
– Lib Dem meltdown: lots of left-leaning LibDem voters disapprove of the LibDems being in coalition with the Tories and have switched to Labour.
– Ukip: they take more votes from the Tories that from Labour

Factors that favour the Tories

– economic upturn
– less apathetic voters: Tory voters are more likely to actually go to the polling station.
– David Cameron: respected.
– Ed Miliband: disrespected.
– newspapers: apart from the Mirror, the print media are Tory cheerleaders.
– 2008 crash etc: took place on Labour’s watch.
– incumbency: it’s hard to unseat sitting MPs, as the Tories found in 2010.
– SNP: they’re going to take 30-odd seats from Labour, plus people distrust any possible Lab-SNP pact.
– LibDem meltdown: ironically, the main people to benefit from the public dislike of the way that the LibDems have cavorted with the Tories, are the Tories.
– voter (non-)registration: a lot of (mainly left-leaning) voters have fallen off the electoral roll.

If you imagine how many percentage points each factor adds or subtracts, I think the two lists more or less cancel each other out, which is why I think the election result could be almost identical to 2010: something around Con 36% Lab 30%, despite the polls saying that it’s a tie.


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