LONDON — A faltering economy and poor polling accuracy could
undermine the Conservative party’s hopes for a crushing
victory in the General Election in June, according to Pantheon
With the Conservatives streaking ahead in the opinion polls,
Prime Minister Theresa May called for an early general election
for June 8.
May’s Conservatives are the favourites to win — a YouGov opinion poll published on
Sunday gave the Tories a 21% lead over Labour
among respondents — and expect to win a majority in the House of
Commons of more than 100 seats.
But that certainty might be misplaced, according
to according to Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist
at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
“The current health of the economy provides another reason to
think the Conservatives aren’t heading for a triple-digit
majority,” said Tombs.
“GfK’s consumer confidence index stood at -6 in March, 10 points
lower than a month before the general election in 2015. Based on
historical experience, GfK’s index points to a majority for the
Conservatives of only about 30 seats,” he said.
Tomb also said that the pollsters’ poor history in predicting
election outcomes could mean estimates of a crushing Tory victory
“Opinion polls have been most unreliable in the past when they
have predicted large victories,” he said. “In 1997, polls
undertaken between 50 and 76 days before the election suggested
that Labour would win 53% of the public vote. In the end, Labour
took 43% of the vote.”
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