Tag Archives: lewis baston

Lewis Baston on the polls and ‘How the Lib Dems will actually do’

I wrote last October about election expert Lewis Baston’s forecast for the next election, based on his analysis not only of the polls, but also of the trends in the ‘swing seats’, the battlegrounds which, in a first-past-the-post voting system, actually matter. His forecast for May 2015 was that Labour would edge the Tories by 36% to 34%, with the Lib Dems on 16%, and relatively few seats changing hands.

Over at Progress Online, Lewis has returned to the fray, and asked the question, ‘How will the Lib Dems actually do?’. Here’s his conclusion:

It is always troublesome to translate

Posted in Polls | Also tagged | 36 Comments

Three scenarios for the 2015 election based on current polling: which do you think looks most plausible?

In 18 months we’ll know the result of the 2015 general election.

Forecasting is a mug’s game – especially because there are an even greater number of variables this time than usual: a governing coalition of two parties with one established centre-left opposition, Labour, and an insurgent right-wing party, Ukip.

But plenty are having a go at it anyway. Lib Dem MP Sir Nick Harvey reckons Labour has the next election in the bag. Psephologist Lewis Baston thinks we’re headed for a second hung parliament. And pollster Sir Bob Worcester believes the Lib Dems are destined for meltdown.

Here’s my quick ‘n’ dirty analysis based on the polling trends. What I’ve looked at is Labour’s lead over the Conservatives according to the monthly average of opinion polls under three different scenarios.

(Huge caveat straight off: the extent of the polling science on display here is me playing around on an Excel spreadsheet.)

Scenario 1

The Conservatives hit rock bottom in May 2012. The omnishambles budget and its desperate U-turns were followed by a poor set of local election results. There have been dips since then, notably when it looked like the economy might plunge into what was being billed as a triple-dip recession at the start of 2013, but never quite matching that period.

Taking May 2012 as the peak of Labour’s lead, what would happen if the linear trend since then were to continue through to May 2015? This is what:

polling trends 2015 - ST 2

Posted in Polls | Also tagged , , and | 51 Comments

Lewis Baston’s election 2015 forecast: Labour 36%, Conservatives 34%, Lib Dems 16%

Lewis Baston, a research associate at Democratic Audit who is perhaps the nearest the UK comes to a Nate Silver, has published a pamphlet called Swing Seats: The key battlegrounds of the 2015 election (not available online yet). It’s a forensic analysis of the constituencies that will decide the next election, and digs much deeper than the national polls on which so much political commentary relies.

I was on a panel – together with ConservativeHome’s Paul Goodman and the Fabian Society’s Marcus Roberts – to discuss its findings yesterday. Below are 10 points I jotted down from …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 21 Comments

What part of Yes do you not understand?

We don’t normally republish lengthy pieces from other people’s blogs, but in the case of James Graham’s review of Don’t Take No For An Answer by Lewis Baston and Ken Ritchie, which doubles up as a detailed post-mortem on the AV referendum, we’re happy to throw those rules out of the window because of both the post’s excellence and the importance of the issues to future campaigning and hopes for electoral reform.

So here is a slightly revised version of the post which first appeared on James’s blogYou can also read Mark Pack’s (much shorter!) review of Don’t

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 21 Comments

Don’t Take No For an Answer: Lewis Baston and Ken Ritchie on the AV referendum

The May 2011 electoral reform referendum is not a happy memory for Britain’s electoral reformers, which makes this book from two long-standing electoral reform campaigners surprisingly positive. As the title indicates, their view is that the overwhelming No vote does not signal the death of electoral reform in the UK.

In part the optimism comes from the gory details it gives of the appalling mistakes and mismanagement in the referendum Yes campaign. This was not a superbly organised push for electoral reform that got defeated; the weakness of the campaign gives some hope for a future if, as the authors express the hope, the book helps people learn from the mistakes made.

Posted in Books | Also tagged , and | 30 Comments

Redrawing the Parliamentary boundaries: busting some myths

With the Boundary Commission for England set to publish its provisional proposals for England’s Parliamentary constituencies next week, expect plenty of talk about how the process will then work with the initial consultation period, the public hearings and then the post-Christmas period for further written submissions. However, on past form there is likely to be quite a lot of mistakes or misinformation about how the review process works. The Guardian, for example, has been particularly poor when it has not been Julian Glover writing pieces.

So in an attempt to guide you through the information, here are some of the myths …

Posted in Election law | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

The perils of projecting the impact of boundary changes from previous election results

There’s been an understandable flurry of interest in The Guardian’s reported projections of what boundary changes might mean for the parties, but there are two major caveats about the nature of such projections.

From what I’ve seen, Lewis Baston (as I would expect) has done the numbers well, but not only do we not yet have the actual boundaries on which to make projections but also projections based on looking at previous election results have a decidedly ropey record when it comes to Liberal Democrats MPs.

That is because the party’s voting support is far less polarised demographically than that of …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 14 Comments
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    How disappointing that you referred to the colour of Joe's dress before you commented on what she said.... So disappointing.
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    @Ross - Its probably more to do with peoples understanding of UK English grammar and thus the correct usage of Licence and License.
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