#GE2017 current state of affairs in 5 graphs

Photo source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2017/election-results-team

There have been, as of writing, 112 voting intention polls conducted since Theresa May became Prime Minister. 27 days out from polling day, what do these polls tell us about the current state of play between the parties?

The following graphs address the three key stories of the campaign so far:

(1) The straight Conservative-Labour battle for power

(2) Ukip’s potential collapse

(3) The prophesied Liberal Democrat anti-Brexit resurrection.

The graphs are more speculative than predictive.

The Conservative lead is getting bigger

The Conservatives have consistently led the polls since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader, and particularly since Theresa May replaced David Cameron as Prime Minister. Figure 1 illustrates this trend since May took power, the period in which both she and Corbyn have led their respective parties. The statistically significant trend line suggests the Conservatives could expect to add 0.03% to their lead with every extra day May is in office. Whether or not this trend continues, however, is another issue. The Conservatives’ election expenses scandal, coupled with the apparent popularity of the Labour manifesto, could potentially reduce the gap over the coming weeks.

Figure 1. Trend line coefficient= 0.03; S.E.= 0.003; p< 0.000 (statistically significant); Adj R2= 0.411.

Ukip will probably be eaten alive

Ukip has been on a steady decline since last year’s EU referendum. It has gone through two leadership elections; its current leader failed to win a seat in a parliamentary by-election in February; and lost all of its 145 seats in the recent English local elections. Figure two details Ukip’s projected vote share in polls since May became Prime Minister. The statistically significant black trend line suggests Ukip could expect to lose 0.02% of its vote share with every extra day May is in office. The more detailed purple line indicates Ukip’s support nosedived somewhere around Day 200 of May’s administration.

Figure 2. Black trend line coefficient= -0.02; S.E.= 0.002; p< 0.000 (statistically significant); Adj R2= 0.376.

Figure 3 further highlights how changes in the Conservatives’ projected vote share impacts on Ukip’s projected vote share. The statistically significant trend line suggests the Ukip’s could expect to lose 0.78% of its vote share when the Conservatives gain one percentage point.

Figure 3. Trend line coefficient= -0.78; S.E.= 0.048; p< 0.000 (statistically significant); Adj R2= 0.703.

The jury’s out on a Lib Dem comeback

The Liberal Democrats have been widely tipped for a modest revival through winning support from committed Remain voters. However, following disappointing local election results, it remains unclear if they will be able to make sufficient gains to become a credible anti-Brexit force in parliament.

If the party is to stage a comeback, it will need to soak up support from pro-EU Labour voters disenchanted with their party’s capitulation to Brexit. Figure 4 below details how Labour’s projected vote lead over the Lib Dems has changed since May became Prime Minister. The figure tells two stories. First, generally speaking, the lead has decreased over time. The statistically significant black trend line suggests Labour’s vote lead over the Lib Dem could be expected to expect to decrease by 0.02% with every extra day May is in office. However, the more detailed orange trend line suggests the gap has begun to widen again. Polling conducted over the coming weeks will indicate whether or not the trend is reversing.

Figure 4. Black trend line coefficient= -0.02; S.E.= 0.003; p< 0.000 (statistically significant); Adj R2= 0.175.

Figure 5 further details the effect Lib Dem projected vote share has on Labour’s projected vote share. Again, there are two stories. The statistically significant black trend line suggests Labour could expect to lose 0.72% of its vote share when the Lib Dems gain one percentage point. However, the more detailed red trend line indicates the Lib Dem’s highest poll ratings may occur in tandem with some of Labour’s better ratings.

Figure 5. Black trend line coefficient= -0.72; S.E.= 0.107; p< 0.000 (statistically significant); Adj R2= 0.285.

(Thanks to Pollbase and BritainElects for collating all published polls).

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