Research into voting intentions in hundreds of parliamentary constituencies suggested 366 Tory MPs will be elected on Polling Day on December 12. In contrast, the poll forecast Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour holding just 199 seats, 10 fewer than the party’s disastrous result under Michael Foot in 1983. Yet the in-depth data also showed the Tories still need to secure dozens of marginal seats to guarantee victory on Polling Day on December 12, signalling that another hung parliament remains a serious possibility.
A senior Tory source said: “The gap is probably narrower than the polls say.
“We only need to fall short in a few seats and we will be back in the paralysis of another hung Parliament or even the nightmare of Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street.”
Dominic Cummings, a senior adviser to the Prime Minister, wrote on his blog yesterday: “You will see many polls in the coming days. Some will say Boris will win. Trust me, as someone who has worked on lots of campaigns, things are much tighter than they seem and there is a very real possibility of a hung parliament.
“Without a majority, the nightmare continues. All other MPs will gang together to stop Brexit and give EU citizens the vote. It’s that simple.”
Yesterday’s poll, commissioned by the anti-Brexit campaign group Best for Britain, was one of the biggest of the campaign so far with more than 40,000 voters quizzed. It used the MRP (Multilevel Regression and Post-stratification) system of analysis, which takes a wide-range of local factors into account.
Researchers from the polling firm Focaldata carried out the research between 15 October and 24 November.
Best for Britain claimed the poll results showed the election result was up for grabs and encouraged Remainers to vote tactically to try to prevent the Tories winning a majority.
Without tactical voting, Labour, Lib Dems, SNP, Greens and Plaid Cymru would hold a combined 265 Commons seats, according to Best for Britain.
The figure would not be enough to outvote 366 Tory MP forecast by the poll.
Best for Britain identified 57 target seats where the chances of pro-EU voters successfully using their votes tactically to prevent a Conservative victory are highest.
The campaign group claimed it could take as little as 117,314 pro-EU voters using their vote tactically to prevent a Tory majority – representing less than 1 percent of those who voted in 2017.
Best for Britain chief executive Naomi Smith said: “Our data shows that tactical voting will be decisive at the upcoming election.
“Even with the Brexit Party collapse, there are still lots of seats in play for Remainers.
“This is crucial as it means they could be won by pro-EU parties if voters hold their nose and vote for the party with the best shot of beating the Tories.
“Having updated our recommendations just as the first wave of postal votes land on doorsteps, we’re confident that this election is up for grabs. We can stop Boris Johnson, and stop Brexit.”
Focaldata founder Justin Ibbetts said: “There are 14 Conservative held seats where the margin of victory is lower than 2 percent. Clearly this election is on a knife-edge, where even small changes in the number of votes each party wins could swing key seats.”