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 Macroeconomics.
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 are wrong.
“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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