Four months from today, we will finally know the result, if not the ultimate outcome, of what promises to be the most fascinating general election in British history. In this piece I present a collection of charts and analysis. Firstly a brief recap of 2014, then a look at some of the trends to watch closely during the run-in to the election, before some more detailed analysis.
My plans between now and May the 7th include a poll-of-polls and a regularly-updated forecast, alongside my current rolling features on Scotland and the youth vote, plus topical analysis. And maybe a special report or two!
For now I present the Number Cruncher Politics 15 For 15:
(1) 2014 saw Labour and the Lib Dems lose vote share while UKIP and the Greens gained, particularly around the time of the European elections in May, which UKIP won (see next chart). The Conservative vote share was broadly unchanged, leaving the Tories very close to Labour by the end of the year.
(2) UKIP, having made steady gains throughout the present parliament, caused what they dubbed an earthquake, by topping the poll in the UK’s elections to the European parliament. After two by-election wins and a surprise near-miss in a third, the party hit fresh highs in the autumn, but may have started to slip back since then.
(3) The Greens polled about a percent in 2010, or 2% in the seats where they stood, and remained at that level for much of the current parliament, before advancing around the time of the Euros and again after conference season and the announcement of their non-invitation to the election leaders debates. Did this exclusion by the establishment help them? Who knows, but the green surge took off, with one poll marking a 25-year high.