Theresa May could lose majority in United Kingdom election, pollster finds

The YouGov data suggested the Conservative Party could lose up to 20 of the 330 seats it holds in the current Parliament, with Labour gaining almost 30 seats.

A separate Panelbase poll - conducted more than a week ago - showed May's lead grew to 15 points, but the company warned on Wednesday that this reflected a new methodology, and that a newer poll due this week would probably show a smaller lead for May.

According to figures released Wednesday by pollsters YouGov, May's Conservatives could end up on June 8 with 310 seats, 16 short of having a majority in the House of Commons.

Concerns of faltering support for the Tories were further hammered home on Wednesday, when a voting estimate from YouGov, reported by The Times newspaper, showed the Tories could even lose its majority in parliament. Most polling institutes still predict May will hold onto a majority, but the party has taken a hit since announcing cuts for senior citizens May 18 in its election manifesto.

A YouGov opinion poll yesterday showed the Conservatives' lead for the June 8 election had fallen to a fresh low of 3 per cent. In the wake of the news the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, sprung a surprise announcement: that he would attend a televised BBC debate with the other main party leaders.

That is because markets initially pencilled in an increased Conservative majority - strengthening the Prime Minister's hand politically as she prepares for Brexit negotiations.

'At this late stage of the United Kingdom election campaign, the pollsters are more dividend on the size of the Conservative party's lead that at any other time during the election, ' she said.

"We doubt that the Times/YouGov research is giving us the true picture about how many seats each party will win on June 8th", Kathleen Brooks, EMEA Research Director at City Index, wrote in a note.

But much hangs on turnout, with the estimated Tory majority falling to 40 seats if all of those who voted in the 2016 European Union referendum cast their ballots, and rising to 78 if only those who voted in 2015 take part.

Polling experts, including YouGov Chief Executive Officer Stephan Shakespeare, pointed out that the analysis wasn't a prediction, but rather an attempt to translate current polling into seats. "To get there, we would have to travel through territory that included hung parliament and coalition risks and expectations".

'The data suggests that there is churn on all fronts, ' he said, 'with the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats likely to both lose and gain seats'.

  • Leroy Wright