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Tactical voting remains key as polls diverge on scale of Tory defeat

New MRP polling by Survation for Best for Britain shows a strong probability that the Tories will win a catastrophically low 71 seats, and are currently leading in just 54 constituencies.

Best for Britain’s new massive poll and MRP analysis of 30,044 people undertaken by Survation estimates that the Tories win 71 seats at the General Election with Labour estimated to win a mind-boggling 486 constituencies. The polling suggests the Liberal Democrats are currently likely to secure a muscular 43 seats.

The poll also shows that Labour may narrowly become the largest party in Scotland based on current data, edging out SNP with 25 seats to 24. Plaid Cymru meanwhile are likely to secure 2-3 seats in Wales. While the model does not currently estimate seat wins for the Green Party, the high end of vote share estimates show the Green Party on 40% in  Brighton Pavillion and  30% in Bristol Central. 

These findings follow a number of other MRP-style analyses, some of which signalled a less cataclysmic result for the Conservatives.  Polling experts highlight the divergence is due to differences in modelling approaches  and the addition of non-MRP modelling features.

Crucially, none of these polls were carried out before Nigel Farage confirmed he would stand for election and resume the leadership of Reform UK Party Ltd. In total there are 68 seats where the Conservatives are less than 5% behind either the Labour, Lib Dem or SNP front runner and a further 63 where they trail by less than 10%. In many of those, Reform UK could hold the balance of power if they stand a candidate.

Of the 161 seats where Reform are yet to confirm a candidate, 61 were won or would have been won by the Conservatives in 2019 under 2024 boundaries. They include constituencies currently held by Farage-friendly candidates such as Miriam Cates, and now ultra-marginal totemic Tory seats like Tunbridge Wells.

With a month still to go, campaigners are reinforcing the need to treat early polling data with caution and have pointed to the significance of the next two weeks during which candidates will be confirmed, TV debates held and manifestos published. The closure of nominations will also enable Survation to deploy ‘ballot sheet prompting’, providing respondents with the candidates in their area resulting in more accurate constituency level insight.  

Naomi Smith, Chief Executive of Best for Britain and founder of GetVoting.org said,

“Nigel Farage’s shameless u-turn demonstrates how quickly this election can change and underlines the importance of continuous polling as candidates are confirmed, manifestos published and while a Reform-Tory stitch up remains possible.

“That’s why we will update GetVoting.org on 17 June, helping voters get it right with tactical voting recommendations based on the most up to date data and expert analysis.”

Chris Hanretty, Professor of Politics at Royal Holloway University of London said,

"With a month to go, there's still a lot of uncertainty out there. Reform isn't the *favourite* in any seat, but they've got reasonable chances in a handful. If they get a lucky roll of the dice, maybe they'll end up with a couple of seats. For the Conservatives, it's the opposite. Very few seats are locked in for them, and they'll be trying to defend across a very broad range of seats and hope that fine margins tilt their way".

 

Founder and CEO of Survation, Damian Lyons Lowe said,

"The outcome of the 2024 General Election will hinge on numerous highly marginal seat contests, with 126 seats currently showing a winning margin of less than 5%. Additionally, the Conservative Party is either leading or a close second in 184 seats. Given this, it is clear that the level of tactical voting will be a crucial factor in this election."

Data tables

Survation conducted MRP analysis of 30,044 adults aged 18+ in Great Britain on their voting intentions on behalf of Best for Britain. Fieldwork was conducted between 22nd May - 2nd June 2024. The full results are available to download here.