–Updates with latest YouGov/Times poll
LONDON (MNI) – Latest polling data
Con Lab LD UKIP Green SNP
YouGov/Times 26/04/2017 45% 29% 10% 7% 3% Ipsos Mori/Standard 26/04/2017 49% 26% 13% 4% 1% PanelBase 26/04/2017 49% 27% 10% 5% 3% Kantar 25/04/2017 46% 24% 11% 8% 4% ICM/Guardian 24/04/2017 48% 27% 10% 7% 3% ICM/ITV 23/04/17 48% 26% 10% 8% 3% YouGov/Sun Times 23/04/17 48% 25% 12% 5% 3% ComRes/Mirror 23/04/17 50% 25% 11% 7% 3% Survation/MoS 23/04/17 40% 29% 11% 11% Survation/S Post 23/04/17 28% 18% 9% 43% PanelBase/ S Times 23/04/17 33% 13% 5% 44% Opinium/Observer 22/04/17 45% 26% 11% 9% YouGov/Times 19/04/17 48% 24% 12% 7% ICM 18/04/17 46% 25% 11% 8% 4%
The UK Parliament will be dissolved on Tuesday May 3, triggering a near 6-week campaign ahead of the June 8 election.
To win an outright majority in the UK, the winning party must pick up 326 of the 650 constituency seats fought, although 323 will normally be enough for a working majority, as the likely 4 or 5 Sinn Fein MPs will not take their seats at Westminster.
The latest polls show the governing Conservative Party will easily reach this target, surpassing the majority 330 seats they won at the 2015 election.
Historically, the two main parties are the centre-left Labour Party and the centre-right Conservative Party. As last time, the economy will be a major battle ground, but analysts expect Brexit to be the overriding feature of the election.
The Conservatives are led by current Prime Minister Theresa May, who assumed the role last July in the wake of the EU referendum defeat for David Cameron. Jeremy Corbyn has led the Labour Party since the summer of 2015.
The Scottish Nationalist Party are to surrender some of the spectacular gains made in 2015, perhaps to a resurgent Scottish Conservative Party, but look to remain by far the largest party north of the border..
With Brexit all but secured, UK Independence Party, UKIP, will likely see a fall in their overall share and it seems unlikely they will return any MPs. Douglas Carswell, the only UKIP MP in the last Parliament, resigned from the party earlier this year and said he would not seek re-election in 2017.
The Liberal Democrats look set to pick up some seats, particularly in areas that voted heavily ‘Remain’ in 2016, but they enter the election at a very low base. They won just 8 seats, down sharply from the 56 held at the dissolution.
Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday she needed to be given the ‘strongest possible hand” ahead of Brexit negotiations, as all 27 remaining members of the European Union were queueing up to oppose the UK. The leaders of the remaining 27 EU nations meet in Brussels on Saturday to formally adopt their Brexit negotiating document.
Thursday is the last day Parliament will sit before Dissolution on May 3 and a General Election on May 3. The official Prorogation ceremony, when all Acts passed in the previous parliamentary session are read into law, is expected around 1400GMT.
MPs return to Westminster from the hustings Wednesday, as Prime Minister Theresa May is set for a grilling at the last PMQs of the current Parliament.
Following PMQs, PM May will meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the lead EC Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Downing Street. With the leaders of the European Union rump countries meeting in Brussels Saturday to finalise the EU negotiating document, Wednesday’s meeting is seen as a clarification opportunity between the two parties.
There will be a different background to the quizzing of Bank of England and Treasury officials when they attend Parliament following the General Election, as Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie, chair of the Treasury Select Committee is standing down as an MP after 20 years of service.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May will campaign in Wales Tuesday, attempting to capitalise on signs the Conservatives are set to make sweeping gains there. A YouGov poll published Monday showed the Conservatives were set to pick up 40% of the vote compared to 30% for Labour. That would leave the Conservatives with 21 seats in Wales, a majority for the Principality for the first time since before World War 1.
Labour’s spokesperson on Brexit, Keir Starmer, is expected to lay out the party’s strategy on Tuesday. Starmer is expected to say Labour accepts the UK will be leaving the European Union, but will seek a deal on transitional arrangements looking to smooth the 2019 exit. Labour, if they win, are also set to unilaterally guarantee the rights of EU workers in the UK.
–MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: firstname.lastname@example.org