However bad things might sometimes appear Labour is going into the next election knowing that it’s almost a foregone conclusion that it will come out as top party. The way the Westminster seats are distributed makes Michael Howard’s task of winning most seats, let alone getting a majority, almost impossible.
A top Cambridge and now City mathematician, Martin Baxter, has created his own model of the UK scene together with an incredibly useful table called the “Battlemap” that illustrates very sharply how the odd are stacked completly in Labour’s favour.
His current prediction, based on all the latest polls, is that Labour will an overall majority of 42 EVEN THOUGH the Tories will get more votes. This is his March 2004 forecast:-
CON 36.20% of votes – 222 seats
LAB 35.24% of votes – 344 seats
LD 21.16% of votes – 49 seats
Another election forecast comes from UK Elect – makers of election predicting software. This has:-
CON 38% of votes – 267 seats
LAB 35% of votes – 324 seats
LD 18% of votes – 39 seats
Thus the Tories get 3 full percentage more in the popular vote but are 57 short of Labour. The outcome of this prediction is even more startling because UK Elect has built in an element of tactical voting AGAINST Labour.
In both forecasts the LDs get a miserable return for their votes.