— Hayley Barlow (@Hayley_Barlow) April 26, 2017
Keeping within the limits could make a difference
Becasuse so much of the effort to predict and analyse the next election is based on what happened in each seat at GE2016 we are in something of a quandary because of what we know now about the Conservative approach to constituency expense limits.
It is entirely possible that the Tories will be defending seats on June 8th that would not have been won if spending had been kept with the constituency limits.
Before GE2015 political scientists such as Prof John Curtice were predicting that the Conservatives would need a GB vote margin over Labour of 11% in order to achieve a majority. That they reached that target with a gap of just 6% was a remarkable feature of the election and how many punters got it so wrong.
Now thanks to the work of Channel 4’s Michael Crick and others we have a greater awareness of what went on in the election and this has been closely studied by the Electoral Commission which was very critical of the party.
Thus we cannot now say with certainty that seat X requires a swing of Y% because the base figure, the GE2015 result, could have been different if spending limits had been kept to
What would have happened in that seat if expense limits had been adhered to and that is very much in the air.
This is all going to make betting on some single constituencies much more difficult and also raises questions the standard poll shares to seats calculations
If we do get news of action by the CPS before polling day that could also have an impact.