Thursday 14 November 2019 3:21 pm

General Election: Labour has 'close to zero' chance of majority, says pollster John Curtice

Labour has “close to zero” chance of securing a majority this election, according to one of the country’s foremost polling experts. 

Sir John Curtice today said the most likely outcome was either an outright Conservative victory or a hung parliament. But he noted that could still result in a Remain-led coalition and second referendum.

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However, a straight win for Jeremy Corbyn when Britain heads to the polls on 12 December is next to impossible.

“The chances of the Labour party winning a majority are frankly as close to zero as one can safely say it to be given they look utterly incapable of regaining anything in Scotland,” he said.

Curtice added that the election was “a pretty binary contest”. 

“Either Boris gets a majority and we’re leaving the EU on the terms he’s negotiating, or we get a hung parliament in which case we have to anticipate that a minority Labour administration which will apply for an extension and there will be a referendum, the result of which we do not know.”

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Labour’s policy on Brexit – which is to renegotiate a new deal with Brussels and hold another referendum next summer – has eroded their support, Curtice warned. 

John Curtice receives knighthood in 2018
Sir John Curtice received a knighthood for services to Social Sciences and Politics, from Queen Elizabeth II in 2018 (Picture credit: Getty Images)

“The problem the Labour party has is they’ve tried to satisfy everybody and have ended up satisfying nobody,” he said.

Scottish polling expert professor Ailsa Henderson and Welsh expert professor Roger Awan-Scully backed that view. 

Speaking at the Institute for Government this morning, Henderson said while many voters were still undecided: “No one is moving to Labour – no one. 

“This is the consequence of having an on-the-fence policy… with no articulated vision on the constitution, and when it is articulated is immediately contradicted by London.”

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A worst case scenario could see Labour lose all six seats in Scotland, she warned. At best, she estimated the party would retain Edinburgh South. 

Meanwhile in Wales, which voted to leave in 2016, Labour risks losing its position as the most dominant party for first time in over 100 years, Awan-Scully said. 

He pointed to five seats in North East Wales as a “key battleground”, which Labour must hold if they are serious about making Boris Johnson “an ex-prime minister by Christmas”.