Tuesday 10 December 2019 10:30 pm

Poll predicts Tory majority of 28, halved from a fortnight ago

In a further sign that the election polls are narrowing, a comprehensive poll conducted by YouGov suggested the expected Tory majority to be 28 – a significant fall from the 68 they predicted a fortnight ago.

The final MRP poll of 2019 found that were the election to be held tomorrow, the Conservatives would be on course for 339 seats, 22 more than they won in 2017.

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Labour are set to lose 31 seats to fall to 231, which would be the party’s worst performance since 1983 in terms of seats.

The Liberal Democrats are expected to increase their number of seats by three to 15, whilst the SNP will gain six more to take their total to 41.

In terms of vote share, the Tories are predicted to take 43 per cent of the vote, with Labour on 34 per cent.

However, with 85 seats with a margin of error of 5 per cent or less, YouGov said it could not yet rule out a hung parliament.

The poll shows that the majority of the seats expected to change hands are those that Labour won from the Conservatives in 2017.

Since November’s model the poll showed that Labour had pulled back in many of the seats.

Last month the party was set to lose 44 seats to the Conservatives, but this has now narrowed to 29.

Labour is now ahead in Tom Watson’s former seat of West Bromwich East and Workington.

The recovery has been strongest in Remain areas. In seats that Labour is defending which have a majority of less than 8,000, the party has increased its vote share by 6 per cent.

Unlike in 2017, when Labour began to close the gap with a few weeks to go before stalling in the final days, the surge seems to have begin as the campaign reaches its climax.

The poll also finds that Labour will keep hold of Kensington on Thursday, which it won from the Conservatives by just 20 votes in 2017.

Labour currently holds a slender lead in the constituency, of 38 to 36 per cent of vote share.

In another of 2017’s shock seats, Canterbury, in which Labour overturned a hundred years of Tory dominance, it is expected to double its lead to 12 points.

The Liberal Democrats have the chance to claim a major scalp in Esther and Walton, the seat of foreign secretary Dominic Raab.

Despite winning the seat with a majority of 23,000 in 2017, the poll suggests tactical voting will push the Lib Dems to 44 per cent of the vote share, within touching distance of the Tories on 46 per cent.

In Wales, Labour has a tight race in store, with two of its six seats in the north, including Wrexham, predicted to fall to the Tories.

In all six of these seats the difference between first and second is five points or less, which makes them too close to call.

Labour is expected to retain all of its seats in the south of the principality.

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Chris Curtis, YouGov’s political research manager, said: “The margins are extremely tight and small swings in a small number of seats, perhaps from tactical voting and a continuation of Labour’s recent upward trend, means we can’t currently rule out a hung parliament.

“As things currently stand there are 85 seats with a margin of error of 5 per cent or less.”