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Politics: Conservatives ‘expected to gain narrow overall majority’ in General Election



Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party will need a miracle to win the General Election on Thursday 12th December, it seems.

The bookmakers have priced Labour at 12/1 to win the most seats, with the Conservative Party as short as 1/33 to do so.

Winning the most seats, it appears, is a foregone conclusion.

What isn’t one, however, is the Conservatives gaining a crucial overall majority in order to form an effective stand-alone government.

Boris Johnson’s party are priced at 1/3 to gain a majority, with no overall majority 11/4.

The Conservatives have won the most seats in each of the three General Elections so far this decade, but twice without a majority.

In 2010, they opted to form a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, while after the last election in 2017, a minority government was formed.

A minority government, of course, makes it much harder for the largest party to pass their desired legislation in parliament.

In 2015, former Prime Minister David Cameron did manage to narrowly gain a 12-seat majority.

The bookmakers appear to expect a similarly tight outcome on Thursday.

What will prove crucial, of course, is voter turnout.

Turnout from the public was consistently above 70% in the 20th century, but has seen a downturn since the turn of the century.

In 2001, just 59.4% of adults voted, which was the lowest percentage since universal suffrage was first passed in 1918.

Turnout has been on the rise again in recent years, however, with 68.7% in the last election the highest so far this century.

The bookmakers believe this percentage band is the most likely turnout again this year, with a 65-70% turnout priced at 5/4.

Either side of this, 60-65% and 70-75% are both 5/2, with a return to 2001-esque low levels at 55-60% 9/1.

Including Brexit, Thursday’s General Election is staggeringly the fourth major vote the public have faced in just five years.

Has a form of political fatigue consequently set in? If so, while unlikely, 9/1 on a return to sub-60% levels doesn’t look the worst value.

I'm a freelance sports journalist who has worked for Goal & Bleacher Report amongst others. Get in touch, you're more than welcome to do so via Twitter.  

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