Ashcroft Model

Estimated Conservative majority rises in final Ashcroft Model update

By Lord Ashcroft

The final results from the Ashcroft Model shows an increase in the estimated Conservative majority compared to Tuesday’s figures. The new data is based on an updated survey conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, which found a hardening of the Conservative vote as Tory supporters gave a higher likelihood of turning out to vote than in previous rounds. The upshot is as follows:

  • Using voters’ self-declared likelihood to turn out, the model estimates 373 Conservative seats, or a Conservative overall majority of 96.
  • If turnout were to match that of the 2015 election, the model estimates 364 Conservative seats, or a majority of 78.
  • If everyone who claims to have voted in the EU referendum turns out, the estimated number of Conservative seats falls to 351, or a majority of 52.

Merging these three together and adding each party’s win chances in all the seats they are standing gives a “combined probabilistic estimate” of 363 seats, or a majority of 76, up from 64 in Tuesday’s update (more…)

Ashcroft Model update: potential majorities and seat-by-seat estimates

By Lord Ashcroft

The Conservatives remain on course to win a majority in the general election, according to new figures from the Ashcroft Model. Our “combined probabilistic model”, which calculates the sum of each party’s win chances in all the seats in which it is standing, estimates 357 Tory seats, or a potential majority of 64 (up four from the previous update published last Friday). However, this central estimate, based on an update survey conducted over the weekend, combines the data from three different turnout scenarios: including all those who currently say they will vote on Thursday (giving a Conservative majority of 70); including all those who say they voted in the EU referendum (a Conservative majority of 48); and assuming turnout matches that of the 2015 election (a Conservative majority of 78) (more…)

Ashcroft Model update: new potential majorities and seat-by-seat estimates

By Lord Ashcroft

This week’s estimates from the Ashcroft Model suggest a narrowing of the Conservative majority, though still a comfortable victory for Theresa May. Our “combined probabilistic estimate”, in which we take the sum of each party’s win chances in all the seats in which it is standing, the model gives the Conservatives 355 seats (down from 396 last week), or a potential majority of 60.

However, the majority could be considerably better or worse than this for the Conservatives, depending on the pattern of turnout. Our model calculates three different results, depending on who actually shows up to the polls. If everyone who claims in our surveys to have voted in the EU referendum turns out next week, the number of Conservative seats could fall to 345, with 233 for Labour – an overall majority of 40. But such a surge fails to materialise and turnout is confined to those who actually cast their vote in 2015, our estimated Tory majority rises to 78 (more…)

Ashcroft Model update: estimated vote shares by seat, and new potential majorities

By Lord Ashcroft

This week we have added a new feature to the Ashcroft Model dashboard. The constituency-by-constituency pages now show estimated current vote shares for each seat in three different scenarios: according to turnout in the 2015 general election; including those who say they voted in the EU referendum; and including those who say they will vote in June.

Alongside these estimated vote shares, the model also shows the leading party’s “win chance” in that seat (more…)

Ashcroft Model update: absent UKIP, and Labour’s enthusiasm question

By Lord Ashcroft

Last week I launched the Ashcroft Model – a project bringing together large-scale surveys and detailed census data to help understand what could be happening at constituency level in the general election: which party is likely to be ahead in each seat, and the potential implications for overall seat numbers in the House of Commons. I explained how it works here. Today, as will be the case every week until the election, I am updating the model’s estimates based on a further 2,000-sample survey, conducted over the past week but before the party manifesto launches. Here are the main points:


Lack of UKIP candidates most helps the Conservatives

The biggest change since the model’s launch last week is that nominations have closed, which means we now know exactly who is standing where, and more importantly, who is not. UKIP are not fielding candidates in 255 seats, including many where they won thousands of votes in 2015 (often more than the margin between the first and second-placed parties). All the polls show that former UKIP voters are splitting disproportionately for the Conservatives, and this is reflected in the estimates from the Ashcroft Model (more…)

Election 2017: The Ashcroft Model

By Lord Ashcroft

The night of 7 May, 2015 is one that most pollsters would rather forget. Different surveys using different methodologies came to the collective conclusion that Britain was set for something close to a dead heat – an expectation that was shattered by the official exit poll and quickly swept away as results began to pile up. My own final national poll, completed the night before the election, also produced a tie between Labour and the Tories. Not only that, I had published polls in more than 160 individual constituencies – some of which proved to be bang on, and others of which, let’s be honest, didn’t.

The British Polling Council’s subsequent inquiry into the polls’ performance concluded that the problem had been one of sampling: that the people who took part in surveys were not properly representative of the wider public. This challenge has made polling on voting intention an increasingly hazardous business. The various pollsters whose results we read every day have adjusted their methods in the light of the inquiry’s findings, and I wish them nothing but the very best of luck. But for this election, I have decided to try something different.

Today I am launching a new model designed to estimate opinion across the country and in individual constituencies, and to give a sense of how this could translate into seats in the House of Commons (more…)