Who will win the next general election? Latest polls and odds

Despite recent dip in the polls, Sir Keir Starmer is still riding high, but is the 4 July general election already a done deal? We take a look.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to Sizewell in Suffolk, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Wednesday June 19, 2024. (Photo by James Manning/PA Images via Getty Images)
Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party trailed behind in the polls. (PA)

Labour has secured a sweeping victory in the general election, just as the polls and odds predicted.

Outgoing prime minister Rishi Sunak admitted defeat around 5am on Friday, just before Sir Keir Starmer secured the 326 MPs needed to become the country's new leader.

With 646 constituency results declared, Labour emerged victorious in 412 seats. The Conservatives secured 121 seats, while the Liberal Democrats triumphed in 71 constituencies.

Reform UK managed to secure four seats.

The SNP has nine seats, Plaid Cymru secured four, Sinn Fein has seven, and the DUP has five. The Green Party gained four seats.

However, before the election, Labour's predicted vote share had fallen to its lowest level in months.

A model by research firm JL Partners, made for the Sunday Times, predicted Starmer's party to win 38% of the vote.

This was a sizeable fall from 48% predicted by pollsters YouGov on 7 May and came after the Labour leader's final televised debate against Rishi Sunak on the BBC last Wednesday.

However, Labour was still riding high compared to its opponents, with JL Partners' latest model putting the party on track to win 450 seats, with a substantial majority of 250.

Meanwhile, the Tories were forecast to be reduced to just 105 seats, compared to the 365 they won in 2019 – spelling one of the party's biggest defeats on record.

Here, Yahoo News UK summarised the positions of the parties according to three separate opinion polls.

The number of senior Tory MPs expected to lose their seats after 4 July was "too many to get your head round", Scarlett Maguire of JL Partners told Times Radio.

“If you take into account who will lose their seats along with who has already announced they will be stepping down, you really are left with, first, a small Conservative Party, with, you know, just 105 seats, but one that also doesn’t have that many familiar faces in it," she said.


JL Partners' projections were made using a stacked regression post-stratification (SRP) model, which it says uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to gather more accurate and detailed results.

It builds on a form of modelling known as multilevel regression and poststratification (MRP) – models that break the electorate down into small demographic chunks, predict their voting behaviour and then "build" a version of each seat in the country from the right mixture of demographics.

SRP uses AI to combine estimates from many models into a single final estimate. Explaining why this is such a big deal in the world of political modelling, JLP says: "The main advantage of this kind of stacking is that we can use different models to probe different parts of the data giving a more holistic set of predictions that consider many different facets of the data.

"This includes models that are superior at unpicking the constituency level predictors whilst other models can investigate the individual level effects in much more detail.

"Some models, like multilevel regression, can analyse both the individual level and constituency level data simultaneously. The combination of these models then produces estimates that more accurately represent the nuances in the underlying data."

Other noteworthy prediction in JLP's model, described as a "super poll" by the Times' chief political commentator Tim Shipman, was Reform UK winning two seats, with Nigel Farage predicted to win Clacton and Lee Anderson, who defected from the Tories in March, keeping hold of Ashfield.

The Liberal Democrats were also tracked to regain their place as the third party of British politics, going from just 11 seats in the Commons to 55, while the Scottish National Party (SNP) are set to lose 33 seats, leaving only 15.

The level of detail in JLP's model means the company has been able to put together a list of major Conservative MPs expected to lose their seats, including Jeremy Hunt, Penny Mordaunt, Grant Shapps, Mel Stride and Esther McVey.

You can search for your constituency to find the projected winner and their margin of victory here.

YouGov's voting intention tracker predicted Labour to win 37% of the vote.

Although it was still by far the highest scoring political party, it was a significant drop from the 47% recorded on 28 May – six days after Sunak called a surprise snap general election.

There was only a 2% margin between Reform UK and the Tories, according to YouGov, with the Conservative's projected to win 20% of the vote, compared to 18% for Nigel Farage's party.

In another sign that Labour's success had plateaued, a recent poll for the Telegraph suggested there was only a 17% gap between the Tories and Starmer's party.

This would leave Labour with its lowest predicted vote share since January 2022, when Boris Johnson was still prime minister, according to pollsters Savanta.

However, this was unlikely to worry Starmer, as the poll still put Labour on track to win 38% of the vote and a majority of more than 260 seats.

Chris Hopkins, the director of political research at Savanta, told the Telegraph: “This is our lowest Labour vote share since Rishi Sunak became prime minister, and the Conservatives for their part do appear to have slowed or stopped their downward spiral."

He added that a rise in vote share for the Green Party and independent candidates will not have a significant impact on election day but could "point towards trouble for the Labour Party in government and over the coming years".

So, why did the polls changed so dramatically? It's worth looking back on an extremely eventful four-and-a-half years in UK politics.

According to YouGov's voting intention tracker (see chart above), Tory support peaked at 53%, with Labour on 32%, in April 2020, months after the party's stunning success in the 2019 general election and Boris Johnson's pledge to “get Brexit done”. That month also saw Starmer take over as Labour leader from Jeremy Corbyn.

This was also amid a spirit of national unity following the onset of the COVID pandemic which nearly killed Johnson himself. The then-PM had been released from hospital five days before this particular survey was taken.

TOPSHOT - Britain's outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers his final speech outside 10 Downing Street in central London on September 6, 2022, before heading to Balmoral to tender his resignation. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson formally tenders his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday, handing over power to Liz Truss after his momentous tenure dominated by Brexit and Covid was cut short by scandal. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson delivers his final speech as prime minister outside 10 Downing Street in September 2022. (AFP via Getty Images)

Over the rest of the year, there was a downturn in support amid chaos over COVID rules, with the Tories falling as low as 35% in November 2020, compared to Labour on 40%.

However, the UK’s successful COVID vaccination programme provided a pathway out of lockdown and with it, improved poll ratings. Tory support peaked at 41% in June 2021, with Labour at 30%.

In October that year, there was a sense Johnson was untouchable. At the Tory party conference, the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg remarked how the PM was "in total command of his party, and politically dominant in the country".

But this fell apart quickly with the Partygate scandal, which emerged in November that year. Time and again, reports emerged of government and Tory staff – including Johnson – having taken part in lockdown-era social gatherings when their own COVID rules had prohibited them.

By January 2022, Tory support had plummeted to 28%, with Labour on 38%. Johnson struggled on, but never recovered and a wave of ministerial resignations forced him to resign in July that year.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss during the National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph on November 12, 2023 in London, England. Every year, members of the British Royal family join politicians, veterans and members of the public to remember those who have died in combat. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
The UK had three separate prime ministers – Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak – between 6 September and 24 October, 2022. (Getty Images)

His successor, Liz Truss, then embarked on arguably the most disastrous prime ministerial reign in history, characterised by the catastrophic "mini-budget", containing £45bn of unfunded tax cuts, which prompted an economic crisis. Like Johnson, she lost the confidence of Tory MPs – and voters – and had to resign.

Her 49-day spell as PM was the shortest in history, with Tory support plummeting to 19% (with Labour on 56%) the day after she announced her resignation in October 2022.

Rishi Sunak, who had lost to Truss in the previous month's Tory leadership election, took over. However, as the above YouGov chart indicates, he has failed to cut through with voters. Tory support was at 23% two days after he assumed office, with the most recent survey, carried out on Thursday, showing support is now lower than under Truss at 18%.

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