Polling expert Sir John Curtice updates his General Election prediction

5 December 2019, 14:45 | Updated: 5 December 2019, 15:04

A month ago, Sir John Curtice predicted we could be in for a hung parliament. With one week until polling day, the elections expert gave LBC his updated forecast.

The Conservatives have a commanding lead according to the polls, but recent ones suggest their lead is closing.

Seven days before the election, Shelagh Fogarty spoke to Sir John Curtice, the UK's leading polling expert, to find out his current thoughts.

Sir John Curtice's election forecast: Seven days to go

"I think one prediction was quite enough last time. What I would say is it's very clear where we are. If the polls are at all right, there is about a 70% chance the Conservatives will get the overall majority they need.

"The 10-point lead they currently have in the polls will be adequate if it translates to the ballot boxes. But if the lead turns out not to be more than 6%, then we get into a world where there is a 50% chance of a hung parliament.

"That is because Boris Johnson has got to get a majority if he's going to get his Withdrawal Agreement through - and probably even if he's going to remain Prime Minister. He's not sufficiently far ahead of where he needs to be that he can assume it's in the bag.

Sir John Curtice in the LBC studio
Sir John Curtice in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

"But the 10-point lead is an average figure. Some polls give a bigger lead and if that's the case, then frankly there is nothing much for the Tories to worry about.

"But conversely, there are a couple of other polls which gives them a 6- or 7-point lead and if they prove to be closer to the truth, then this is potentially a tight election so far as Boris Johnson's future is concerned."

Will smaller parties still do well?

A month ago, Sir John predicted: "I think the safest prediction is that we will have a record number of non-Conservative and non-Labour MPs in this parliament."

He's less sure about that now, stating: "It's not looking as bright as it once did, not least because of the Liberal Democrats.

"In Scotland, the SNP still look likely to make gains although perhaps not as many as they once looked like getting. We expect Caroline Lucas to hang on to her seat. We expect the Welsh nationalists to have at least four seats.

"So the key thing is how well the Liberal Democrats do.

"The record number of third-party MPs is 88. If you would take the polls at the moment, we might be slightly below that figure at 82."

More Shelagh Fogarty News

See more More Shelagh Fogarty News

The Princess of Wales says she edited the photograph that was released to mark Mother's Day.

The insistence that we see Kate is tantamount to stalking, writes Shelagh Fogarty

Caller tells Shelagh his solution to illegal immigration.

LBC caller tells Shelagh Fogarty that the Channel islands are the answer to 'illegal immigration'

'Rishi Sunak chooses to do the self interested party politics': Shelagh Fogarty reflects on Tories' immigration policies

'Rishi Sunak chooses to do the self-interested party politics': Shelagh Fogarty reflects on Tories' migration policies

Shelagh Fogarty

Former Treasury official outlines 'three immediate priorities' likely to be reflected in Autumn Statement

Shelagh Fogarty

Suella Braverman's hardline crime bill seems like she's ‘interviewing' for career at ‘pathetic’ news channels, says caller

Shelagh and caller Sam

Anti-Semitic chants and actions 'delegitimize' pro-Palestinian cause asserts this Shelagh Fogarty caller

Shelagh and Ricardo Dos Santos

'It's sickening': Ricardo Dos Santos speaks to Shelagh Fogarty as two officers sacked over stop and search


Rishi Sunak has 'failed monumentally' to 'humanise' both sides of the Israel-Hamas conflict says Israel expert

Shelagh and Callum

Twitter is a 'particularly dangerous' place to get information now says the Centre for Countering Digital Hate

Shelagh and caller Simon

LBC caller details 'disgusting anti-Semitic' act he witnessed, as hate crimes rise in fall out of Israel-Hamas war

Sister of missing Israeli woman

'We hope she's hiding somewhere': Sister of missing Israeli festival goer fears she is being held hostage by Hamas

Distraught caller on Israel-Gaza conflict.

'This is a war against Hamas!': Distraught caller wants Israel and Palestine to take down the 'enemy' together

Shelagh and Alicia Kearns

Head of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee expresses concern over Israeli 'siege of Gaza'

Shelagh Fogarty caller on facial recognition.

This caller lacks 'trust' in the government's handling of the AI facial recognition debate

Shelagh condemns PM's comments on 'dignity' of the elderly.

'He painted a picture of a Britain that the Conservatives meant to build...': Shelagh Fogarty condemns PM's suggestion that elderly have 'dignity'

Shelagh Fogarty on Jenrick

'We're full aren't we?': Shelagh questions Robert Jenrick's motive behind encouraging Brits to increase birth rate