Rishi Sunak vs Keir Starmer, Who Will Win The 2024 UK Elections?

The United Kingdom is preparing to go to polls on July 4, with odds heavily favouring the Labour Party leader Keir Starmer. While Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is trying hard to keep his Conservative Party in power, the voter fatigue — stemming from the 14-year Tory rule — is visible in predicted numbers.

Keir Starmer is projected to win a historic mandate in the upcoming general election. In contrast, the Conservatives may see their lowest numbers in nearly two centuries. The Liberal Democrats, too, are likely to achieve their best-ever performance.

YouGov predictions

The Labour Party could secure between 422 and 456 seats, one of the largest majorities in British political history, according to recent polling and analysis by YouGov

Conservatives, though, face a challenging future, with predictions ranging from 72 to 140 seats, a significant decline from their current figures. 

Betting odds strongly favour Keir Starmer as the next Prime Minister, with odds for Rishi Sunak significantly lower.

Ipsos predictions

The Labour Party is on course for a historic victory with 453 seats. However, a crushing defeat stares in the face of Conservatives, who are likely to get 115 seats, according to Ipsos’s inaugural MRP model of the campaign. Should this come to fruition, Mr Starmer’s party will return to power after 14 years. 

The Liberal Democrats are predicted to win 38 seats, the Scottish National Party 15, and the Greens and Reform UK three each.

How accurate the predictions are

The accuracy of MRP (multilevel regression and poststratification) polls, which combine polling data with census-type information, has improved over recent years but remains subject to variability and uncertainty. However, tactical voting, undecided voters, and changes in public opinion may influence final numbers.

The pollsters themselves acknowledge the limitations of their models and the potential for error. Patrick English, director of political analytics for YouGov, notes that polling is an inexact science, and Chris Hanretty, a professor of politics at Royal Holloway, University of London, stated that models can only work with the data available and cannot capture all the complexities of human behaviour, according to The Guardian.

Public reception to certain policies

Policies that have connected with the British public include pledges from both Labour and the Conservatives not to increase National Insurance, VAT or income tax. The Conservative triple lock on pensions has also received strong support, with 73% of respondents in favour. Labour’s plans to introduce VAT on private schools and create a publicly owned renewable energy provider have also been well-received, with 61% and 74% support respectively.

Some policies have also faced opposition. The Conservative national service pledge has been unpopular, with 52% of respondents against it. Labour’s plan to lower the voting age to 16 has also been met with resistance, with 60% of respondents opposed. 

Will the odds hold, or will there be a twist in the tale on election day? Only time will tell. 

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