LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s election race has tightened markedly over the past two weeks and Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now likely to win only a modest majority in Thursday’s vote, according to a closely watched forecast released on Tuesday.
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at a general election campaign event at the Globus Group warehouse in Manchester, Britain, December 10, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville
The 28-seat Conservative margin of victory predicted by pollsters YouGov, down from 68 two weeks ago, is narrow enough that the firm said Johnson could fail to win an outright majority, given the uncertainties inherent to forecasting – an outcome that would prolong Brexit uncertainty.
“Based on the model, we cannot rule out a hung parliament,” Anthony Wells, YouGov’s director of political research, told The Times newspaper, which published the results.
Johnson called the election to break what he viewed as a deadlock in parliament, where his minority administration had been unable to pass legislation governing Britain’s departure from the European Union, which has been delayed until Jan. 31.
Sterling fell sharply after the forecasts appeared, dropping by more than half a cent against the dollar after hitting a seven-month high against the U.S. currency earlier in the day.
“Given the margin for error in this poll, as well as the trend which has shown a clear narrowing of the majority … Thursday’s election outcome is f