Maitland/AMO General Election Insight

1st January 2015

To mark 100 days until the general election, please find below the latest copy of Maitland/AMO Political Insight. This edition provides an overview of the current political picture through analysis of polling, the proposed leaders debates and a look at some of the key marginal seats in play on May 7th. We will be bringing further analysis and coverage of all the latest political machinations in the lead up to one of the closest fought elections in years, through our daily political update, a new weekly election roundup and our Twitter account @MaitlandPol.

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Introduction

Welcome to what is the ninth edition of the Maitland Political/AMO Insight, which we have been publishing for almost a year now. Despite still being ten weeks away from the dissolution of parliament and the ‘short campaign’, the general election campaign is now well under way.

May’s general election is the toughest to call in decades. To many, the Labour party has yet to convince that they are fit for office, whilst the Conservatives appear to have presided over a vote-less economic revival. Liberal Democrat support may have collapsed, but they may well become, ironically, beneficiaries of the first-past-the-post system retaining more Parliamentary seats than their share of the vote should allow. On top of all this, UKIP and the Greens have emerged as a disruptive influence with the potential to cut into large swathes of Conservative and Labour support.
The different parties will all be doing their best to get their campaigns’ central message out front and centre in the coming weeks. The Conservatives will hope the debate centres on leadership and the economy, whilst Labour hopes to shift the focus towards standard of living and, in particular, the NHS, believing that to be its trump card. With UKIP and the Greens drawing in the oxygen of publicity, we could see jockeying for attention on an unprecedented scale.
Post-election scenarios, in the case of a hung parliament, are giving journalists plenty to scribble about. According to the bookies, and they tend to know, there is currently around a 30% chance of one party winning outright, a 50% chance of a relatively stable, if more informal, coalition and a 20% chance of an unstable coalition arrangement that could quickly lead to a second General Election like 1974.
In this Insight you will find analysis and information of the current state of play with only 100 days to go until polling day. We have provided information on the main events in the lead up to May 7th, profiles of key marginal constituencies and analysis of what the TV debates mean for the participants. This will provide a flavour of the more detailed political analysis we will bring you in the weeks and months ahead.

All of us at Maitland Political/AMO will be working hard to produce new and insightful election content to help you better understand the latest developments. Keep an eye out for our new weekly election round up, summarising the week’s big stories, publishing our own ‘poll of polls’ and unique analysis from one of our consultants. While this election promises to be one of the hardest to predict in a generation, one thing is for certain: it’ll keep us on the edge of our seats.

Yours faithfully,
Pete Bowyer,
Managing Partner of Maitland Political/AMO

20150127 General Election Insight