Today the Queen dissolved parliament which officially means the UK General Election campaigning is underway.
Had enough already? Well there is over a month of extensive and tireless campaigning ahead. The outcome will be that on the 8th of May the UK is likely to have experienced its tightest and most crucial election in decades.Despite the fact either David Cameron or Ed Miliband will be Prime Minister come mid-May the Parliament itself may be very diverse. UKIP and the Greens will be looking to increase their seat numbers this time round at the expense of Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives. There is unlikely to be much change in the seats in Northern Ireland where the DUP, Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance and an Independent are incumbent. In Wales the predictions are that the coalition parties will lose a seat each to Labour. With Plaid Cymru remaining steady in Wales the SNP are making monumental gains in Scotland proving that the political landscape has changed dramatically since the referendum. The SNP are on course to win 55 of the 59 constituency seats in Scotland to the dismay of Labour. Labour’s loss of support in its traditional heartland has made it extremely difficult for the party to achieve a majority government. Only a SNP collapse in Scotland or a Conservative collapse in England could give Miliband any chance of a free ticket into Number 10.A minority or coalition government is most likely again. This would allow all the “smaller” parties a chance to be power breakers.
As of 30th March, following the Cameron vs Miliband TV debate, a BBC poll places the challengers neck-in-neck on 34%. The UK Polling Report places the Conservatives 4 points ahead on 36%. Yesterday according to the Guardian it was Labour who had a 4 point lead at 36%. As accurate as polls can be it depends on where they are collecting data from which determines who is painting the most accurate picture.
So what does all this data mean? How do we translate this into seats in the House of Commons. There would be another hung parliament with the Conservatives holding a narrow lead as the largest party.