YouGov predicts Liberal Democrat win in South Cambridgeshire

PUBLISHED: 15:59 11 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:19 11 December 2019

General Election 2019: Could Ian Sollom, the Liberal Democrat candidate in South Cambridgeshire, turn the seat yellow? YouGov think so. Picture: Chris Sidell

General Election 2019: Could Ian Sollom, the Liberal Democrat candidate in South Cambridgeshire, turn the seat yellow? YouGov think so. Picture: Chris Sidell

Copyright 2019 Chris Sidell

The final YouGov election model has projected the Liberal Democrats will win the South Cambridgeshire seat in a huge swing from the 2017 result.

Anthony Browne is the South Cambridgeshire Conservative Party candidate in the 2019 General Election. Picture: Stephen FrostAnthony Browne is the South Cambridgeshire Conservative Party candidate in the 2019 General Election. Picture: Stephen Frost

Nationally the pollster has the Conservatives winning 339 seats, with Labour on 231 and the Liberal Democrats winning 15 seats.

South Cambridgeshire has been considered a Tory safe seat for the past several elections, with the Conservatives getting almost twice the number of votes as runners-up Labour in 2017, and three times as many in 2015.

South Cambridgeshire was pro-Remain in the 2016 EU referendum, with the vote split 60 to 40 per cent.

The parliamentary seat has been blue for decades, and was won again for the Conservatives at the last general election by the pro-Remain Heidi Allen, before she defected to the Liberal Democrats via a number of independent groups. The district council was won from the Conservatives by the Liberal Democrats last year.

South Cambridgeshire Labour candidate Dan Greef. Picture: Steven Creamer PhotographySouth Cambridgeshire Labour candidate Dan Greef. Picture: Steven Creamer Photography

This is the first time standing for Liberal Democrat candidate Ian Sollom. His party came third in 2017, with just 19 per cent of the vote - compared with Labour on 27 per cent and the Conservatives with 52 per cent.

Were Mr Sollom to win after voters go to the polls tomorrow 12 it might well prove to be the biggest swing in the entire country.

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The YouGov model - published yesterday - estimates the Liberal Democrats will win with 45 per cent, with the Conservative candidate Anthony Browne on 41 per cent. But the result is within the margin of error, which will make for a tense finish.

The data will be a further boost for Mr Sollom, who has been vying with Labour's Dan Greef to be seen as the Remain candidate to back.

The modelling has Labour on just 14 per cent in South Cambridgeshire.

The YouGov Multilevel Regression and Post-stratification (MRP) model has been seen as the poll to watch after it was more accurate than most in the last election.

The poll uses interviews conducted over the past seven days, combined with other data points to predict voter intentions across the country.

Co-creator of YouGov's MRP model, Professor Ben Lauderdale, says on the pollster's website: "The idea behind MRP is that we use the poll data from the preceding seven days to estimate a model that relates interview date, constituency, voter demographics, past voting behaviour, and other respondent profile variables to their current voting intentions.

"This model is then used to estimate the probability that a voter with specified characteristics will vote Conservative, Labour, or some other party. Using data from the UK Office of National Statistics, the British Election Study, and past election results, YouGov has estimated the number of each type of voter in each constituency.

"Combining the model probabilities and estimated census counts allows YouGov to produce estimates of the number of voters in each constituency intending to vote for a party.

"In 2017, when we applied this strategy to the UK General Election, we correctly predicted 93 per cent of individual seats as well as the overall hung parliament result."

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