LDV election prediction competition: what will happen on 4th June?

by Stephen Tall on June 2, 2009

Just two days left ‘til polling day in what for many will be a double-election, with local elections taking place in much of England, and European elections being held across the UK. So what better time than now to launch our election prediction competition?

First let’s remind ourselves of the current state of play.

Local elections: Anders Hanson here on LDV has given a very useful synopsis of what to look out for, and which councils/mayors are up for re-election this Thursday. The last time local elections were held in most of these areas was on the same days the 2005 general election – which inevitably skewed results. The projected national share of the vote in local elections, though, was as follows:

Labour 25%, Conservative 40%, Lib Dems 28%

We should expect, therefore, Labour to poll under 25% and the Tories considerably more than 40% given the national opinion polls currently.

The Lib Dem figure is harder to nail down, but clearly we want (i) to beat Labour, and (ii) not to lose too much ground to the Tories, certainly not in key battleground areas.

In terms of councils, the Lib Dems control two – Devon and Cornwall county councils – with minority control of two – Somerset county and Bristol city councils. We will be defending 457 seats, compared to 1,149 for the Tories and 475 for Labour.

European elections: last time, in 2004, the Lib Dems trailed in fourth behind Ukip:

Labour 23%, Conservative 27%, Lib Dems 15%, Ukip 16%, Greens 6%, BNP 5%, Respect 2%, Nationalists 2%, Others 5%

Clearly the aim this time is to beat Labour and Ukip and retain the same number of MEPs (given the overall number is reducing to reflect EU expansion). The worst scenario would see the party trailing in fourth place again, perhaps being chased hard by the Greens. But in the current electoral tumult, with erratic polling data, it’s anyone’s guess how exactly this cake will be sliced. Are you feeling glass half-empty or glass half-full?

Anyway here are the competition questions:

1. Predict the Liberal Democrat share of the vote in the European elections.
2. Predict the turnout in the European elections.
3. Predict the Liberal Democrat lead over Labour in the local elections (if you think the results will be LD 25%, Lab 22%, your answer is +3%. If you think it will be the other way around, your answer is -3%).
4. Predict how many local authorities the Liberal Democrats will have majority control of on 5th June.
5. Predict the net loss/gain of Lib Dem councillors.

Feel free to show your working in the comments thread, but please do mark your answers clearly as per my preciction/example in the first comment.

And your prize? Well, the lucky winner will receive a copy of LDV’s annual, The Tangerine Book – still available for purchase here – and the runner-up will receive a limited edition (in fact it’s our last one) LDV mug. Oh, and of course you’ll earn the esteem of the LDV community.

So what’s stopping you? Predict away…