No party is likely to get a majority - and that’s a good thing!

Houses of Parliament

With the rise of UKIP, the SNP and the Greens, multi-party coalitions and minority governments are set to be the future.

Monday’s poll saw the Labour party lead 34%-30%, a decent lead considering the Conservatives were marginally ahead in a couple of polls last week. However, the Conservatives have gained, and Labour now lead 33%-32%, returning to the norms of the usual one point lead.

The latest poll also puts the Liberal Democrats on 7% and UKIP on 16%. The Greens meanwhile got 6%.

According to Electoral Calculus, Labour would get 328 seats, whilst the Conservatives would be on 278. The Liberal Democrats would fall dramatically to just having 16 seats, whilst UKIP would have zero.

However, it is important to note that such seat calculators measure crude, universal swings. Such calculators do not take into account how the political game has changed. UKIP are likely to gain - at the least - a handful of seats - and the SNP in Scotland will likely dent Labour’s share of the vote and take a chunk of their seats. A hung parliament, of a much more complex nature, is more likely than ever. In British politics, everything has changed.

If neither of the large parties get a majority, which is extremely likely, especially if Labour cannot even achieve at least 35% of the vote - the amount it won in 2005 to form a majority government on the smallest ever share of the vote - then a coalition of perhaps two or more parties looks likely.

Peter Kellner, the President of YouGov, recently pointed out that: “The basic arithmetic is simple and potentially devastating. In order for us to be certain that a viable two-party coalition with the Lib Dems is available to at least one of the two main parties, the number of Lib Dem MPs must exceed the total of the other minority parties.”

The old three main parties are generally losing votes across the board. But in crude terms, UKIP’s rise will mostly affect the Conservatives. 18% of respondents planning to vote UKIP voted Tory in 2010, whilst 9% voted Labour, and 10% voted Lib Dem, according to YouGov's poll.

The SNP are mostly taking votes from those who voted Labour, who once dominated Scotland, whilst the Greens are making significant gaining from former Liberal Democrats. 11% of those who voted Lib Dem in 2010 intend to vote Green, compared to 3% who came from Labour, and 2% who came from the Conservatives.

The old party system is over, being reshaped by UKIP on the right, the Greens on the left and the SNP on the left in Scotland. This is good for democracy, giving plurality and freshness to a dusty old system.

If momentum continues and people realise that a vote for [insert smaller party] can get them a representative from that party then it would not be surprising if Labour and the Tories barely cobble together 60% of the vote by 2020.

The full results of the YouGov/Sun poll can be read here: http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/ojn7yf80q4/YG-Archive-Pol-Sun-results-251114.pdf