Polls are merely snapshots of the current state of play, not predictions of an election months down the line. A lot could change in the two and a bit months until the election, but the latest poll indicates that the it is very possible that David Cameron could be democratically ousted by Ed Miliband.
The poll puts Labour on 34%, ahead of the Conservatives on 31%. If these results were repeated in May, Labour would have achieved a five point swing in their favour since 2010, and the Conservatives would have lost five points from the same year.
Additionally, the poll also puts UKIP on a strong third place on 15%, well ahead of the Greens and the Liberal Democrats on 7% each.
Putting the results of the poll in the ‘Electoral Calculus’ seat calculator, which uses the crude method of uniform swings, it suggests that with these results Labour could get a small majority with 340 seats.
However, as mentioned such calculators measure uniform swing, with this one in particular failing to take account for the rise of the SNP in Scotland.
The new YouGov poll gives the SNP a whopping 51% of the vote in Scotland, and although the sample size for Scots is small, the 51% is roughly in line with recent Scotland only polls.
If Scotland voted this way, then according to the ‘Scotland Votes’ calculator the SNP are on course for 57/59 Scottish seats. This would harm Labour’s chances of getting a majority, however, if the two parties worked together they could potentially have enough seats to see David Cameron out of Downing Street.
According to the Independent, Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the SNP, has said that she would favour working with Labour in the form of a “confidence and supply” arrangement, rather than a full blown coalition.
She also said that:
“One of the things where the SNP could really make a difference, if we are a force in the next Westminster Parliament, is to build alliances for some of the progressive changes we would like to see.”
Overall, this is one of the most unpredictable elections, with so many factors at play such as the rise of the SNP, the growth of UKIP and the reduction of the Liberal Democrats. May’s election could result in Ed Miliband entering Downing Street, or it could see David Cameron return to Number Ten once more.
So many different parliaments could result from the election, but we will only know which one the voters will choose after the election.
The full results of the YouGov poll can be found here. 1592 GB adults were interviewed between the 11th and 12th of February.