James Forsyth

Will the Tory majority be bigger than expected?

Will the Tory majority be bigger than expected?
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The overall result of the general election isn’t really in doubt: the Tories will be returned to government tomorrow with an increased majority. But just how big that majority is will have a huge impact on what happens at Westminster over the next few years—and that is much less clear.

There are two reasons for this. First, the British polling industry remains in crisis; meaning that it is hard to have confidence in the numbers they are pumping out today. Second, in this election, there isn’t going to be a national swing, but a series of regional swings. For example, I hear that the Tories are sending extra resources into Battersea, a seat where they have an almost 8,000 majority. Yet, at the same time, the Tories are expanding their reach in the north east into seats where the Labour majority is more than 8,000.

London won’t be good for the Tories tomorrow night. But much of the rest of the country will be. Talking to people on the ground, there seems to be a distinct possibility that the Tory majority could break the three figure mark. Ringing round over the last 24 hours or so, Tories kept saying that they thought the momentum was with them going into the final stretch, that concern over Corbyn and security was tipping lots of reluctant voters their way.

Now, predicting the actual election result is an art not a science and my gut instinct is still for a Tory majority in the 50 to 80 range. But I would be less surprised by a Tory majority of more than 100 than by one of less than 40.