Election 2017: parties enter final hours of personalised and bruising campaign – live

7 Jun

So, there we have it. A 12-point victory for the Conservatives is ICM’s preliminary call on our final poll, up from a 7-point victory for David Cameron just two years’ ago, representing a swing to the Conservatives of 2.5% (remembering that both party shares have increased compared to 2015).

This final poll confirms the pattern that ICM has produced over the last fortnight: a fairly healthy and static (aka strong & stable) Conservative share with consolidation of the Labour bump first witnessed after the manifesto publication.

The 12-point lead compares to the 11-point lead published in The Guardian on Monday, implying precious little movement in the last few days of the campaign.

We should note that ICM continues to interview, aiming for another c.500 interviews by the end of the day. The numbers might change, but we would not expect them to do so by much.

According to Electoral Calculus seat projections. This would yield a Conservative majority of 96, with 373 seats in their possession compared to 199 for Labour (which might be seen by party insiders as a decent outcome). Not so much for the Liberal Democrats though, predicted to drop to only two seats on this modelling.

Speculation about the polls being right or wrong is ubiquitous right now, with much of it concentrating on closer runs polls produced by Survation and YouGov compared to us and ComRes. Intriguingly, a number high profile political journalists continue to predict that the Tories will do better than even our poll is saying (given musings from the ground), so this really has become a nail-gnawing electoral event, rather than the absolute rout that we all were fixed on just a month ago.

The public, though, may not have been reading the journo’s stuff. Only one in ten (12%) expects a Tory majority at the top end of the range, with a plurality (38%) believing it will be secured, but only by double figures. Fewer than one in five (17%) expect a hung parliament, with the great optimists being the 7% who think Labour will secure the keys to Number 10 (18% of Labour voters they Jeremy Corbyn will smash it).

But whatever the outcome, there’s a strong chance that Corbyn will stay on, according to the public. As many (24%) think he should do so no matter what (a few delighted Tories are included in this number), with the same number saying so only on the basis of a Labour victory. One in five (20%) thinks he should do so so long as Labour do better than their 2015 showing – that’s not a very high bar though given the return to two-party politics. Beating Ed Miliband’s 31% in 2015 should not present a great difficuly now, given the implosion of Ukip and the Liberal Democrats general malaise.

So the UK goes to the polls, with voters apparently armed with sufficient information to make an informed choice – 57% say they have been on enough of a receiving end to cast their ballot effectively, with Tory voters more so (72%) than their Labour counterparts (62%). Cynics amongst us may conclude that Theresa May’s policy-light manifesto didn’t take long to consume.

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