THE UK will take to the polls this week to elect MPs across all 650 constituencies. But how many seats do a party need for a majority?
On Thursday, December 12, voters across the UK will take to the polls to elect the next government. Polls will be open from 7am and will close at 10pm, with results expected to begin coming through in the early hours of Friday morning.
Candidates have been campaigning up and down the country, some joined by famous faces as they hope to gain voters ahead of the election.
With the election just days away, if you have not registered to vote you are too late and cannot vote in this year’s general election.
Party leaders and senior party members have been taking part in televised debates in the weeks leading up to the election, with another scheduled for this evening.
On Friday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn went head to head in a debate.
The two leaders faced an hour-long discussion hosted by journalist and former BBC political editor Nick Robinson.
How many seats are needed to gain a majority?
For a party to take a majority in the House of Commons and form a government, they need to win at least 326 seats out of the 650 up for the vote.
All 650 are up for the vote in a general election, with MPs across all constituencies campaigning fiercely.
If no single party achieves a majority, larger parties can collaborate with smaller parties which agree to support them and form a coalition government.
This is what happened in the 2017 general election, as Theresa May lost her majority.
She formed a ‘confidence and supply’ coalition government with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
The Institute of Government describes such confidence deals as making clear “the support party or parties must back the government on explicit confidence votes and votes on budgets and supply (government spending).
“In return, the support parties are given government support for specific policy priorities.”
What are the current polls showing for seat projections?
According to a poll from YouGov, the Conservatives will come out on top in Thursday’s election with 43 percent of the vote or 359 seats.
They would be followed by Labour with 32 percent or 211 seats.
In third are the Liberal Democrats with 14 percent of the vote or 13 seats, then the SNP with three percent of the vote and 43 seats.
The Brexit Party are projected to receive just three percent of the vote and gain no seats in December’s election.
A Savanta Comres poll of 2,041 British adults said of current voting intention between December 2 and December 3:
- Conservatives – 42 percent
- Labour – 32 percent
- Liberal Democrats – 12 percent
- SNP – Four percent
- Brexit Party – Three percent
- Green Party – Two percent
Betfair Exchange odds show a 72 percent probability of the Conservatives gaining a majority when results come through on Friday, December 13.
Betfair Spokesperson, Katie Baylis said: “With just one week to go until the country goes to the polls a Tory Overall Majority is odds-on at 2/5 or a 72 percent chance on Betfair Exchange, with No Overall Majority at 3/1 and just a 26 percent chance and Labour at 45/1 (2 percent).
“The Lib Dems, who were also expected to play a big part in the outcome of the election have failed to impress the punters during their campaign.
“Their odds were as short as 10/1 in July on the Most Seats market, but are now out to 499/1, while they are 999/1 for an overall majority after being as short as 20/1.
“Furthermore, last month they had been odds-on at 1/6 to get more than 25 seats, but they’re now out to 3/1 to do that and are odds-on at 4/6 to secure just 10-19 seats.”
Betfair Exchange – General Election Most Seats
- Conservative – 1/25
- Labour – 23/1
- Liberal Democrat – 499/1
Betfair Exchange – General Election Next Government
- Conservative Majority – 2/5
- Labour Minority – 9/1
- Conservatives Minority – 14/1
- Lab/SNP Coalition – 19/1
- Labour Majority – 45/1
- Lab/LD/SNP Coalition – 31/1
- Cons/Brexit Party Coalition –69/1