Polling expert predicts Greens’ second seat will be Norwich South
A polling expert has predicted that the Green Party’s most likely next seat will be in Norwich South.
The analysis by the University of Strathclyde’s Professor John Curtice comes in a new report for the Electoral Reform Society titled ‘The Lottery Election’.
The report argues that the emergence of a seven party system under First Past the Post means that result of May’s election is almost impossible to predict given the surge of the SNP, Greens and UKIP, alongside the collapse of the Lib Dems.
As Professor Curtice notes: “The most recent monthly poll averages represent a ten-point increase in UKIP support, a seven-point gain in the Green vote and a three-point rise in Labour support” – all factors which when combined with the post-September Scottish system mean the May result will be chaotic.
However, Curtis predicts the Greens will struggle to build upon Caroline Lucas’ seat in Brighton:
“Winning a highly competitive seat on no more than a third of the vote is exactly what Caroline Lucas managed to achieve in Brighton Pavilion in 2010, thereby giving the Greens their first parliamentary success even though the party’s overall national vote actually fell back a little as compared with the 2005 election. Now that the party’s national support has risen to 8% the party would retain the seat if vote shares in the constituency were to rise and fall in line with the GB-wide movements since 2010.
“Achieving any other success would require the party to increase its support by much more than average in one or more constituencies. Its best hope would appear to be in Norwich South, where the party secured its second-highest vote in 2010, and which is already highly competitive between three parties.”
[Disclosure: Josiah Mortimer works for the Electoral Reform Society]