February 6, 2015 / 11:04 AM / 3 years ago

Only 6 percent chance British election will result in majority government: research

LONDON (Reuters) - There is only a six percent chance the British election on May 7 will produce a majority government, according to analysis published on Friday, with opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband most likely to end up as prime minister.

Britain's Labour Party leader Ed Miliband speaks on the BBC's "The Andrew Marr Show" in this handout photograph received via the BBC in London on January 11, 2015. REUTERS/Jeff Overs/BBC/Handout via Reuters

The research, put together by pollsters Populus and public affairs company Hanover, uses polling data and statistical modeling to generate probability predictions for the outcome of the election, which is set to be a very close battle.

Both Prime Minister David Cameron’s center-right Conservatives, who have ruled in coalition with the centrist Liberal Democrats since 2010, and the Labour party each have a 3 percent chance of winning an outright majority, it predicts.

Labour’s greater choice of potential coalition partners gives it a 67 percent chance of leading the next government.

“It is highly likely that this election is going to result in a lot of negotiations with smaller parties in order to form a viable government,” said Charles Lewington, Managing Director of Hanover Communications.

“We are unlikely to have anywhere near the size of majority the current government enjoys,” he added. The government currently has a working majority of 75 in the 650-seat House of Commons.

The research predicts the most likely combination, with a 24 percent chance of happening, is center-left Labour joining forces with the Scottish nationalists, who have seen a large surge in support at the expense of Labour.

The Conservatives best hope of remaining in power is to join forces with both the Liberal Democrats and Northern Ireland’s Democratic and Unionist Party, according to the research.

The Liberal Democrats, whose share of the vote has slumped since they entered into government, have a 58 percent chance of being in power again, it added, despite being expected to lose a large number of their seats.

The prediction tool, which will be updated weekly, can be found at the following link: sentio2015.co.uk/

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Stephen Addison

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