Polling expert John Curtice makes prediction about Remain pact

PUBLISHED: 14:35 07 November 2019 | UPDATED: 18:01 07 November 2019

John Curtice said the Unite to Remain pact could be crucial in the general election. Photo: BBC

John Curtice said the Unite to Remain pact could be crucial in the general election. Photo: BBC

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The polling expert John Curtice has said the Unite to Remain campaign 'could be crucial' and made predictions about how it could go.

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The polling expert John Curtice has said the Unite to Remain campaign "could be crucial" and made predictions about how it could go.

Curtice, a professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde, said the pact between pro-Remain parties could see half a dozen seats in England and Wales "that might otherwise be Conservative could go to one of these parties".

Plaid Cymru, the Lib Dems and the Green Party have announced 60 seats where their parties will not contest each other to give Remain candidates a better chance of becoming an MP.

READ MORE: 'Unprecedented' - Pro-Remain parties agree not to contest each other in 60 seats

READ MORE: Full list of 60 seats where pro-EU candidates are uniting for Remain

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's World at One, Curtice said: "What we have to ask ourselves is how many seats are there which are going to be won by the Conservatives that would not otherwise be won by one of these parties but for the pact.

"Actually just over one in three seats that the pact is now in place were won by Labour or were already held by Plaid or Greens or the Liberal Democrats. That narrows its scope.

"In quite a few of the seats that the Liberal Democrats either won against the Conservatives in 2017 or are quite close to the Conservatives this time around the greens didn't fight last time anyway."

Curtice noted that people may not follow the recommendation of their party, and added that if polls change or the election is closer, then the Unite to Remain pact could do even better.

"We do have to bear in mind not everybody is going to follow the recommendation of their party," he said.

"Given where the polls are at the moment, probably perhaps five or six seats that might not otherwise be won by the liberal democrats might perhaps now be so.

"If the Lib Dems were to improve in the polls nationally the picture might differ. Lets say around half a dozen seats that might otherwise be conservative could go to one of these parties. If the election is very close that could be crucial."

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