Polling mastermind John Curtice says 'underestimated' Remain vote will decide election

PUBLISHED: 15:24 03 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:24 03 December 2019

The polling expert John Curtice has weighed in with his newest prediction on the general election, claiming the ‘underestimated’ Remain vote is what will decide who becomes prime minister. Photo: BBC Electipncast

The polling expert John Curtice has weighed in with his newest prediction on the general election, claiming the 'underestimated' Remain vote is what will decide who becomes prime minister. Photo: BBC Electipncast

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The polling expert John Curtice has weighed in with his newest prediction on the general election, claiming the 'underestimated' Remain vote is what will decide who becomes prime minister.

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The Strathclyde University professor of politics warned Boris Johnson that he "is not home and dry" and added he should "not be sure he's got it in the bag" speaking to the BBC's Electioncast podcast.

Curtice said there was still a huge opportunity for the Remain vote to keep Boris Johnson from being elected as prime minister, as the Conservatives have 'squeezed' all of the Leave votes they can but Labour can still gather more Remain voters.

"We do have to bear in mind that probably Boris Johnson needs a bit more than a six point lead before we say yes he's clearly all home and dry," he said.

"If the lead is indeed around 10 points he is not so far ahead from where he needs to be to get a majority for us to be sure that he has got it in the bag. Again we just do have to remember that this is essentially a binary election in which either Boris Johnson gets a majority in which case Brexit should happen or he fails to get a majority."

"Then there is a high probability that we will get a minority Labour administration charged with the task of applying for an extension and going for a second referendum.

"It is whether or not the Conservatives get a majority or not that matters, not whether they have more seats than Labour."

Curtice added that Labour could still dramatically increase their vote share due to over 20% of the Remain vote currently being held by the Liberal Democrats.

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He noted that both the Tories and Labour have seen a steady rise in the polls at the expense of parties like the Greens, UKIP, and the Brexit Party.

"There is only around six or seven percent of the Leave vote left in the hands of the Brexit Party," he said.

"Where as in contrast, there is still potentially at least over 20 percent of the Remain vote in the hands of the Liberal Democrats

"Therefore given that the Labour Party have so far demonstrated a non-trivial degree of successes in squeezing that vote maybe they could squeeze it further.

"In other words there is the potential for Labour to continue to make the progress it's been making in this campaign at the expense of the Liberal Democrats."

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