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General Election 2019: Final YouGov poll puts Liberal Democrat Ian Sollom ahead of Tory Anthony Browne in South Cambridgeshire

The final YouGov election model has projected the Liberal Democrats will win South Cambridgeshire in a huge swing from the 2017 result - but it is tight.

Ian Sollom, the Liberal Democrat candidate for South Cambridgeshire at the 2019 General Election. Picture: Chris Sidell (24014207)
Ian Sollom, the Liberal Democrat candidate for South Cambridgeshire at the 2019 General Election. Picture: Chris Sidell (24014207)

Nationally, the pollster has the Conservatives winning 339 seats, with Labour on 231 and the Liberal Democrats winning 15 seats.

South Cambridgeshire has been considered a Tory safe seat, with the Conservatives getting almost twice the number of votes as runners-up Labour in 2017, and three times as many in 2015.

But the constituency was pro-Remain in the 2016 EU referendum, with the vote split 60 to 40 per cent.

At the last election, it was won pro-Remain Heidi Allen for Tories, before she defected to the Liberal Democrats, with time as an independent and with Change UK in between. The district council was won from the Conservatives by the Liberal Democrats last year.

This is the first time standing for Liberal Democrat candidate Ian Sollom. His party came third in 2017, with just 19 per cent of the vote, compared with Labour on 27 per cent and the Conservatives with 52 per cent.

Were Mr Sollom to win on December 12, it might prove to be the biggest swing in the entire country.

The YouGov model published on Tuesday (December 10) estimates the Liberal Democrats will win with 45 per cent, with the Conservative candidate Anthony Browne on 41 per cent. But the result is within the margin of error, which will make for a tense finish.

Anthony Browne, the Conservative candidate for South Cambridgeshire. Picture: Keith Heppell
Anthony Browne, the Conservative candidate for South Cambridgeshire. Picture: Keith Heppell

The data will be a further boost for Mr Sollom, who has been vying with Labour’s Dan Greef to be seen as the Remain candidate to back.

The modelling has Labour on just 14 per cent in South Cambridgeshire.

An earlier YouGov poll, conducted in November, put the Tories on 42 per cent in South Cambridgeshire, with the Liberal Democrats on 40 per cent and Labour on 17 per cent.

The latest YouGov Multilevel Regression and Post-stratification (MRP) model has been seen as the poll to watch, because it was more accurate than most in the last election.

The poll uses interviews conducted over the past seven days, combined with other data points to predict voter intentions across the country.

Co-creator of YouGov’s MRP model, Professor Ben Lauderdale, says on the pollster’s website: “The idea behind MRP is that we use the poll data from the preceding seven days to estimate a model that relates interview date, constituency, voter demographics, past voting behaviour, and other respondent profile variables to their current voting intentions.

South Cambridgeshire Labour Parliamentary Candidate Dan Greef. (24014376)
South Cambridgeshire Labour Parliamentary Candidate Dan Greef. (24014376)

“This model is then used to estimate the probability that a voter with specified characteristics will vote Conservative, Labour, or some other party. Using data from the UK Office of National Statistics, the British Election Study, and past election results, YouGov has estimated the number of each type of voter in each constituency.

“Combining the model probabilities and estimated census counts allows YouGov to produce estimates of the number of voters in each constituency intending to vote for a party.

“In 2017, when we applied this strategy to the UK general election, we correctly predicted 93 per cent of individual seats as well as the overall hung parliament result.”

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