Risk of hung parliament drives down sterling

A voter prepares to fill their Postal ballot for the upcoming general election for Theresa May's constituency of Maidenhead Berkshire

A voter prepares to fill their Postal ballot for the upcoming general election for Theresa May's constituency of Maidenhead Berkshire

May and her team have been promoting the idea that Jeremy Corbyn is closer to becoming prime minister than other polls suggest he is, and this reminder of how "close" the election is may well help her narrative.

Using new constituency-by-constituency modelling, the projection by pollsters YouGov said the party could lose 20 seats to end up with 310. While doubts over polling remain after a failure to predict the U.K.'s 2015 election result, the moves on Wednesday are emblematic of how the market has been shocked out of its pre-election complacency by mounting evidence that the race is getting tighter.

For the YouGov model to be right it would mean that something has happened in the past two years that makes the national opinion polls more wrong in a pro-Tory direction than they have ever been.

If May fails to win an overall majority, she would be forced to strike a deal with another party to continue governing either as a coalition or a minority government. Labour, on the other hand, would see their number of MPs jump from 229 to 257. Could it happen...? (Picture: Reuters)Are ministers anxious about this poll?

One prominent Tory told The Times the party was still expecting a majority of 50 of more, despite their "atrocious" campaign - a reference to anger at the party's manifesto, which prompted a swift U-turn from the prime minister. The Tories would gain just four seats from other parties.

And former Labour leader Ed Miliband tweeted this succinct take-down of polling in general.

Possibly, but probably not.

May backed the "remain" campaign in the runup to last year's referendum on European Union membership, though she made few public appearances, but has repeatedly sought to present herself as the only party leader able to make a success of Brexit despite giving few details of how she will handle the negotiations.

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How does constituency-by-constituency actually work?

The YouGov poll - conducted on May 30-31 - puts the Conservatives on 42 percent, down one point from a comparable poll on May 27.

"First, they are estimates of current voting intentions, not a forecast of how people will vote on 8 June", said YouGov chief scientist Doug Rivers this morning. "It is the outcome of a model that has used untested methodology to come up with this hung parliament conclusion".

Following the previous election, the Conservatives won a working majority of 17 seats in the 650-member House of Commons.

Nearly all recent polls have shown the Conservative lead reducing.

The latest model has been met with scepticism by both the Tories and Labour.

JP Morgan strategist, Paul Meggyesi, says there is an 86% certainty there will be a Conservative victory on the 8 of June elections, despite the narrowing down of the Conservative lead.

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