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I used to be considered a pretty good forecaster of British and other countries' elections.So the bookmakers have 2:5 odds on no party gaining an outright majority, and 10:11 on either Labour or the Conservatives winning the largest number of seats.When I first became interested in politics, nearly 50 years ago, Labour and the Conservatives attracted some 90 percent of the popular vote.The latest polls indicate 34 percent support for Labour, and 32 percent for the Conservatives. Labour's popularity has been trending down from the high 30s over the last couple of years; the Conservatives have remained stuck at around 30 percent.As a result, psephologists, or those who analyze elections scientifically, calculate that the Conservatives have to win at least 4 percent more of the popular vote than Labour in order to win more seats.Second, the anti-immigration, anti-European U.K. Independence Party takes more votes – perhaps as much as 50 percent – from the Conservatives than it does from the Labour party. Many working-class voters in western Scotland used to vote for the SNP in Scottish Parliament elections, but would drift back to Labour in British general elections.
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