LONDON (MNI), May 6 – The exit polls for three UK television
companies for the 2010 general election shows the Conservatives just
missing an overall majority.

With 650 parliamentary seats up for grabs, the exit polls using a
uniform national swing (UNS) model put the Conservatives on 307, Labour
on 255 and the Liberal Democrats on 59 seats. This would leave the
Conservatives 19 seats short of an outright majority.

The exit poll was a joint effort by MORI and NOP.

If correct, the poll shows the Conservatives gaining 97 seats,
Labour losing 94 and, surprisingly, the Liberal Democrats losing 3.

While using a UNS model points to no overall Conservative majority
in parliament these models, however, have been widely criticized by
psephologists as overly simplistic. More sophisticated models suggest
the Conservatives will perform better than the UNS projections suggest
leaving the door open when they actual votes are counted to the
Conservatives still getting a majority.

With the support of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party,
which previously had 9 members of parliament, and factoring in
republican Sinn Fein members not taking up their seats, the
Conservatives could form a minority government even with some 300 seats
and could be have an effective overall majority with some 322 seats.

The first of the actual local votes is expected around 2200 GMT, in
the safe Labour constituency of Sunderland South. Vote swings in safe
seats are a highly unreliable guide to swings in the key marginal
seats.

The first of the key marginal seats will come around 2400 GMT.

Based on percentage swings needed from the previous 2005 election,
as compiled by JP Morgan, the Telford constituency comes 324th on the
Conservative list. Its result is due around 2400 GMT, and a win there
would show the Conservatives on track for an overall majority.

–London newsroom: 4420 7862 7491 email:drobinson@marketnews.com
lcommons@marketnews.com

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