Next election to be most volatile in DECADES - Brexit causes major shift in voter opinions

BORIS JOHNSON could lead the UK into the most unpredictable general election in decades as almost half of voters may change their lifelong political allegiance, an academic study has claimed.

An election is expected to be held before the end of the year, due to another delay to the UK’s departure from the EU looking likely. And the British Election Study (BES), which has closely following elections in the UK since 1964, has analysed the outcomes of the 2010, 2015 and 2017 polls. It has concluded there was “an unprecedented trend of voting volatility” following almost half of voters changing allegiance. 

Edward Fieldhouse, professor of social and political science at Manchester university, who was involved in the study, said it will be difficult to predict the outcome of the next election. 

He said: “Given the UK’s recent history of vote switching and the unpredictability of the current climate, it would be unwise for any political party or commentator to presume how voters will behave in a general election.”

Between the 2015 and 2017 elections, a third of voters changed parties.

But 43 percent changed in 2015 compared with 2010.

The next election has been predicted to be the most unpredictable yet

The next election has been predicted to be the most unpredictable yet (Image: GETTY)

And between 1964 and 1966, when the survey began, only 13 percent of voters changed their mind.

The BES also predicted that in the next election, “voters will become less loyal”.

This is mostly due to Brexit uncertainty and how new parties such as the Brexit Party could split the Conservative vote.

David Butler, who has studied British elections for 70 years, said he had “never felt more confused and uncertain” about the potential outcome of an election.

READ MORE: No deal Brexit to see high street prices fall as import tariffs scrap

The Prime Minister is still trying to secure a deal

The Prime Minister is still trying to secure a deal (Image: GETTY)

The report is also interested to see what impact Brexit uncertainly and political deadlock will have on “the blame game”.

The research said: “The blame game is an important part of the transmission of competence shocks on to parties.”

The BES added parties’ stances on EU and immigration would be big issues shaping voters’ preferences in an upcoming election.

The report added it would be interesting to how how stance of different political parties on Brexit affect how they are perceived by voters and also which parts of the electorate they seek to represent.

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The UK is scheduled to leave the EU at the end of this month

The UK is scheduled to leave the EU at the end of this month (Image: EXPRESS)

The research added the British electorate was now mostly split along a Leave and Remain lines.

This is instead of the traditional left or right wing allegiance.

Most of of Ukip voters from the 2015 election backed the Conservatives in 2017.

The Tories also lost Remain voters to Labour at the last election, who were the most pro-remain party at the time.

the Prime Minister told Tory MPs today he will not automatically back a no deal Brexi

the Prime Minister told Tory MPs today he will not automatically back a no deal Brexit (Image: GETTY)

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister told Tory MPs today he will not automatically back a no deal Brexit in his next election manifesto.

Ex-Cabinet minister Damian Green questioned Mr Johnson on the next manifesto during a meeting with three other members of the 80 strong “One Nation” group this afternoon.

Mr Green told Sky News: “We wanted to convey the very strong message that we do not want to see a no-deal Brexit as the purpose of Government policy - particularly in [the] next election manifesto.

“That’s a very strong message from all of our members and supporters.

“He said absolutely it was not his intention to get no-deal.

“Batting for a deal. He will continue to do so. No-deal is not the policy of Government and and he doesn’t want it to be the policy of the Government.”