Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Why we need to be talking about a hung parliament

The local elections make it clearer than ever: Labour ought to be preparing to govern without a majority, writes John Rentoul

Sunday 21 May 2023 10:47 BST
Sir Keir Starmer may be the next PM but there are many variables to consider
Sir Keir Starmer may be the next PM but there are many variables to consider (PA)

The most likely outcome of the next election is that Keir Starmer will be prime minister of a minority Labour government. This is a statement of probability, rather than a prediction. Politics is weird and stuff happens: the Conservatives could implode and Labour could sweep to a parliamentary majority; or the economy, the NHS and the small boats could all turn around and happy days for the Tories could be here again.

Or some “unknown unknown” could upset all calculations. But let me set out why, on the information we now have, I think a hung parliament is the most likely result.

Before the local elections, Professor Sir John Curtice said that a Labour lead of 10 points in projected national vote share would be the equivalent of Labour winning a majority in a general election.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in