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a. If the polls are anything to go by, their party should do pretty badly in the upcoming elections.

b. If the polls are anything to go by, their party ought to do pretty badly in the upcoming elections.

c. If the polls are anything to go by, their party has to do pretty badly in the upcoming elections.

d. If the polls are anything to go by, their party must do pretty badly in the upcoming elections.

Which of the above are grammatically correct?

The idea is that the speaker is making a prediction about the upcoming elections based on the polls. Do the modals are used in the epistemic sense and not in order to express any kind of obligation. The idea is that 'their party will very likely do pretty badly in the upcoming elections'.

Many thanks.

0

All of them appear grammatical.

The first two, a and b, are acceptable as they are because "should do" and "ought to do" are adaptable to future events in this probabilistic sense.

The third and fourth, c and d, must be changed to "will have to do" to predict a future event, and then they are the same.

I think a and b are better expressions for the purpose.

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