I’ve been catching up on sleep after the election, but this is just to add a brief, post-election round up of how the polls performed. In 2015 and 2017 the equivalent posts were all about how the polls had got it wrong, and what might have caused it (even in 2010, when the polls got the gap between Labour and the Conservatives pretty much spot on, there were questions about the overstatement of the Liberal Democrats). It’s therefore rather a relief to be able to write up an election when the polls were pretty much correct.

The majority of the final polls had all the main parties within two points, with Ipsos MORI and Opinium almost spot on – well done both of them. The only companies that really missed the mark were ICM and ComRes, who understated the Tories and overstated Labour, meaning they had Conservative leads of only 6 and 5 points in their final polls.

My perception during the campaign was that much of the difference between polling companies showing small Conservative leads and those companies showing bigger leads was down to how and if they were accounting for false recall when weighting using past vote – I suspect this may well explain the spread in the final polls. Those companies that came closest were those who either do not weight by past vote (MORI & NCPolitics), adjusted for it (Kantar), or used data collected in 2017 (Opinium & YouGov). ComRes and ICM were, as far as I know, both just weighting recalled 2017 past vote to actual 2017 vote shares, something that would risk overstating Labour support if people disproportionately failed to recall voting Labour in 2017.

The YouGov MRP performed less well than in 2017. The final vote shares it produced were all within 2 points of the actual shares, but the seat predictions showed a smaller Tory majority than happened in reality. Ben Lauderdale who designed the model has already posted his thoughts on what happened here. Part of it is simply a function of vote share (a small difference in vote share makes a big difference to seat numbers), part of it was an overstatement of Brexit party support in the key Conservative target seats. Whether that was having too many Brexit supporters in the sample, or Brexit party supporters swinging back to the Tories in the last 48 hours will be clearer once we’ve got some recontact data.

Finally, the 2019 election saw a resurgence of individual constituency polling, primarily from Survation and Deltapoll. Constituency polling is difficult (and I understand has become even more so since the advent of GDPR, as it has reduced the availability of purchasable database of mobile phone numbers from specific areas), and with small sample sizes of 400 or 500 it will inevitably be imprecise. Overall, it performed well this time though – particularly given that many of the constituency polls were conducted in seats you would expect to be hard to poll: unusual seats, or places with independents or high profile defectors standing. David Gauke’s support was understated, for example, and in Putney constituency polling overstated Lib Dem support at the expense of Labour. However, in many places it performed well, particularly the Chelsea & Fulham, Wimbledon, Finchley and Esher & Walton polls.

And with that, I’m off for a nice Christmas break. Have a good Christmas and happy new year.


2,835 Responses to “General election polling – post mortem”

1 2 3 4 57
  1. Does the UK have the poorest regions in northern Europe?

    https://fullfact.org/economy/does-uk-have-poorest-regions-northern-europe/

    In brief

    Claim
    The UK has nine out of the 10 poorest regions in northern Europe.

    Conclusion
    Incorrect, this is out of date. In 2016, the UK had six of the 10 regions with the lowest GDP per person, from a group of nearby countries. This isn’t a good measure of how rich or poor people in those regions are.

  2. Keep going @Carfrew. It looks like and empty chatroom, but I’m sure you can still manufacture an argument.

  3. Re: London constituency polls.

    Putney – i think the Datapraxis analysis identified a late swing and Labour had hundreds of activists there a few days beforehand which may have made a difference to tactical voters.

    Kensington – there were 5,000 extra voters in 2019 compared to 2017. While this may be composed of voters of various different persuasions (i know of conservatives who didnt bother voting in 2017 because they thought the tories were certain to win) i do wonder if there were a lot of poor people from the area around Grenfell who were new voters this time and were all voting labour? Maybe labour managing to win last time, and then the Grenfell tragedy inspired a higher turnout in these areas and that wasnt picked up by the local polls? Guess we probably won’t know.

  4. Carfrew

    That’s a useful corrective. Have you the data as to which 3 NUTS2 areas are no longer among the lowest GDP per person? I couldn’t see that in the report.

  5. Catching up. I’ve been busy today.
    Hal
    “The best that can be hoped for is that the government takes finely-tuned action to share the pain but without a crisis in either direction. But I’m not banking on it.”

    Merry Christmas to you too!
    ———————-
    ChrisLane1945
    “Mr Milne has already stated that he wants to get rid of ‘the counter revolutionary dogs’ from the party. ”

    I’d heard he was a communist, but if he really used that phrase it’s like something from Soviet propaganda of the 1930s! How can someone so well-educated be so monumentally stupid? The Tories should have had a real go at him in the campaign, they’d have got 500 seats.
    ——————————-
    RobinP
    “In the actual result the Conservatives were 0.3% ahead of Labour, with the LibDems well behind, thus allowing the Conservatives to win the seat despite a 60% support for Remain parties.”

    I think Labour were generally perceived as the nothing party regarding Brexit.
    ————————-
    TonyBTG
    “Someone other than Corbyn in 2017 could have done even better – maybe even largest party for Labour.”

    And they could have done worse. At the time Labour’s increase in the popular vote was attributed by many to Corbyn’s popularity particularly among the young.
    —————————-
    Carfrew
    “If not caving to the media, whoever Labour choose now, they probably have to change leaders again closer to the election. Like the Tories.”

    Have they ever done that? I’m not sure they’re ruthless enough.
    ——————————-
    Jib
    “I still do not understand why Clegg there it all away in 2010!”

    Pretty obvious. It was the LibDems first chance of any sort of power since WWII. I know it was the Liberals then, and I’m assuming they were part of the National Government.

  6. Forgot to say:
    A great result for the pollsters. Even those furthest out weren’t a million miles away. I doubt that any radical review of methods will be needed this time.

  7. A Very Merry Christmas to all of you. Peace. Joy. Hope. Faith. Love. Mirth. Cheer. Laughter. Sleep. Rest.
    A Very Happy Healthy New Year. Safe. Prosperous. Inspiring.

    A Labour Party leadership. The locals. Perchance a by-election. Olympics. A European soccer tournament. Hopefully with a majority government there can be more nuanced well researched debate on specific issues because the government will be more secure.

  8. HAL, your post, weirdly ignored by everyone. I hope it’s wrong as that sounds frightening. If close to truth a lot of people are going to suffer, but again the poorest the most.

  9. Dave
    Yes, many thanks, saw and read your posts with interest. Here’s Mrs SDA’s website which she’ll get round to updating after the seasonal shenanigans https://voicefinder.wixsite.com/voicefinders

  10. @Hal (and @pete) – I haven’t responded to your post, but equally haven’t ignored it. Just cogitating on the issue.

    Main point really is to give you a ticking off. Despite some attempts to seize the mantle, I’m the miserable one on here, so be careful with the doom and gloom :).

    I personally don’t think we can be too deterministic about what happens to the economy, as we really don’t have a clue what HMG is planning for the Brexit deal. If they cave in and accept closer alignment, then things won’t be that different, but I don’t see much hope for an end to uncertainty in 2020. That would mean continued stalling of investment, even if we go for a close deal with the EU.

    The economy is already starting to weaken, and as you say, consumer debt is very high once again. Brexit will, undoubtedly, bring some level of disruption to trade with the EU, and it will also take some time for any trade benefits with other nations to grow. In the meantime, reliance on domestic consumer spending will be difficult.

    Counter intuitively, I think a Labour victory would have brought more reassurance for business more quickly, as the direction of travel would have been clear. We have another year of uncertainty, timed to be at just the point where there is a natural weakening of the economy, and I suspect we will soon find we are in difficulties.

  11. Just like when we joined the Common Market when the economic benefits were gradual as we integrated and adapted to the new environment, the leaving will be similar. Unless we opt for very close alignment Brexit will see a gradual change in reverse as we draw apart and disentangle. If anything advantageous will or can replace any lost benefits and at what cost is the big unknowable question.

  12. Hal,

    From the start of brexit, I have never seen how the destruction of Uk industry could be prevented. For 50 years the narrative has always been companies coming to the Uk as part of a european complex which expects the whole EU as a market, and which can freely operate across borders. If the UK places itself outside this, then that industry must disappear. Not instantly, because of existing investment which will likely continue until it needs replacing, but eventually.

    The only way to prevent this is to have an alternative system which is just as advantageous to manufacturers based here. That either means re-writing our membership of the EU with different words which amount to the same thing, the softest of brexits but still with only negative political, sovereignty and world standing implications for the UK, or we join something else comparably good. For example, we become a new state as part of the US. Even if we did, it would still mean all UK industry having to be dismantled and rebuilt on the basis of integration with the US. And geography rears its ugly head in that parts can much more easily be loaded on a lorry and driven from Germany to England than from Detroit, Michigan. Especially true if legislation about fossil fuels really starts to get serious about what is currently subsidised international trade and travel. It feels like the UK is taking a step which might have made sense in 1850 but was failing in 1950. never mind 2000.

    In recent years we have become increasingly dependent on the finance industry, where London has done well from being the strongest financial centre in Europe. But again, it has grown because of EU membership, whereas if we had never joined it might reasonably have been expected to fade away rather than expanding. It too will go into reverse outside the EU.

    No amount of bonhomie by Boris will alter the underlying facts of the situation. There seems to be an air of euphoria just now because he won an election. All he has achieved is a mandate to proceed with a course which all the experts think is suicidal, and other countries watch dumbfounded. Not that it is much of a mandate when the majority of voters supported remain parties.

    All he has really achieved is 5 years in office for the conservatives party. Guaranteed employment and pensions for his team. Maybe that is the whole point. Many MPs will retire as millionaires.

  13. @Alec

    Oy, you. I’m the miserable one here. It says so on the tin!

  14. Another straw in the wind to show which way the wind is blowing in British society:

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/dec/19/racist-incidents-on-rise-in-british-army-warns-ombudsman

    This comes after incidents and investigations concerning the infiltration of the British armed services by far right groups.

  15. TONYBTG

    “We will see. But dont link Labours unelectability with their manifesto polling evidence suggests quite a lot of it was actually quite popular.”

    Yes, that is correct, confirmed by one of the Opinium polls detailed set ofquestions, as were I think were all of the Tory policies.

    The problem for Labour was that the timescale of the changes was totally unrealistic and there was a downright lie that only the rich would have to pay extra tax. The voters saw through that lie. If those same policies were put up with a real indication of how much extra tax would be required from voters to enable each of them i think many but certainly not all, would be much less popular.

  16. @Oldnat

    Well in the green box it gives you the 6 that are in the bottom 10 for 2016:

    West Wales
    Cornwall
    Lincoln
    South Yorkshire
    Tees
    Outer London, North and NW

    While 2014 loses outer London but adds:

    Shropshire and Staffordshire
    Lancashire
    Northern Ireland
    East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire

  17. @Pete B

    “Have they ever done that? I’m not sure they’re ruthless enough.”

    ————

    Possibly not though it’s a bit tricky to do in opposition as you don’t necessarily have much control over the timing of the GE.

  18. Yes the pollsters will be very happy with their accuracy this time around. It was striking how solid the Tory support was throughout the campaign. They very rarely polled less than 40% and usually achieved somewhere between 42% and 45%

    For Labour there was a slow improvement and this was charged by polling firms. It always seemed to me that they were not improving quickly enough to prevent a Tory overall majority.

    The MRP and indeed YouGov’s final poll was out by a bit but not by much and I guess the size of the overall majority will vary considerably from their predicted 9% Con lead compared with a final lead of around 12 points. I don’t think they will feel too disappointed.

    Overall it was a really flat campaign. Not a single poll jumped out at me. It all seemed to lead to an inevitable Tory majority albeit considerably bigger than a lot of us had expected

  19. OLDNAT

    My MP believes that Faisal Islam’s tweet is a misinterpretation of the legislation, but is getting it double checked. He responds quickly to questions.

  20. As a Tory member one of the things I found very impressive during the campaign was the response from Tory Central Office and the local party before, during and after the election.As in much of surrey the majority was cut but is still over 17,000.

    On election day my wife and I, separately, on our email accounts received four reminders to vote. I made donations to both central office and the local party. I have received thanks from both, in the form of emails from the Prime Minister and my MP. My MP also sent a hand signed thank you. He also sent his latest information on our local hospital and where the new hospital maybe built. He is a very good constituency MP.

    The contrast with the 2017 GE was stark, it seems central office in particular have “upped its game” significantly.

  21. @Hal, Alec et al

    Only just read Hal’s post as quite a lot going on right now…

    I’ve recently posted about the false sense of security that I think was a necessary condition for the “just get brexit done” mood that enabled the election result. There was no response to that, which I put down to a, “Cassandra’s off on one again” reaction.

    So I totally agree that the likely severity of the impact of a minimal brexit trade deal is dangerously under-appreciated. The decline in investment that has followed the referendum will continue at least until the end of next year, working its slow-burn effects on output, productivity and competitiveness. Really, why would any business serving international markets invest in the UK under current conditions?

    As demand in the economy drops, employment will start to fall (already signalled by the drop in vacancies). And with personal indebtedness at a high level, there isn’t much headroom to grow consumption to keep the economic fires burning.

    Government spending to the rescue? Well, maybe. But the deficit has already risen by 10% so far this year, and the coming economic downturn will further erode the tax take. The headroom available to increase spending even to Javid’s new limits is rapidly dwindling and the willingness of a Tory government to throw caution to the winds and embark on a Brown-style emergency spending and tax-cutting splurge must be in doubt: the scrooge instinct is surely too deeply ingrained.

    I share the scepticism about any upsides. The Trevors seem to have stopped talking about “re-shoring”, but I suppose there must be some scope for replacing imports with domestic production if the pound falls steeply and import barriers are created. But that will only happen where economies of scale or other barriers to entry are not so great as to render local production unviable. So, mostly small-scale, low-tech stuff.

    Trade deals? I used to challenge brexiteers to produce a list of those countries with which they expect to be able to do trade deals that work to our net benefit, ie increase our sales to them more than vice-versa. I gave up as there were never any takers.

    Against all that, all we seem to get is, “Don’t worry. Have faith in the dormant animal trade instincts of the Brits. It’ll be all right on the night.”

    I’m reconciled to all this happening. We’re so far gone in this national self-delusion that I think only the shock of discovering the real world will provide a cure, albeit at huge cost.

  22. Christmas 2 for 1 special offer!!

    Buy defence, and get NHS at knock down price later!!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50874181

    The sell off begins.

    “Just before 10pm on a Friday is an odd time for this kind of thing to be announced.
    One defence analyst remarked that it was as if the government rather wanted no-one to notice what had happened.”

    Of course. It goes against the sort of rhetoric the government and their bellicose media have been producing. Corbyn was the one to threaten national defence; not Boris.

  23. ALEC

    @”Counter intuitively, I think a Labour victory would have brought more reassurance for business more quickly, ”

    I admire your stamina Alec………..your rationality , not so much.

  24. Statgeek: The sell off begins.

    There may be some who think that sell-offs like the one you mention provide an answer to my question, “Really, why would any business serving international markets invest in the UK under current conditions?”

    Here, by way of background, is the intro to the BBC story:

    The government has approved a US private equity firm’s takeover of UK defence and aerospace company Cobham.

    Advent International made a £4bn offer to buy Cobham in July and shareholders approved the deal in August.

    But I don’t count the sell-off of assets as productive investment. In the short term it helps balance the books; in the long term it further undermines our economic potential.

    If the new American owners start to investment in R&D or new facilities in the UK, then that will count and I will applaud it. But private equity is usually in the business of buying cheap, selling dear. In this case, the asset is mainly intellectual property which is easily transferable back to the USA, along with production. Exactly what Trump hates the Chinese doing to acquire American IP.

  25. @CARFREW
    But regarding Cumming’s idea concerning more stats on the curriculum, while you’re right that a lack of sufficient info. might limit the payoff for learning more stats, that isn’t really an argument for ditching stats, but for acquiring more info.

    I never said that using statistics was a bad idea, although my point was that not getting the right information could lead to poor decisions and decision as poor as having no information at all

    My example was actually the fact that labour having found out there was no real measurement of how quickly people were seen by a specialist after referrals: instituted a measure for it. NHS managers found a way to game the system whereby they would open a clinic day where the each referral was seen but no real action was taken. it then reset the clock and the NHS looked like it did not have a problem. So more info alone, understanding how that information is gamed or indeed not modelling it correctly will lead to disaster

    Mcnamara used statistics to define progress in the vietnam war in 1966 the model told him he had won the war 6 months ago.

    As I said I am in favour of more information but being able to model the problem has always been the issue,

    As it happens, there are other aspects of Labour under Blair that had stuff in common with ordoliberalism, e.g. the Independent Central Bank and 2% inflation target, but even that doesn’t mean they were properly ordoliberal.

    I suspect the real issue I have is not what the policy is called but is the policy good

    The argument for an independent central bank was that government would manufacture booms for election time to capitalise on the fact that they can call an election when they want.

    The reality has been that even when you give that power to the central bank a government has many levers it can pull to influence economic policy some governments use this and other government do not

    This discussion started because I pointed out that you seem to wanting to label thing ordoliberal when I believed they were nothing of the sort.

    To have a stable inflation rate is the aim of most policies from the extreme left to the right. the left may use price controls the right may use interest rates does that make the having stable prices ne0liberal ordoliberal communist……or a combination of them all

    @STATGEEK

    In truth Rheinmetall has been steadily buy up UK defence companies due to the weakness of the pound and the fact that the european defence establishments are now more cojoiined
    The UK for example is buying boxer APC after being involved and then not being involved in the pan european development

    In truth there is little that can be done about this. Defence is an expensive business and basically the UK has a huge expenditure due to the expeditionary nature of the armed forces many of the Uk defence firms cannot compete in that sort of provision. You will see the germans and the US nibble away at UK defence companies and it will look a lot like the car industry soon

  26. @PTRP

    “As I said I am in favour of more information but being able to model the problem has always been the issue.“

    ——-

    Yes, so in addition to better information you would like better modelling, and thus one might require better stats education in addition to better information.

    I don’t think Cummings was arguing for worse information and worse stats education. He clearly wants people to be able to model better, make better decisions etc.

  27. @PTRP

    “I suspect the real issue I have is not what the policy is called but is the policy good”

    ————-

    Yes and I was trying to avoid that and instead look at the reasons things came about. Why do the EU have issues with state aid? (The War is part of it). Why are they wanting to intervene in councils doing municipal socialism? Etc.

  28. @PTRP

    “This discussion started because I pointed out that you seem to wanting to label thing ordoliberal when I believed they were nothing of the sort.”

    ————

    Yes, you misread that. I was instead looking at what different kinds of liberalism might have in common.

  29. @Colin – “I admire your stamina Alec………..your rationality , not so much.”

    OK – tell me what the shape of the future trade deal will be in 2021.

    At least with Labour businesses would have had the certainty of at least close alignment and a customs union, or remain, well before Jan 2021.

    But it sounded much less certain. That’s the difference. We are in reality no nearer knowing what the trading regime will be now than we were on Dec 11th. With Labour, a number of potential outcomes (no deal, hard Brexit) would have been removed.

  30. @ Alec

    I did find it a little odd that the Pound rose after the election result with people citing “clarity”.

    Personally I see no clarity as to whether we end up with a free trade deal with the EU, a complex deal that might allow us to do trade deals with other counties while restricting access to the EU of anything we had imported (including components for final assembly and export) from other countries, or WTO terms with EU that do allow us to do what we like in relation to trade deals with other countries.

    Also no clarity on what the eventual outcome would mean for Northern Ireland and as yet no clarity on what support the UK government would give to businesses under those alternative scenarios.

    All of these things need to be known (as well as where the exchange rate ends up under those alternative scenarios) in order for anyone to plan a productive investment in the UK.

  31. COLIN

    “I admire your stamina Alec………..your rationality , not so much.”

    Well, if labour had one a clear majority i expect that the £ would be trading well below parity with the $ now, for starters.

  32. Afternoon all from a rather windy PSRL

    Hopefully taking my two sons to the new Star Wars film will cheer us all up (they were more gutted than I was about the election).

    Over the past couple of days I been reflecting on the triumvirate of Johnson, Gove and Cummings. They share a number of characteristics – intelligence, ruthlessness, a self perception that they are outsiders and a lack of strict adherence to ideological dogma. Of the three of them I wouald say Gove is the most ruthless and astute, and if I was a betting man would back him to still be around a long time after the others have departed.

    There is always a tendency to see the victors as possessing a degree of genius beyond that which they really posses. Views on these three success has to be tempered by an acceptance of the ineptitude of their opponents. The will be judged on the next 5 years. Johnson has no real vision that he is working towards, unlike.the other two. At core, much more so than Johnson, the other two are modern Thatcherites, who are willing to use the state to foster the emergence of a society based on free markets, individualism, consumerism. Unlike pure free market ideologues they have taken a leaf out of american capitalists’ book and except a role of the sate in investing in infrastructure where the market doesn’t deliver to them be used by business.

    Brexit is their version of right to buy, and their political success will be determined by the extent to which they can deliver on the promise that Brexit will make peoples lives better. They may want to move on from the issue of brexit, but if things get worse their political opponents will remind the public of who is responsible. I am sure they will try and blame the EU for any negative impact of leaving – but I’m not sure the electorate will buy that one especially if the opposition have a half decent leader.

  33. TOH
    “The contrast with the 2017 GE was stark, it seems central office in particular have “upped its game” significantly.”

    I seem to remember you mentioning some time ago that you had just joined the Conservative Party. I can’t remember exactly when that was, but could your better treatment this time be because you are now a member and weren’t then?

  34. @TOH – “I admire your stamina Alec………..your rationality , not so much.”

    Yes, I suspect so, but not for Brexit related reasons.

    Indeed, it is worth noting that sterling showed a minor boost against the Euro immediately following the GE, peaking on the 13th,before settling back slightly over the next three days. Then, on the 17th, coinciding with the publication of the new WA, sterling slid back more than it had risen on the 13th, and since then has fallen further, now trading half a cent lower than it was immediately before the election result.

    The explanation is pretty simple: markets don’t like the idea of a hung parliament, so surged on the result, and then saw that Conservative plans for Brexit could still contain some frightening options and great uncertainty, so fell back.

    The sterling movements since the 12th do rather back up the point that there is no certainty.

  35. [email protected] Alec: I did find it a little odd that the Pound rose after the election result with people citing “clarity”.

    I don’t think it was ‘clarity’ directly. Markets move when traders anticipate a change of circumstances. So they want to have pounds ready for real people and real businesses who want pounds because there is ‘clarity’ and the traders can make a profit by stocking up at lower prices. Hence the market moves on anticipation of ‘clarity’ being perceived by those who really want pounds rather than on any genuine perception.

  36. @PTRP

    “To have a stable inflation rate is the aim of most policies from the extreme left to the right. the left may use price controls the right may use interest rates does that make the having stable prices ne0liberal ordoliberal communist……or a combination of them all”

    ——-

    Yes but it isn’t just stable interest rates is it but additionally a low inflation rate and independent central bank. And other policies/ideologies might accept higher inflation rates because of wanting to go for more growth or to inflate away debt or accommodate full employment etc.

    A low inflation rate is quite common these days, but that’s because of the widespread adoption of that particular approach or ideology, not because it’s critical to all extremes from left to right.

  37. Correction – the quote from @TOH should have been

    “Well, if labour had one a clear majority i expect that the £ would be trading well below parity with the $ now, for starters.”

  38. Alec

    “The sterling movements since the 12th do rather back up the point that there is no certainty.”

    Of course there is still uncertainty since we have not agreed any type of trade deal yet. I think I mentioned at the time that the money market uver-reacted to the election and was now correcting.

    Some uncertainty has gone since it is now clear that we really are leaving the EU, but iIagree a lot remains. The point I was making related to what would happen to markets if Labour had won. Both money and stock markets would have plunged.

    The Footsie 100 over the same period (from 12th)has performed very well, enabling those who expected a Tory victory to make profits.

  39. As someone brought up on the importance of random samples, I always think that the polls have a surprisingly good day. So I am not surprised that they did well on this occasion. Nevertheless I don’t think this was a particularly good day for them. Three polling companies got the conservative percentage spot on and they were at the top of the range. Two polling companies were 4 points out. On average the polls undershot the conservative percentage by about 2 but one has to remember that we could not tell in advance if they were under or overshooting. So it would have been as reasonable to guess at 41 as at 45. A really good day for the polls for me would be one where the average of the polls was spot on.

    As it is my feeling is that it is a bit like our own heroes on UKPR. TOH triumphed in 2015, only to be replaced in 2017 by Dr Mibbles who now seems to have had an equally spectacular fall from grace. I seem to remember that someone said that savanta/comres had called it right on the last three occasions but on this one they seem to be bottom of the list. The YouGov MRP did well last time but an Ashcroft MzrP was way out. This time the YouGov MRP gave unwarranted cheer to Dr Moderate and his less sophisticated followers such as myself.

    For me the key assumption of the polls is that the people they use in their panels to represent (say) the over 65s do actually represent that group in their likelihood to turn out and vote. This must actually work pretty well as otherwise the polls would be way out. Nevertheless I suspect that the people who take part in polls tend to be keener on politics than others and thus perhaps less likely to change their minds or to reflect changes in propensity to vote. It follows that the polls are always like to be out in some respect but it is very difficult to predict in advance they way in which this will occur. Given their (to me) surprising ability to get the answer approximately right, random variation will ensure that they will vary in a) which pollster ‘does best’ and b) how close on average they get to the result.

  40. CHARLES

    I think 2017 was an extremely difficult election to forecast due to the rise in interesr and turnout by young voters.

    I thought 2015 and 2109 much easier to forecast although I admit I undershot the Tory seats by 15 seats in this latest election. In reality though, even with the low lead polls, all of them pointed to a Conservative majority, is was really a matter of how big.

  41. Simples – while there is a chance of a WTO deal with the EU the £ will not appreciate significantly.

    It may or may not be a good thing for UK manufacturing if it stays around the current levels but that is a different point.

    TOH, is probably right also though that Labour’s spending plans, with the need to borrow more money, would have seen a drop in the £. I doubt it would have been that big a drop but we will never know of course.

    NB) IFS say that if we do have a WTO outcome in Dec 31st 2020, Tory spending plans from 2021 onwards would mean more borrowing and/or a bigger deficit that Labours’ plan with no deal ruled out would have.

    Upshot, we have another year of some potential investments being delayed and others not even being contemplated.

    This is not to say the net outcome with Labours programme would have been any better (that is a hypothesis we can’t test) but that the current position is still unhelpful to business decision making is difficult to deny.

  42. “This time the YouGov MRP gave unwarranted cheer to Dr Moderate and his less sophisticated followers such as myself.“

    ———

    The polls rarely give me any cheer, because no matter what happens, people keep electing parties.

  43. In the run up to the next election it will be interesting to see if false recall operates in reverse and if that may lead to some pollsters over-estimating Tory support.

  44. JIMJAM

    “…………) but that the current position is still unhelpful to business decision making is difficult to deny.

    I think we can all agree on that.

  45. Charles – It was Survation who got 2015 (albeit unpublished) and 2017 close; and, whilst not the closest this time got Lab and Con within 1% which is reasonable, they were the furthest out for the LDs however.

  46. @TOH

    I agree the rational prediction was always that the Conservatives would be the largest party and very probably have a majority. I suspect, however, that anybody who guessed their majority right was lucky. So you were rational in your prediction and could not expect to get the result right. Anyway I hope you and your wife enjoyed it and thank you for not rubbing it in!

  47. Redich

    I can agree with much of your 12.58.

  48. TOH

    “Well, if labour had one a clear majority i expect that the £ would be trading well below parity with the $ now, for starters”

    You may be right. But I remember seeing in the news that a prominent leading banker – either Lloyd’s or Barclays , can’t remember now – was saying that the business community had nothing to fear from Labour’s policies and that the levels of investment planned would have been good for business.

    I suspect that during the immediate aftermath of a Labour victory the pound might have fallen but soon recovered once the spending taps were opened.

    We’ll never know of course.

    But as things stand, I don’t see any good economic news on the horizon.

    In fact, I don’t see any good news full stop.

    I suspect that once the novelty and hype of leaving the EU at the end of Jan wears off, people might soon start getting impatient to see the much vaulted benefits. When there are non, and God forbid, we go into a recession, I would imagine the shine will go off Johnson. Its then that we will see what he is made of.

  49. CHARLES

    My wife and I were pleased as we believed that the election was the most important since 1979, possibly more so, since it clearly points our country in a new direction.

    I don’t think triumphalism would be appropriate at all and share the PM’s proclaimed desire for “healing”. It will be very difficult, and as a dedicated Unionist I have some worries about the Union since the Scot’s were so anti-Brexit and the EU have forced an unsatisfactory situation in N.Ireland. At the moment the Scottish polls still show a majority in favour of staying in the UK but the situation will need very careful handling. I do not accept that the GE results give the Scots a mandate for a new referendum, the last one was only five years ago and they did not do as well in this election as they did in 2015. I do accept that they might have another referendum at some time in the future if they still want it but not in this parliament.

  50. Carfrew
    “The polls rarely give me any cheer, because no matter what happens, people keep electing parties.”

    That reminded me of a quote (which I’ve tried to trace, but failed). It was something like “We’ve just had an election, but unfortunately a politician won”

1 2 3 4 57

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)