Looking at the search terms people are arriving at the site using there are already fewer people looking for candidate information, and more people searching for exit polls. Straight answer is that there are none, and there won’t be any.

These days the only real exit poll done is the BBC/ITV shared exit poll for general elections. They are extremely expensive and difficult to do, so they simply don’t get done for any other type of election (as Nick Moon of NOP, who along with MORI normally organise the general election exit poll, puts it they are an extremely expensive way of finding out something a couple of hours early).

It’s also illegal to publish any form of exit poll before the polls are all closed. For European elections that doesn’t just mean the polls need to be closed in Britain, they need to be closed across the whole of the European Union. This means it would be illegal to publish an exit poll before 10pm on Sunday (and given that the returning officers are allowed to start counting earlier in the day on Sunday, so long as they don’t announce the results until 10pm, any exit poll would be useful for even less time than usual!).

That means you’ll have to wait for proper results. For local councils, counting starts in about half the councils tonight, with results in the early hours of the morning. The other half will start counting tomorrow morning with results in the afternoon. For the European elections the counting of the votes can start during the day on Sunday, but actual results won’t be released until 10pm.

253 Responses to “Looking for exit polls?”

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  1. The article above all makes perfect sense. A shame nobody in Holland read it, then. The BBC reports the Dutch exit poll here.


    The Dutch poll was published after the polls closed in Holland – clearly not in the EU as a whole.

    Who is wrong?

  2. No one – it’s British law than bans exit polls till the time that results are allowed to be announced. Dutch law isn’t the same.

  3. Though posting late to this, I will say that I’d favor a change to restrict that ban to polling closing in the UK. In particular, the UK government doesn’t really have any interest in limiting access to exit polls once the UK’s polls close, especially if the EU doesn’t seem to see it as important.

    Of course, this raises a wonderful legal question: What would be the status of an exit poll taken in the UK and then leaked in, say, the Netherlands prior to the close of all polling?

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