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. a cliff hanger in some ways….it seems UKIP are likely to pull off a notable second(?) Euro victory…it will be interesting to see how this effects both the locals and Newark on the near horizon…

  2. I always find it surprising in the US that results in eastern and mid-western states are announced before Hawaii and Alaska are half way through – or have even got going. If I remember rightly there is one town in Maine where voters turn up at midnight, vote and then are the first to declare, usually by 1 a.m.

    and am I the first on?

  3. Seeing the UNS projection above, Labour’s GE polling lead seems to have reverted to something like the situation prior to recent events.

    Well, it was nearly a crossover, I think we need a bit more than one tiny Conservative lead and a tie to say we have one. I think once summer proper comes we might see one again, if present trends continue.

    Good luck to those trying to get elected.

  4. Anyone know the situation in Scotland? I know that na h-eileanan siar aren’t counting until Monday. Will we get to hear the other Scottish results on Sunday when they are done or do we need to wait til Monday?

  5. Anthony

    Although it is illegal to publish any exit polls before the last Italian has cast their vote, presumably you can still ask people. Will YouGov be doing any polls to see how people did vote and why, as they did after the AV referendum?

  6. @aldo_macb

    Scottish and NI results will be announced on Monday I think. E & W on Sunday.

  7. Aldo_MacB –

    In 2009 na h-eileanan siar counted on Friday instead of Sunday (Returning officers just aren’t allowed to announce any results before Sunday 10pm, they can start counting earlier if they wish)

    I’m not sure what’s happening this time. I’m not sure they are counting on the Monday – their website says they will formally announce the local result at 9am on Monday, which implies they are actually doing the counting earlier than that (they might not have many votes to count, but if the count itself was on Monday presumably the result would be 9.30am or something at least!)

    It could be they are counting on Friday or Saturday, privately giving the result to the Regional Returning officer then (which is fine), but not formally announcing it till first thing Monday so nothing happens on the Sunday. That would still allow the Scottish results to be announced on Sunday night.

    Alternatively nothing is happening at all until Monday and we won’t know the full Scottish results till then.

  8. Roger – for various academic surveys yes, oh yes. But no media polls along those lines just yet .

    (The timing doesn’t work out – our poll tonight is for the Sunday Times, who wouldn’t be allowed to publish the results)

  9. Re the Euros & Scotland.

    IMO, the SNP are unlikely to win more than 2 seats (out of 6), with Lab 2, Con 1 and UKIP 1. The final Yougov Euro poll gave the following breakdown for Scotland: Lab 28%, SNP 26%, Con 15%, UKIP 13%, Green 11%, LD 6%. Although this was part of a larger GB poll, the sample size was not insubstantial (643), so the findings are far more significant than the usual tiny meaningless X-breaks. If Scottish nationalists don’t vote SNP, they risk the SNP share dropping to little over 20% and only winning 1 seat, to the benefit of the Greens.

    While there is no direct connection between the independence referendum and the Euro elections, a bad result for the SNP in the Euros (2 seats, or maybe even just 1), would take the wind out of the YES campaign and WoS.

  10. “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”
    ____________

    I searched Ham Sandwich and arrived here!! ;-)

    Anyway while I’m here my predictions (UK) for Euro election.

    UKIP 29%

    LAB 26%

    CON 23%

    GRN 7%

    LIB 6%

    OTHERS 9%

    SCOTLAND

    SNP 31%

    SLAB 29%

    CON 18%

    UKIP 8%

    GRN 6%

    OTHERS 8%

  11. Aldo –

    Sorry, should have read more carefully. They are counting on the Friday: “The Count will take place in Ionad Spòrs Leòdhais on Friday 22 May 2014”. I assume they mean Friday 23rd!

  12. daodao

    Even if the SNP won 5 out of the 6 Scottish seats some would still find fault that they didn’t win all 6 and thus denting the YES campaign.

    However I do agree with your seat allocation of SNP 2 SLAB 2 CON 1 UKIP 1.

  13. aldo_macb

    Anyone know the situation in Scotland? I know that na h-eileanan siar aren’t counting until Monday. Will we get to hear the other Scottish results on Sunday when they are done or do we need to wait til Monday?

    Actually they’re counting on Friday:

    http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/electionoffice/euroelection/index.asp

    but not actually announcing the result locally till Monday. Because Wee Frees.

    The results will have been dispatched to Edinburgh before then and included in the overall figures announced on Sunday/Monday. It’ll hardly make much difference though as they only managed 6136 votes in 2009 (the Christian Party came third).

  14. @AW

    Well let’s hope they don’t mean 2015!

  15. @ AW

    On the Yougov tables are London and Scotland crossbreaks the same as the regions for the Euros (I’m guessing Scotland is)?

    If this is the case the sample for London ought to be enough to draw a conclusion (700) and if I have my sums right it suggests Greens and LD will get a seat each there by a reasonably comfortable margin. I’m sure I looked at the Evening Standard poll a while back and it looked much more dodgy for both parties.

    Also Peter Kellner mentioned movements during the 4 weeks seeing as the same people were sampled (although I assume at different time periods). Could not find this in the tables- is there any detailed breakdown for this?

  16. Is anyone else disturbed by the suggestion that selfies while voting are legal? This seems to me to be a potential instrument for placing pressure on people concerning their vote – demanding (with menaces or otherwise) that someone post a selfie with their completed ballot paper, so that their vote can be ‘checked’.

  17. Shevii – its a reasonable size, but as ever, you should still give some caution to regional crossbreaks when it comes to things as precise as voting intention. Polls are only weighted at the national level, they aren’t weighted *within* each region, so it’s not going to be as sound as a dedicated London poll would be.

    London I’d expect to be a little more Labour than that crossbreak, and the Libs and Greens are touch-and-go whether they get seats, but we’ll see.

  18. @ Robin

    It does help distribute the bags of coal fairly though. One of my first jobs in politics was the coal round and we had to take people’s word for it.

    However we did have an agreement with the Whigs to compare pledges and if anyone had got a bag of coal off both parties they got their windows pelted with rotten eggs.

    Seriously- it wasn’t until Anthony pointed it out that I thought that was a very good reason for not allowing them.

  19. My Euro Election Prediction:

    UKIP 28%
    Labour 24%
    Conservatives 26%
    Green 8%
    Lib Dems 8%

    Labour and Lib Dems will be screaming for a leadership challenge – !

  20. Robin – while its a bit uncertain whether it’s legal to take a selfie of your ballot paper, the law is unambiguous when it comes to demanding people do: it is illegal to induce someone else to show their completed ballot paper.

    (Though of course, it’s a lot easier to enforce if its just illegal to do it. I expect the next round of electoral regulations will have a ban on using photographic or recording equipment in a polling station, which will knock it on the head)

  21. Item on Ken Loach and his new film in the Guardian today when he said, “much easier to be right wing populist than a left wing one, because the left have to explain why things are the way they are, the right just blame foreigners.”
    Pertinent day for it to appear..

  22. Anthony
    It went to the High Court in the Netherlands but the judge ruled selfies were legal (‘but to be condemned as a practice). I believe they are going to clarify the law to make it legal. The person caught was a cabinet minister!.

    Stan J (FLT)
    I don’t feel guilty postal voting (should I?) we live remotely and we generally go on holiday when elections are held (in May), so sometimes we even apply for postal proxy.

    Hiring our local village hall is a dreadful waste of CT money for the amount it’s used.

  23. Item on Ken Loach and his new film in the Guardian today when he said, “much easier to be right wing populist than a left wing one, because the left have to explain why things are the way they are, the right just blame foreigners.”

    Shouldn’t that be ‘the right blame immigrants and get squillions of acres of media publicity while the left blame capitalism and get miniscule publicity’

  24. I know that the idea of bad weather affecting turnout has been dismissed as far as general elections go, but Europeans?! For what it’s worth , here’s the BBC forecast (see the video):

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2635167#extra-uk-content

    Look where it’s raining at 7pm…

  25. Huge thunderstorm has just passed over, so I’m off to vote. Goodness knows who for.

  26. Re voting selfie laws my reading of it is that the potential illegalities are showing how you have voted (x marks the spot) and showing the serial number of the ballot paper.

    A selfie that shows neither of these things (i.e. of a blank ballot paper with the serial number obscured) is unlikely to be illegal.

    A selfie that shows how you voted with the ballot paper serial number visible is very likely to be illegal.

    The law seems unclear on whether a selfie showing only one of these things would be illegal.

    As Anthony says we may see some clarification on this front in future elections.

  27. The absence of exit polls make it even more important that weather reports come in regularly for my graphs.

    Its still muggy in Barney, though slightly brighter, and my calf is still giving me ole gyp.

  28. @Anthony:
    The biggest issue with such a law is, of course, if some sort of misbehavior is going on (I seem to recall at least one case of some sort of fight breaking out a few years back, and I don’t think you’d want photographic evidence of that criminalized.

  29. “It’s also illegal to publish any form of exit poll before the polls are all closed.”

    Quite right too, because exit polls could influence the result.

    Why then should it not be illegal to publish deliberately misleading bar charts based on spurious or irrelevant data which is quite often itself then misrepresented in its presentation?

  30. Anybody thinking it may be a little wet to go to the polls.

    Give a thought to us living in Thailand. The army has announced a military coup the 19th since the 1930’s. The political leaders have been arrested and there is now a curfew 2200 hrs to 0500 hrs. Sh– I was just on my way down to the local Beer Bars for the night.

  31. @northumbrianscot:
    I can’t wait to see a prosecution where someone accidentally revealed the serial number (but was attempting to obscure it) on a blank ballot paper. Oh, the fun legal side-effects of technology.

  32. Just got back from voting, not a busy time so as usual voters were outnumbered by electoral staff. I was quite surprised how many minor anti-europe parties there were – I think 6 at least – could confuse the people looking for UKIP on the long ballot paper. Perhaps a PR-based election brings out the minor parties a bit more?

    Alas I got soaked on the way home :-(

  33. I was just wondering (re ‘booth selfies’) whether, in line with the mile high club, one could become a member of the voting booth…..

  34. Just voted in Norwich. My polling station seemed to be having a steady flow of one voter every minute – a bit busier than usual for a local election.
    General Election day id now just 11.5 months away , so I have looked back to early June 2013 – 11.5 months ago! – to see what the polls were then showing. Interesting that the Labour lead had already dipped to 7 – 9% in many YouGov polls by that time and the Labour vote was generally 38/39%. On that basis, it has not changed all that much since mid-2013.

  35. “Alas I got soaked on the way home ”

    I need locations.

    this going too far though :

    “Anybody thinking it may be a little wet to go to the polls. Give a thought to us living in Thailand.”

  36. Cloudy but dry here in Sheffield.

    I was voter number 431 in the Walkley ward, cleverer people than me will be able to tell whether thats good or bad.

  37. @Jack R

    That’s #431 in your polling district – of which there are several in Walkley, possibly of very different sizes.

    Not that long ago, after the flats on the ring road had been demolished and before new housing was built there, there was a box in Sharrow that had ~10 people on the electoral roll.

  38. Just back from voting, in the end I went Conservative in the locals and UKIP in the Euros.

    Must say voting UKIP is very hard to do with your Polish friend in the booth next to you. :/

  39. Kudos to my mother, perhaps the true Woman in the middle

    Who split her vote between all the main 4, in her ward they elect 3 councillors each, so they get 3 local votes, and of course the Euros, she voted 1 lab, 1 lib, 1 con for the locals and UKIP for the Euros.

  40. Maninthemiddle,

    It would appear that you are actually well to the right – rather than ‘in the middle’!

  41. mim

    “Just back from voting, in the end I went Conservative in the locals and UKIP in the Euros.”

    Nice, balanced approach.

  42. @Graham

    Not really I’m in favour of gay marriage for example, i dont want vital services like Post office, nhs privatised, I actually want us to stay in the EU, the UKIP vote was a protest vote as many have said, even many Lab supporters, the vote for Cons in the locals were simply as I’ve never voted here before and know nothing about the candidates, and Cons were the only one to actually send a leaflet, no one knocked on the door, no one else leafleted so I went with the one that had actually tried to win my vote. Had Lib or Lab put a few in the post I’d have been able to read them all the night before as I always do and make a decision then.

  43. MIM,
    So you are now “man on the right.” Your name will never mean what it says on the tin again.

  44. The rows about selfies seem rather academic when you consider that you can make someone vote the way you want simply by making them get a postal vote and fill it in in front of you.

    I thought Peter Kellner’s article on YouGov’s Euro poll:

    http://yougov.co.uk/news/2014/05/22/ukip-and-labour-neck-and-neck/

    interesting and also rather deflating for those who feel that all sorts of things in the campaign will have this or that effect:

    We obtained our results by re-questioning more than 6,000 people we initially surveyed in late April. […]By re-interviewing the same people, we are able to explore how support has changed over the past 3-4 weeks. Ninety per cent of respondents gave the same voting intention on both occasions, while 10% changed party, or moved to or from ‘don’t know’ or ‘would not vote.’ As normal, the net changes have been much smaller, with many of the individual movements cancelling each other out.

    That said, there have been some notable shifts. Both UKIP and Labour now stand two points lower than they did in late April, while the Conservatives have gained one point. But the biggest change has been a marked increase in support for the Greens, up from 7% to 10%.

    Now it’s possible that the campaign may have still had an effect by preventing things happening. For example the anti-UKIP attacks may have prevented further leakage of Conservative voters to UKIP – though I suspect this may just be the regular reversion of ‘soft-UKIP’ that we have seen before. But it does emphasise the minimal effect of political coverage on most people.

  45. @Graham

    it’s a real fight between Labour and Greens in Norwich.As
    ever I voted for Jean Bishop and savoured the irony of a woman living in one of the richest areas of Norwich standing for representation in one of the poorest.

  46. Well I’m not on the right, I’ve taken enough tests to know I;m in the centre if not marginally on the left, but if only one party put any effort into courting my vote, then of course im more likely to vote for them.

    I enjoy collecting the leaflets and reading them all together the night before and making my decision, this time, I was unable to do this as I literally had just one from the Cons.

    As said above UKIP was a protest vote, I don’t actually agree with much of what they say.

  47. @Graham

    Yes, this is “middle” as in 98% of American’s believing they are above average intelligence…

    @ManOnTheRight

    I *hate* multiple member elections. Quite apart from the possibility of accidental abstention (which is pretty much what your mother did), they are probably the least democratic of all forms of voting system. FPTP is *much* to be preferred. Except in very rare cases, all seats go to the same party, so it equates to a FPTP list system.

  48. MIM

    Graham

    Maninthemiddle,

    It would appear that you are actually well to the right – rather than ‘in the middle’!
    …………………………..

    rosieanddaisie

    mim

    “Just back from voting, in the end I went Conservative in the locals and UKIP in the Euros.”

    Nice, balanced approach.

    …………………
    BFIELD

    MIM,
    So you are now “man on the right.” Your name will never mean what it says on the tin again
    ______________

    LOL now see what you have gone and done? Should had kept yer cake hole shut.

  49. Raining? Not when I sent off my postal vote!

  50. @Robin

    When I voted Labour in the last local election was I manontheLeft then? Are all the Labour voters who now say they will vote UKIP in protest now on the right as well?

    As for my mum, its a very conservative area so i expect all 3 to go to the Cons, but surely its not abstension as it is possible if everyone voted that way for the LibLabCon to get a seat each.

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