Most pollsters produced their final polls last night, ready to go in the first edition of whichever paper commissioned them. Today we have the final few companies – Ipsos MORI, who do polling for the Evening Standard so always publish on election day itself, Populus and Ashcroft, who do their polls on their own accord, so didn’t have to finish in time for a print deadline last night. We also have the final figures from ICM, who put out interim figures for the Guardian yesterday, but then continued fieldwork into the evening.

  • Lord Ashcroft’s final poll has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%, GRN 6%. Full tabs are here
  • Ipsos MORI have final figures of CON 36%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 11%, GRN 5%. Full details are here.
  • Populus have final figures of CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%. Tabs are here.
  • Finally ICM have published their final figures for the Guardian. Yesterday’s interim numbers were 35-35, today’s final figures shift only slightly to CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%, GRN 4%. Tabs are here.

I said on Tuesday I’d revisit my final prediction in light of the final polls. My earlier prediction was based on Con and Lab being neck and neck, so no change there. The final few Scottish polls have shown slightly smaller leads for the SNP – between 20% and 23% – so while Labour are still neck-and-neck nationally, perhaps they are doing a little better in Scotland and a little worse in England than I predicted. We shall see.

As was the picture yesterday, all the polls are essentially showing a neck and neck race – they’ll either all be about right, or all be wrong. The only company showing a gap of more than one point between Conservative and Labour is Panelbase, who have a two point Labour lead. Over the past few weeks there has been some comment on the apparent difference between phone polls and internet polls, whether phone polls were showing a Conservative lead and online polls not. If this ever was a pattern, rather than just co-incidence, it’s not present in the final results, the average for the final telephone polls is CON 34.5%, LAB 34.3%; the average for the final online polls if CON 33.0%, LAB 33.0%. You’ll note that online polls have both Lab and Con lower – that’s because there is a significant difference between the pollsters on how well they think UKIP will do – telephone pollsters all have UKIP on 11-12%, but online pollsters vary between 12% from YouGov, Opinium and BMG right up to 16% from Survation and Panelbase.

And, that’s it. The next poll will be the broadcasters/NOP/MORI poll at 10pm. I’ll be working on the BBC election coverage through the night so won’t be posting any analysis here overnight, but feel free to stay and chat in the comments section if you want. In the meantime, good luck to all standing and campaigning. Good luck to all pollsters on getting it right. And good luck to those poor souls who keep or lose their jobs tonight based on a public vote.


2,199 Responses to “The final four polls”

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  1. @Rich

    I was going to post something similar – the odds are not making any sense. The polls show a clear shift towards Labour and the Labour wins most seats market continues to shrink (3/1 now)

    However….DC is now clear favourite to be PM. Odd.

    I still think Tories will win most seats,its just that I can’t see them getting near 290 and that will cause them problems

  2. @ Rich

    It’s not weird. bookies are balancing their books, and many punters bet by what they see. Nobody has more information (ok party HQs may, but they won’t share it because of the effect on the foot soldiers, although it could clear out the overdrafts) than you or anyone here.

  3. here must be threads on elections on betting websites for people who prefer the bookies’ odds to polls

  4. Betting next government (favourite at top)

    – any coalition involving LDs

    – minority Labour Government

    – LD/Con coalition

    Yes, Cameron favourite for next PM by about half a point, but the bookies clearly hedging their bets and have every outcome covered.

  5. If there is a late swing (and not just reversion of the outliers, like MORI) then it is surely towards Labour, with the Lab score on the ICM poll ticking up a point with the addition of the field work done on the final day. Will this translate into actual votes in the right places and seats??

    I have a Lab canvasser friend and they say they have 500 (!!!!) volunteers all over Battersea – surely they’d be better in Finchley?? But maybe they know something I don’t?

    Squeaky bum time!!

  6. I think people are getting a little carried away at this talk of a “Labour surge” in Scotland. Yesterday’s three full Scottish polls had Lab -1 (Panelbase), Lab +2 (YouGov) and Lab = (Survation). Not exactly conclusive evidence.

    What did appear is that Survation showed a lower SNP score (-3) when using the “ballot paper” method. This appeared to go to the Lib Dems and other smaller parties (Greens, Ukip).

    Labour didn’t do significantly better under this method, but obviously if the SNP does not do quite as well as the previous polls suggested then that could save some Lab MPs in the closer contests. I think it’s more likely that SNP will be in the 40s than break 50, although Election Forecast put them up to 53 in their last call.

  7. Just been to vote – pretty quiet in South bucks – although they did say they were busy in patches.

    No doubt after work things will rev up.

  8. The bookies odds don’t really tell us much. They have a Lab minority as the mostly likely outcome yet Cameron is now favourite to become PM whilst at the same time odds on Labour winning most seeds are shortening.

    I realise the bookies are covering their position but from what they are saying its impossible to know the outcome.

  9. Oh and my prediction – all scientific, taking away the poll most favourable to the Cons and the one most favourable to Labour and averaging the rest, then rounding up for Cons and down for Lab (to take into account my cognitive bias). Worked well in 2010:

    Cons 280
    Lab 270
    SNP 52
    LDs 24
    PC 3
    UKIP 2
    GN 1

    See you on the other side!! :-) xxxxx

  10. “Bookies are slashing odds on DC for PM because it looks like Con are going to hold more than expected.”

    looks? How? Bookies can see the Conservative voters crossing the door of the polling stations by their appearance? This must be, because the polls don’t show this.

    I don’t say anything about the outcomes of the elections, but this one is an utter nonsense.

  11. and there’s no end of websites and discussion boards for those that eschew polls because they prefer what they feel in their guts or their bones

  12. That should read as ‘seats’

  13. @Maura

    Busy here in Lib-Con borderland too, Queueing out the door. Mind you, the polling station is only about 6ft long!

  14. @Ashman 2.39 – my comments in BLOCK

    True, but if in the next week or so should the money markets look unstable, they the SNP carry out any shenanigans, the obvious target would be Labour in England, meaning losers, that is not going to be in the best interest of the SNP. They need Labour over the long term.
    NO. SNP DO NOT NEED LABOUR IN ENGLAND. SNP NEED TO CONVINCE THEIR VOTERS, ESPECIALLY ‘EX LABOUR’ VOTERS THAT LABOUR IS A BUSTED FLUSH AND CANNOT PROVIDE THE UK WITH A GOVERNMENT. DUBIOUS, PERHAPS, BUT THAT IS WHAT THE SNP NEED.

    If we have a clear situation, and again if SNP MPs carry out anything that is or would be considered questionable, by the English electorate, It will backfire on the SNP, via the punishment of Labour in England.
    BUT ANY ‘PUNISHMENT’ WOULD ONLY TAKE EFFECT AFTER THE NEXT GE (2020?) BY WHICH TIME THE WHOLE SITUATION WILL BE DIFFERENT AGAIN

    The amusement is that SNP will have to keep their mouth zipped, how are the SNP voters going to feel about this.
    MANY SNP VOTERS ARE NOW HAPPY TO BE AS DISCIPLINED AS THEIR MPs. WE WILL LISTEN TO WHAT NICOLA ADVISES US IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF SCOTLAND. WE WON’T BE IN 100% AGREEMENT, OF COURSE, BUT IT WOULD BE WRONG TO THINK THAT LABOUR IN SCOTLAND IS GOING TO MAKE AN IMMEDIATE COMEBACK

    The foundation is being laid, call it the Ed Stone, for Labour in the England.
    Labour will have to think very carefully, would they want to take this risk, I would not. AGREED

    P.S. Block in this instance does not mean I am shouting! Far from it.

  15. I know there’s usually convergence at the end but this is ridiculous. Ipsos-MORI’s large Tory lead from their previous poll has evaporated, and in the course of a week even Ashcroft has come right back to nothing. If one side finishes solidly ahead in the popular vote then this is going to be another polling calamity – but with so many different pollsters with so many different methods all essentially saying the same thing that would be a remarkable failure if so.

  16. Based on the final polls, it is not clear which party will have the most seats in the House of Commons.

  17. @Rich and Steve

    It’s not that odd – it just means there’s a bunch of people betting on Labour being largest seats and another bunch of people betting on Cameron being PM (or even the same bunch, betting different ways to cover themselves). The bookies are just adjusting the odds based on the number of bets they’re receiving – it doesn’t necessarily predict what the result will be (in any case if Lab do win the largest number of seats its virtually impossible for Cameron to be PM).

  18. There is actually a post on Smithson’s website from a bookie stating that they simply balance the books on political betting rather than making the market.

    Look, the polls could be wrong, but going on about betting is just straw-clutching.

  19. Latest and last 538 prediction taking into account latest polls I presume:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/interactives/uk-general-election-predictions/

    They’ve cut the Tory seat lead to 11.

  20. @ John B

    If you put your part between “” or “” without “” would be better.

    I will leave it to people who know more about Scotland than I do, but I think you are wrong.

  21. @James

    Holyrood would be happy to consent to increased powers, but that is still not a quid pro quo, is it? it’s just accepting more powers from Westminster, which few in Scotland would think a bad thing. How it comes about and who provides these additional powers is, in a sense, irrelevant. After all, many of the existing powers came from a Labour majority and that didn’t mean that Labour were guaranteed the full and eternal support of the Scots did it? There is no direct link between who provides the powers and how the Scots choose to use them.

  22. The convergence is remarkable.If all of the pollsters are correct than that seems to imply that all sample correction strategies are statistically equivalent when the sample is large enough.

    Can that be the case?

  23. Thanks for your brilliant coverage of the polls during the election run up. It has been my daily fix.

  24. It cut it out! Clever!

    or without spaces. The comment in between.

  25. For the last few weeks from the polls I could not see how mathematically the conservatives could form the next Government unless the polls changed or they were wrong
    Well we have the asnwer to the first part, the polls have not changed, so are they wrong?
    I suppose they could be, but unless they are quite a bit off still cannot see how the conservatives can form the next Government.

  26. neilj

    “The SNP will not support a Conservative Government, it would be electoral suicide for them”

    Not necessarily. If they do a deal which would give Scotland Devo-Max they might agree to abstain on key votes. If you look back at the SNP’s history they don’t hesitate to do U turns if they perceive it in their party interest. On the other hand the SNP may not perceive Devo-Max to be in their immediate interest as it probably means the end of the generous (to Scotland) Barnet Formula.

    Please bear in mind the SNPs anti Tory rhetoric is mainly about converting Labour votes to SNP.

  27. James 2.58

    If the slightly lower SNP numbers are accompanied by slightly higher LD numbers then this will not save Labour; on the other hand it might save Charlie Kennedy and Michael Moore.

    :-)

  28. UP AGAINST THE BIG BOYS
    Okay, we’ve gone head to head with the big boys with our own UKPR wisdom forecast. Data was collected between 2nd and the 6th of May 2015. Rivers10 setting off with the earliest of them. Our team was broad based with members from across the country and indeed with international input. We had specific resident experts from NI, Wales and Scotland to provide guidance. One hundred and eight nine people made up the core data though they were ably assisted by many, many comments from other members.
    Members of the team applied various techniques: intensive analysis of polls, swingback, memories of 1992, shy voting, hope and guesswork. Some gave very thorough forecasts, others went for a more scattergun approach. We could call the whole a rather ‘organic process’. We now have a set of figures that approximate to something anyway. Eat your heart out Nate Silver.
    There was some talk of the ‘house effect’ being left wing.
    There was a bit of haziness among some around NI which led to some under and over projections of seats. The independant tally was a bit confusing but overall it seems as a group there may be a tendency to think George won’t make it, while Lady H is the one certain thing in the whole of the election campaign. (She may even BE Godot.) One person specifically named Clare, the independant in Devon, though others may or may not have been thinking of her.
    Catoswyn failed to enter her zero’s in the independant column but this was picked up in audit by Northumbrianscot who has adapted the forecast to make sense.
    Individuals do vary in their projections and we wait to see who, among them, may have come closest to the actual result.
    :)
    By Northumbrianscot:
    Mean UKPR Wisdom of Crowds prediction:
    LAB 272
    CON 279 (or 280 if including Speaker)
    SNP 48
    LIB DEM 25
    PLAID CYMRU 3
    UKIP 3
    GREEN 1
    SPEAKER 1
    DUP 9
    SINN FEIN 5
    SDLP 3
    INDEPENDENT (Lady Hermon) 1
    Median UKPR Wisdom of Crowds prediction:
    LAB 273
    CON 278 (or 279 if including Speaker)
    SNP 49
    LIB DEM 25
    PLAID CYMRU 3
    UKIP 2
    GREEN 1
    SPEAKER 1
    DUP 9
    SINN FEIN 5
    SDLP 3
    INDEPENDENT (Lady Hermon) 1
    With thanks to @JohnG for the Median
    May 7th, 2015 at 10:29 am
    May 7th, 2015 at 2:56 pm

  29. @ John B

    I can’t put up the code, but check any instruction on italics or bold codes for websites.

  30. Steve

    @Rich

    I was going to post something similar – the odds are not making any sense. The polls show a clear shift towards Labour and the Labour wins most seats market continues to shrink (3/1 now)

    However….DC is now clear favourite to be PM. Odd.

    I still think Tories will win most seats,its just that I can’t see them getting near 290 and that will cause them problems
    ============================================

    Its how the marginal play out.

    I have spoken to one chap, in the north they are looking, good, using his words. Dec they were behind Lab.

    I don’t know if they are too optimistic or UKIPers in certain seats have decided that, Miliband is not actually really worth it.

    Approx. 6 hours and 45 minutes to go, we will defiantly at least have a clearer idea.

  31. Many thanks for weeks of fascinating analysis, presented rationally and making the numbers completely understandable.

  32. Catoswyn,

    If the UKPR crew are the closest to the actual result do we all get to be the ‘new Nate Silver?’

  33. @Laszlo your post is more nonsense than the statement, it’s provided nothing beneficial to the topic. I tried to find something useful to comment on, but I failed.

    To provide something beneficial:

    Would it hypothetically be possible for a foreign broadcaster (e.g CNN) to run an exit poll and broadcast it (in their own country) – which British media could then pick up on. There is almost no reason why a foreign broadcaster would.. more of a fun hypothetical situation to take my mind away from the nerves of tonight!

    Secondly, I would expect Financial Markets to show more insight into the outcome than the bookies. I’m going to be monitoring them over the night, more so for my personal trading. I never looked at it in 2010, as I wasn’t a trader then. Anyone have any knowledge or thoughts on this? Perhaps it was previously discussed many a month ago.

  34. @Laszlo – 3.09

    Sorry, Lazlo, I’m not with you. Could you be more specific? And, of course, you may well be correct in suggesting that I am wrong. I just don’t agree with Ashman.

  35. @ Catoswyn

    I congratulate you. It is a wonderful, not yet the crescendo, that will come sometimes tomorrow, to your marvellous undertaking.

    I think humour is indispensable in these things, and I’m particularly appreciative of this post for this.

  36. The bookies are also dropping the odds on labour having the most seats they have gone from 4/1 to 7/2 now 3/1
    over the last couple of hours

    So that shows the opisite to the dc prime minster odds dropping which haven’t moved a lot in the last few days

  37. Went all out and decided to predict every seat in the country…

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1R9Gq930gihWtOaTVt1V-hy12lxcWK0CeJeBVPTGYyP0/edit#gid=748152303

    Feel I’ve underestimated SNP a bit and maybe overestimated Con in England, but I can’t see a result too drastically different from that.

  38. If Cameron tries to do a deal with the SNP, then firstly he will have to offer something really tempting before the SNP leadership will even consider it, and secondly he will have to persuade them that he can actually deliver it. Doing a deal with the Tories would be hard to sell to most SNP voters; doing a deal and not getting anything in return would be disastrous.

    The more tempting Cameron makes any offer, the more likely it is that he will face a massive backbench rebellion when it comes to putting the necessary legislation before Parliament – and Labour can be guaranteed to vote against it, to spite both the Tories and the SNP. I do not think that Cameron is in a position to make any offer which the SNP can possibly accept, and even making an offer might stir up trouble for him within his own party. Therefore, I will be very surprised if Cameron makes any offer of any kind to the SNP.

  39. @Lazlo

    I think I know what you’re saying regarding technical stuff – but I’m not up to getting that sorted out – it’s beyond me, that sort of thing. Sorry!

    A plus tard!

  40. HAWTHORN

    Yes, we know the bookies job is to balance the books.

    The point here is that informed people making the bets are the ones in the know.

    Anyway, as mentioned we’ll see but if we get something like CON 287 LAB 266 with Tories with ‘comfortably’ the most votes then the bookies were right and it will be interesting to hear the pollsters reflect on it.

  41. John B

    @Ashman 2.39 – my comments in BLOCK

    True, but if in the next week or so should the money markets look unstable, they the SNP carry out any shenanigans, the obvious target would be Labour in England, meaning losers, that is not going to be in the best interest of the SNP. They need Labour over the long term.
    NO. SNP DO NOT NEED LABOUR IN ENGLAND. SNP NEED TO CONVINCE THEIR VOTERS, ESPECIALLY ‘EX LABOUR’ VOTERS THAT LABOUR IS A BUSTED FLUSH AND CANNOT PROVIDE THE UK WITH A GOVERNMENT. DUBIOUS, PERHAPS, BUT THAT IS WHAT THE SNP NEED.

    If we have a clear situation, and again if SNP MPs carry out anything that is or would be considered questionable, by the English electorate, It will backfire on the SNP, via the punishment of Labour in England.
    BUT ANY ‘PUNISHMENT’ WOULD ONLY TAKE EFFECT AFTER THE NEXT GE (2020?) BY WHICH TIME THE WHOLE SITUATION WILL BE DIFFERENT AGAIN

    The amusement is that SNP will have to keep their mouth zipped, how are the SNP voters going to feel about this.
    MANY SNP VOTERS ARE NOW HAPPY TO BE AS DISCIPLINED AS THEIR MPs. WE WILL LISTEN TO WHAT NICOLA ADVISES US IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF SCOTLAND. WE WON’T BE IN 100% AGREEMENT, OF COURSE, BUT IT WOULD BE WRONG TO THINK THAT LABOUR IN SCOTLAND IS GOING TO MAKE AN IMMEDIATE COMEBACK

    The foundation is being laid, call it the Ed Stone, for Labour in the England.
    Labour will have to think very carefully, would they want to take this risk, I would not. AGREED

    P.S. Block in this instance does not mean I am shouting! Far from it.
    =================================

    Use my comments in italic and yours in normal text.

  42. Does anyone know if there is a “shy UKIP” factor built into the polls?Couple of thoughts.

    There has long been a “shy Tory” adjustment as people don’t want to be openly associated with the nasty party. Surely this would also apply to UKIP only more so?

    Secondly UKIP seem to poll slightly higher on internet polls where “shyness” is less of a factor.

    If so then possibly UKIP will end up in line with some of their higher polls which conversely show the Tory % as slightly lower.

  43. @ Catoswyn,

    You deserve a medal for doing that – well done! Be very interested to know how the “wisdom of crowds” model works. My wife was telling me it was most reliable last time (although in terms of probability surely it is everyone’s best guess so has no intrinsic reason for being any more right than anyone elses??).

  44. @@ Catoswyn,

    Great work, cheers

  45. Re: The odds

    Seems to me that there is a group of people reacting to the widespread comment on 4-1 being a bit of a high price for most Labour seats, while on the other hand there is a group of people reacting to the idea that Cameron might somehow be able to bluster his way through a Queens Speech even if he doesn’t have a fully workable majority.

    Both could have some credibility, especially as the most predicted outcome is a narrow Tory lead in seats, that might or might not give DC a way forwards.

  46. @Catoswyn

    Many thanks! However, I still think the SNP number is too high. I’d go for 45 max – and probably in the 38 – 42 range. But that does not mean Labour winning all the additional seats, as LDs may save one or two extra.
    Tories (in Scotland)? max of 2 (!)

  47. good work Catoswyn! I think the result wont be too far off that.

    Although i have £10 on labour having the most seats at 7/2. Not being a betting person i didn’t realise that i should have done a spread bet with ed m becoming pm – oh well.

    I bumped into rachael reeves at the polling station and told her about my flutter and she said she would do her best to make it pay out.

    I didn’t mention that i voted for TUSC rather than her though!

  48. Con-SNP arrangement

    One of the Scottish posters pointed out the other day:

    1.Any offer DC makes, EM can match it +something extra

    2.Having offered a deal to SNP, DC would look a hypocrite if he criticised EM for doing the same thing

  49. @magpie

    Other thing you have to remember re next PM betting is that the market has to have a fixed date, or “at the Queen’s speech”. i.e. you could get some money on Cameron hanging on for a few weeks, which would win the bet even if Lab + SNP et al (eventually) force him out.

  50. Geoff

    I remember the same conversation back in 2010 and the betting odds ended up being a load of carp.

    As for a Tory/SNP deal. Even if they did it, it would only take a few rebels to scupper it. This would be on the massive political cost to the Tories, particularly given their recent rhetoric.

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