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. Omnishambles

    With only a small majority to play with, I would be very surprised if the Tories aren’t in a hurry to get some of the potentially contentious (or just useful to them) but lower cost stuff through asap. You never know how quickly by-elections might erode a narrow margin. Boundary review and enabling legislation that leaves timing to the executive will be near the top of the heap.

  2. I got the Tories on 330 which I reckon is going to be pretty close. I have to say I was heavily influenced by NumberCruncher and, in particular, their reference to the Rallings and Thrasher model

    In 2014 Miliband was running behind the results Kinnock was getting in the 1986 council elections so neck and neck didn’t feel right. The lesson is that real council elections are a better predictor for the relative position of the parties than VI polls.

  3. OMNI

    My expectation would be the opposite. Bigger welfare cuts, departmental cuts at the beginning of the term so they can pay off the deficit and give tax cuts well before the end of the parliament. That would be my guess.

    And the boundary changes will, I think, be the very first thing they do.

  4. Jim Murphy talks a lot doesn’t he. Can’t imagine why he didn’t sweep to victory.

  5. @ TOH and ChrisLane-

    Well done to the UKPR winners.

    Even if it was blind faith from TOH and I still think tongue in cheek from Chrislane.

  6. I think perhaps TOH has a crystal ball. Any chance you can tell me the lotto numbers for Saturday?

    But… as regards the polling, is it all about the DK’s being “scared off” at the last minute? There should be some way to assume they have made up their minds. But how?

  7. The major difference to 1992 is that in 1992 Labour did pretty well in reality as they reduced the Tory majority from 100 seats to 21, this time we have seen the Tories actually win seats off Labour and turn some wafer thin majorities into a safer marginal.

    It feels like 1992 due to the surprising nature of the result for some people. I knew deep down it would happen, my gut was telling me so as I posted yesterday, think I got buoyed slightly by the last final polls but being on the ground yesterday afternoon in Cardiff North confirmed my gut feelings that Labour would not do well.

    Ed Milliband was the wrong choice as leader, he was an easy target for the press and he was an accident waiting to happen. The only good thing is the scale of the loss makes his position untenable.

    As I said before though with the coming boundary changes, Labour will not win another UK election for a very long time.

    Scotland will be independent by the end of this parliament, Wales will get further devolution and ironically Cameron will be the man where the Union broke up on his watch

  8. Well, I had the best statistical election prediction model… But only because it was less wrong than all the others by attributing a possibility to this result. Day after postmortem at –

  9. @exileinyorks @gary o

    In a situation like this, what happens with the coalition budget? They could argue that they have a mandate to put together a new budget now.

  10. Couper2802

    My wife has answered for me, “a good woman” !


  11. Put the numbers into may2015
    Cancel off the ashcroft polls
    and it comes out with an answer not far off to what we got

  12. There’s going to be two more leader resignations pretty soon I imagine. I don’t remember seeing so many after an election.

  13. So when is the next poll due? And will it show Labour with a 4 point lead?

  14. @Lewis

    To all those who think EM was the wrong Lab candidate, what about Jim Murphy for LiS? At least the latter was utterly predictable.

    For all those who predicted Con 295/300, that would have happened if the LDs hadn’t utterly collapsed in the South and West.

    So while @TOH and @CL45 are definitely in the Rolls Royce class of predictors, @Omni, @Unicorn and others can certainly be described as being in the Jaguar class. As for me, I think I’ll have to settle for a Smart car!


    Credit where credit is due. You said the Tories will win a over all majority and we all said don’t be daft.

    Well looks like you were spot on. Congratulations.

  16. I spent yesterday in Stockton South and it took me about an hour to know that We, Labour would not win.

    The much talked about ground war has a myth. The office was run by very young inexperienced staff who looked as if this was the first election they had run. The data was a joke, we were sent to knock up people who had said in 2005 they were undecided and some Labour voters had not been contacted since 2001!

    There was a lot of talk about the ground war but I think it was a virtual reality war run by people who don’t know the basics of how to win elections and the key importance of good quality upto date checked data.

    To be told that it was old fashioned to check numbers at the polling stations just made me cry inside. We were making contact with people who had voted rather than those who had yet to go out to vote.

    As a long time campaign organiser I would estimate that about 80% of my time was wasted yesterday. There were times when I all most wanted to say to the organisers just go home and let the people who know what they are doing make this disaster a little less bad. For instance let’s stop telling undecideds form ten years ago to go out and vote because the evidence was that they were anything but Labour.

    I was in Guildford in 1983 but at least we ran a proper campaign, good knows what 1983 would have been like if we had run this fantastic ground war!

  17. @RAF

    I’m going to quote what I said on my own Blog –
    I also think a lot will be said about Ed Miliband having lost this election. Personally, it’s my opinion that Labour talked themselves out of winning an election, and Ed Miliband was constantly undermined by his own side. In particular, the party was not structured to allow Ed any direct intervention in how the Scottish campaign was run. It’s hard to see how having a different leader would have helped Labour, but certainly there’s going to be a lot of people saying that had a different leader been selected they would have won. I think Ed Miliband was the most effective leader Labour had available, and it was the party that lost the election. However, it looks like Ed Miliband has already chosen to fall on his sword, which will lead to a leadership election.

  18. Conservatives at 325 – moving from technical to absolute majority here.

    10 seats left undeclared. So (barely) double figure majority possible?

  19. Lib/Dems down to 8 seats. Oh crikey that’s tragic.

    More pandas in Scotland than Labour MP’s.

    It’s loopy stuff.

  20. @ Omnishambles

    New budget…

    I’m sure they could, can’t think of anything to stop them if they wanted to.

  21. Everyone is talking about the seat losses for the Lib Dems, however there is another side, and that is the number of deposits the Lib Dems have lost currently standing at a rather concerning £169 000 !

    Some helpful / unkind (?) soul has provided a twitter page dedicated to these losses:

  22. Ashman,

    You should be even happier now, Farage has announced his resignation.

  23. How many Lib/Dems can you fit in a mini?

    All of them.

  24. Omni

    I agree. They can if they want. Suspect with Tory ministers in all depts. there will be some pushing of the frontiers.

    Gove back at Education to finish the reforms he started?
    Big job for Boris?

  25. Allan Christie

    You are just recycling old jokes and changing Scottish Tories to Lib Dems.

    How many can you fit in a London Taxi, Phone box etc. etc.

  26. Clegg resigns

  27. Personally I think Dan Jarvis should be next Labour leader.

  28. @Keith P

    Con projected to get 329. If you add in the 8 DUP and 2_UUP NPs plus Carswell – that gives a right wing block of 340.

    Even if the LDs go into opposition, Labour and the progressive block probably only get to 305ish.

    Comfortable for now for the Tories…until the EU Referendum.

  29. Just wanted to add to the chorus of congratulations to The Other Howard, who stuck to his guns and was vindicated!

    (much to my personal dismay!)

  30. Who’s left? Tory majority?

  31. Will Boris stay as Mayor for an Year then go Cabinet next June. Would be the fair thing to for Londoners plus gives him less bad publicity for the Leadership Battle in 2019-2020.

  32. Robbiealive,10-27,
    My sentiments entirely.

  33. So an overall majority on slightly less than 37% of the vote, would boundary changes really make a difference? Would anyone be happy with a govt elected on…say 32% of the vote.

  34. I do think that for the 2019-2020 election( can see Cameron maybe wanting to go back to four yearly election) Labour may well be Voting reform in the manifesto. Can see it being quite a vote winner. I think FPTP is coming to the end of its life. Even Lord Ashcroft is this morning calling for it to replaced.

  35. @ Shelts

    “As I said before though with the coming boundary changes, Labour will not win another UK election for a very long time.”

    I hesitate to start making predictions already seeing as all of mine (apart from LD’s not moving from 8%) last time were wrong but there is an awful lot can happen in 5 years.

    If you are a disciple of Alec’s Doom and gloom truffles as I am then it will be “it’s the economy stupid” and there is every reason to suppose that the imbalances in both the world and the UK economy still remain and could flare up at any time. We are still leaking jobs to the developing/3rd world countries and losing tax revenue from the multinationals.

    There’s also the issue of the EU referendum- probably it will go the way of the other referendums but Cameron is unlikely to have the right wing press on his side for the stay in option which I have no doubt he will advocate. Plus it could just be one of those referendums where the out side is highly motivated and the in side isn’t that bovvered.

    Then also there’s the question of the cuts. Any further cuts are likely to be much more noticeable to the general public- if they had been “easy” cuts they would already have been made in the last parliament.

    I think the big Labour problem is that they are fighting on too many fronts right now- they have the left wing of which many haven’t come back to them and gone Green or whatever. But they have to balance this with getting their UKIP defectors back and this is probably the most difficult task (possibly one reason for the surprise result this time was that the Tory UKIP defectors seem to have been more tactical whereas the Lab UKIP defectors didn’t much care). The election result and lack of UKIP MPs means no-one has the chance to judge them in action as the Lib Dems were last parliament.

    On top of that how they get anything back from Scotland is anyone’s guess. I don’t see this happening unless there are significant tax and spend options available for Hollyrood and there is something people will moan about.

  36. Blair/Brown had a 66 majority on 35% of the vote (lowest ever).

  37. Steel says libdems need to move left,assorted blairites labour needs to move right.

    New labour will elect its new leader under its new rules ?

    Imo Labour needs to commit to PR in all elections.

  38. Much will be written about Ed, and whether another candidate would have done better.

    Who knows? I suspect it might have made some difference around the margins, but not perhaps that much. It’s been the Scotland issue that has been decisive.

    I doubt any Labour leader could have won Scotland round, and once it became clear that Labour were not in majority territory, too many English voters prove susceptible to the SNP scare tactics. This isn’t to blame Scotland – it’s just a quirk of political history that as two nations pulled apart, it open a gaping hole into which Labour couldn’t avoid falling, being pushed in by both the SNP and the Tories. I think it was a near impossible task to craft a single campaign message that could have resonance in Scotland and Kent simultaneously.

    Today, this part of Scotland seems remarkably chipper. I suspect this mood will be relatively widespread, as this really is the result that many Scots wanted, in terms of the long term future. That was always Labour’s problem.

  39. As long ago as last September I pleaded for people posting on this site to stop denying the possibility of a result like this. In an era of multi party politics I felt it was insane to rule out any type of result. My feeling that a Tory victory was more than possible has rested on the premise that the coalition successfully established the narrative in 2010 and whether you felt that was fair or not the voters went along with it. Labour never managed to escape the blame for the state the economy was in and would have done better if they had simply said yes we did overspend yes we did borrow too much. But they never could and so they have paid the price

  40. @Shelts

    “Ed Milliband was the wrong choice as leader, he was an easy target for the press and he was an accident waiting to happen. The only good thing is the scale of the loss makes his position untenable.”


    you know what, crazy as it would have seemed yesterday I’m not sure the results would have been that different if David M had been leader. I think the shock of the loss would just have been greater. This was more structural than we could have imagined. 40 Scottish seats didn’t go down the plughole because of Ed for example.

  41. @ JAYBLANC

    I agree and the LP is most unwise to let Ed Miliband resign. He is still quite capable of mobilising the LP activists and it will now descend into a period of fragmentation instead of organising as an effective opposition.

  42. Lewis

    Yes they did, which is what prompted the calls for boundary changes

  43. Well, I didn’t really believe the Scottish Polls.

    I *hoped* that they’d be right and there’d be 50+ SNP MPs returned but last night was awesome and so so so close to 59/59. If Neil Hay, the SNP candidate for Edinburgh South hadn’t been an idiot during the campaign then it could have been a complete wipe out for Scottish Labour. Only a total of 1617 votes kept both David Mundell and Alasdair Carmichael above the yellow tsunami.

    So close.

    The polls in England might have been out but the Scottish ones were remarkably accurate.

  44. I think the key for Labour moving forward is to pick a leader who wasn’t part of the New Labour government (Burnham, Cooper), and isn’t continuity New Labour (Umunna). They need a fresh start.

  45. It does look quite bleak for Labour doesn’t it? Their “Scottish problem” is a potential stick the Conservatives can use to beat them with next time, unless there is some serious constitutional reform (devomax or independence) which I’m none too convinced will happen now.

    Then there’s the boundary changes, also there’s the possibility of another go at fewer MP’s.

    It’s kind of funny with all this talk of legitimate governments pre-election, and now it’s about the low % support of the winner.

  46. 24% swing LAB->SNP, you don’t see that every day. More than twice the UK swing in 1997.

    1 seat left LD, LAB & CON.

    I wonder who wants to lead the “opposition” up there?

  47. Survation response to why they got it wrong

    Paraphrasing….We got it right, but published the results from the wrong question because it was out of line with the other pollsters.

    So the answer is to make sure you ask the question using lots of different methodologies, then when you get it wrong you find the method that matches the results and declare victory? Or am I being too cynical?

  48. Result likely to be based upon seats left:-

    Con – 331
    Lab – 231
    Snp – 56
    Ld – 8
    Dup – 8
    Other – 16

  49. Does anyone have any views on whether the wide variety of party performance in the different constituencies may have been a factor in the polls getting it so wrong? For instance in Chesterfield Labour went from a majority of not much more than a 100 to 13,000, while in Amber Valley – just down the road and a key marginal – they polled fewer votes than in 2010. There was also a huge diparity in turn out across the country, with less than 50% bothering to vote in Stoke on Trent Central (Tristam Hunt’s seat)

  50. ToH – you the man.

    CL – the LDs did look a bit high.

    RaF- I am a scooter.

    Dave M – Stockton South Shocking, example we knocked up a older women at 1800 who had been given a lift to the poll 1230, not market up.

    Sounds odd but I felt worse last time as we came closer, the best ground war ever would have not taken the seat this time.

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