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. A strategically stunning victory by the Tories.
    Effectively, wiping out all their main opposition in England (with all opposition party leaders resigning/about to resign) and neutralising Scotland at the same time.
    This is an earthquake moment in British politics and will be studied for generations to come.

  2. Apparently Clegg has quit

    one to go?

  3. @RICHARD: Thanks for the Survation link. I, too, predicted this result exactly but didn’t tell anyone. I will be happy to share my exact prediction once all the counting has finished and we know exactly what the results are.

  4. I have been lurking on this forum for a while, and reading the comments and following along. I put together my first tables and statistical analysis before and had Con at 295-300. LD I had at 17-20..

    Irrespective, truly spiffing stuff. I am one happy man in blue today. I look forwards to reading the postmortem on how the polls went wrong.

    I am actually happier knowing EB is out of politics, than I am at the result. I have never been so scared in my life of ones fiscal policy; truly terrifying.

    Opinion polls tomorrow going to have Lab +5, you heard it from me first! hohoho!

  5. A range of 326-29 seats is a very thin majority that can be easily wiped out in by-elections. Unfortunately the LibDems are now most likely going into Opposition and the Tories are left only with the NI unionists for a C&S agreement which they still need to govern effectively.

  6. @Frederic


    Also enjoyed this response from someone on twitter

    “What is very interesting to know, however, is that some pollsters don’t want to publish presumed ‘outlier’ results”

  7. he most worrying thing about all of this?

    Dan Hodges was right

  8. Miliband will be going to his party’s headquarters to make an announcement there first.

  9. Page updated, not that anyone needs it now :))

  10. Dan Jarvis looks like an interesting candidate.

  11. Nick Clegg’s resignation speech was much better than Miliband’s. What a líder !

  12. @MBruno – I got the impression that in 2010 that there were many new and presumable young and presumably healthy MP’s, unlike during the 1992-1997 parliament when they seemed to be dropping like flies. So I wouldn’t expect that to happen quickly.

  13. a lot of this weirdness can be directly traced back to the LibDems decision to go into coalition with the Tories in 2010. It was like throwing a spanner in the works of the political machine.

    It led directly to the Scot Nat majority in Holyrood in 2011 as Scottish voters abandoned a party popular in Scotland now in cahoots with the hated Tories. This in turn led to the referendum which forced Labour to campaign in Better Together with the Tories which in turn has led to Labour’s wipe-out. So much for Scotland. In England the Libdem vote has collapsed and gone mainly to the Tories.
    Not saying Labour aren’t responsible for their own lack of vote share but Nick Clegg has a LOT to answer for!

  14. Nationalists and Green left (and Tory).

  15. “We were robbed!” , so some people might say.

    Question: how do you avoid losing? Answer: Don’t bet.

    I do not support any of the political parties. I don’t support the Conservatives or Labour. I voted against the Conservatives, but I don’t support Labour. In my constituency Labour won the seat. They had my vote. It was a vote against the Conservatives.

    What can you say which everybody will support – Conservative, Labour etc.?

    Well, in this post-election atmosphere of triumph, take a look at the parties’ shares of the vote. The so-called winning party, with an absolute majority, now has less than 37 per cent of the vote. It is not as it was ten ago years or more when winning parties received more than 40 per cent of the vote.

    Take a look also at the turnout figure – it is just over 66 per cent. It is not as it used to be say before 1997 when the turnout was always over 70 per cent.

    Therefore even if you do feel good that one particular party has won a majority today, there are indications that a large number of voters are dissatisfied, and more so than in previous times. Of course the electoral system of “first past the post” over simplifies voters preferences.

    However, Labour have not done well. They have not convinced voters. Labour seem to be increasing their vote share form 2010 proportionately more than the Conservatives. However Labour are losing seats on this increased vote share. UKIP are gaining a lot of votes, but not many seats. That is the election system for you.

    However, I would like to say something positive. There are more women MPs after the election. It is Labour who lead the way on bringing women into parliament. It is a good thing that there are more women in parliament. It is now about 30 per cent. We should be aiming for at least 33 per cent. Labour have 43 per cent women. SNP 35.7, and the Conservatives 20.8.

    The National assemblies of Wales and the Scottish parliament, and local councils and the European parliament have at at least 33 per cent women membership, and so do the national parliaments of several of our European neighbours.

    In many ways the result of this election is worse for voters than elections a decade or two ago – turnout for example. However in the case of female membership of the House of Commons, 2015 shows an improvement.

  16. How long before a blairite calls for david miliband to be new leader

  17. @FUNTYPIPPIN,Dan Jarvis would be the ideal choice.

  18. At least he has the guts to accept entire responsibility,
    he took Labour in the direction he wanted which was
    overwhelmingly rejected.

    I have the impression that many do not fully grasp what
    a majority Tory Party means.

    It means boundary changes that will result in another 20 seats
    approximately for the Tories, it’s a huge mountain for
    Labour now to climb.

    The lowest number of Labour seats since Michael Foot
    and Ed Miliband now becomes the son of Foot.

    That is his legacy, along with making any future Labour majority
    far harder to achieve.

    England is centre/centre right, Labour positioned on the centre
    left are unelectable.

  19. Comres on why we got it wrong

    Paraphrasing “we didn’t, results were within MOE, it was the reporting of the polls that was wrong”


  20. @ Adge 3

    Correct me if I’m wrong but 10 years ago labour got less than 37% of the vote

  21. Is there a YouGov on Sunday ? Was it the apparently ignored analogue media that did it ? Call me old- fashioned, but I don’t believe that Twitter trending is a particularly influential element when it’s up against the conventional heavyweight media. :-)
    Let’s all join together and support this majority government.

  22. It will be interesting to see if DM wants to return but won’t he have to hold a seat first.? Anyway, he missed the boat, he hadn’t the bottle to stand against Brown and he sulked off after he lost to his brother.

    Chukka is the obvious choice, he is pro business and gets aspiration (I think) he also has some gravitas and I imagine can eat a bacon sandwich.

    If they elect anyone else, they will lose in 2020 as well.

  23. The meaning of political life is 326. We’re there, and some. :-)

  24. I suppose David Millaband could always parachute into an Ultra Safe London, Birmingham or Manchester seat( any where UKIP have 0 chance) Maybe Ilford South or Poplar and Limehouse as both have older mps.

  25. I’ve been lurking for over three years but felt the need to finally say something. Though my own feelings this moring are largely coloured by relief, I must offer my sincere condolences to the many posters on the site who do not feel the same way. Your honesty and decency are often palapable, and it is wise to remember that much more connects us than separates us. I also wish to divorce myself from the triumphalist outpourings that some have indulged in. The likes of Jim Murphy and Ed Balls have shown commendable grace under trying circumstances: surely it should be easy for the victors and their supporters to display a similar sense of graciousness.

    My quasi-polling point is one that has been nagging at me for many months. The collapse of the LD vote has already been narrativized: the electorate has punished Clegg for his decision to enter the coalition. It may be true, at least on the surface.

    But I think that what they have really been punished for is the decision to, in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, enter “the arena.” Decades of third-party electoral irrelevance had allowed many (not all) of the their supporters to avoid the consequences of the messy, painful reality of governing. Too many LD voters would, I think, have preferred a life of chaste purity. Instead Clegg and his party got their hands dirty, and I applaud them for it, including fine public servants such as Cable and Laws.

  26. I’m a Labour voter always have been. I’m gutted obviously but respect the result. I’m concerned the way this country is heading with regard to the fact people who are most needing are going to be hit hardest with the cut backs bat of injustice

    This is not the England that i’m proud of rather one i will just have to tolerate and now the Tories have free reign to make the rich even richer… So well done give yourselfs a big pat on the back

  27. Re Comres – MOE might explain 1 or two polls but the consistent theme within all polls, including Comres, was an effectively tied race or small Con lead.

    Just pointing at MOE and saying, well we predicted that it was 1-0 or 2-0 for 6 months but actually it was 6-0 doesn’t really address why the polls have repeatedly produced more polls overstating Lab and understating Con.

    If it was just MOE then you would expect the distribution of vote shares to be more spread and less centered around a tied result than we saw in any of the polling companies regular polls.

  28. @SunReada: I think I’ve heard it already.

    As far as positioning in England goes: Labour pretty much have to appear to cover much of the ground that the Conservatives now occupy, and also appear more competent at running the country.

    If England wants an alternative to the Conservatives, Labour are perfectly capable of being elected, but they have to be an alternative that England actually wants.

    As for the UKIP effect – there was me thinking it was going to affect the Conservatives more. But then it seemed to me that UKIP where doing okay in Conservative constituencies where they had large majorities thus difficult to overturn.

    For Labour, they have long had this advantage whereby they spread their vote thinly and thus won more seats for the same vote. But… a low majority is plainly more vulnerable to being siphoned off by a non-Tory alternative. So perhaps that advantage is weakened too now.

  29. Another possibility for leader or high ranking shadow Cabinet role for Labour is Sir Kier Starmer, only just been elected but obviously is experienced. Very Safe seat.

  30. @Nick – Those cuts were coming anyway.

  31. No doubt we will get all sorts of explanations about policies and.leadership but it seems to me the key element was nationalism -in scotland and what in produced in england.Hearts not heads -cameron in desperation deliberately fuelled it.

    And now he and sturgeon have somehow got to deal with the consequences.Good luck with that.

    I knocked up voters in brighton kemptown and found many who had said they were going to vote labour(in one case a whole family of four) and many only a few days ago but who had clearly voted tory(but would only admit they hadnt voted labour ).

    See you in five years.

  32. @KEITHP, those cuts could be done slower and those with the broadest shoulders could pay more. I’m just glad I’m not disabled.


    Congratulations on the vindication of your Wellingtonian refusal to countenance the possibility of defeat.

    I hope Prof C contacts you with a view to auctioning your services to his BPC members.

    If nothing else, this site is going to be interesting for at least the rest of 2015 as we forensically examine how all the pre-exit polls missed so elegantly.

  34. @Sunreada

    I do think Cameron finished well, despite a slightly dodgy start. I kept on getting hints and blips in my “trendometer” (actually an excel spreadsheet) which came and went like will-o-wisps during the last 10 days.

    It seems Miliband has actually stepped down.

    I cannot remember a single day when 2 political leaders have resigned, let alone 3.

  35. @KeithP

    Fear not. Jim Murphy is staying.

  36. I see Murphy hasn’t stepped down, I can’t understand for a single moment how he can think of staying.

    Thanks to whomever runs this site, it’s been the best place I’ve visited to discuss the mechanics, even if we almost all got it way wrong.


    Commiserations on your failure to depose Clegg.

    I now wonder whether you would have done him a favour had you been able to administer the coup de grâce.

    As it is, I wonder whether he’ll have to stay an MP for 5 yrs instead of getting the peerage and eurojob with which Cameron would have despatched him to parts foreign.

  38. Wise after the event? This on Guardian blog

    Attention has focused on the polling companies, with commentators demanding to know how the election result seems so out of line with the opinion polling during the campaign, which had the two main parties largely neck and neck.

    Damien Lyons Lowe, the chief executive of Survation, one of the main opinion polling firms, has revealed that his company conducted a telephone poll the day before the election, carefully balanced demographically, and using mobile as well as landline numbers to maximise the reach.

    It put the Conservatives on 37% (the actual result was 37%) , Labour on 31% (30.5%), Ukip on 11% (13%), the Lib Dems on 10% (8%)and the Greens on 5% (4%).

    So why didn’t Survation publish it? The answer is that it didn’t “seem right”. In a post appropriately titled Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory, Lyons Lowe writes:

    The results seemed so “out of line” with all the polling conducted by ourselves and our peers – what poll commentators would term an “outlier” – that I “chickened out” of publishing the figures – something I’m sure I’ll always regret.

    The fact is, there is a herd mentality in the polling business – they’d all rather be wrong together.

  39. Question is will both Clegg & Ed stay around as MP’s for the foreseeable future?

  40. @TOH

    Congratulations on your foresight. I always doubted your belief in a Con majority but you have proved me wrong.

    At least now the Cons will be held totally responsible for their every decision instead of blaming the LDs for the unpopular ones.

  41. And so life carries on. Cabinet posts next. My top ones:

    Chancellor Osborne
    Home Sec May
    Health Hunt
    Universal Credit IDS

    A very strong & competent team. Why would he change a winning combination.

    Boris An intro job – maybe media & culture?

  42. First PM since 1935 to receive over 50% of the votes.

    Something to think about the scale of how prong the polls were.

  43. If the pollsters’ main excuse is MOE, to me that seems inadequate given the sheer number of polls showing a dead heat or close enough.

    Although I love following the polls and reading this site, I’d like to see the newspapers pay less attention to polls in future. Even if they could be guaranteed to be accurate, it just seems wrong that newspapers devote front page headlines to poll results when they ought to be concentrating on the actual policy debate. Those “x thousand businesspeople vote Y” stories are almost as meaningless really.

  44. Who does DC put as Chief Whip? Arguably the most importent job in the coming 5 years!

    Surely not Gove again after his failures towards the end of the last parliament.

  45. Well Mr Cameron must be very pleased (or “well chuffed” if you like). Winning an election is never easy and nor should it be.

    So, the Conservatives have broken their long run of not actually getting a majority, after 23 years, although it probably did need some unusual circumstances to help them along.

    My prediction a few years ago that we were in a period of low majorities and hung parliaments still stands.

  46. I’m going to become an opinion pollster. get everything wrong yet still rake in loadsamoney. best job in the world.

    Who does DC put as Chief Whip?

    Plebgate Andrew Mitchell? Perhaps easier to ease him in now than later?

  48. It really is shocking that politicians of all shades can utterly fail the people, be ‘held to account’ at the ballot box, and then carry on in some unaccountable position to which they are appointed as Nick Clegg will almost certainly be.

    This is not a good example of democracy, and yet another reason why the UK should leave the EU gravy train.

  49. How about Ed resigning Doncaster and David M standing there??

    Civil war in Labour Party now- Unions already trying it on with a campaign along the tired lines ‘we weren’t left wing enough’

    If the next Labour leader has the courage to turn towards the centre of Kinnock after 1987, the intellect of Smith after 1992 and the charisma of Blair after 1994 then Labour will be just fine: at the same time that Dave discovers what John Major did in the mid 90’s about tiny parliamentary majorities and the European question.


  50. One of the things that kept occurring to me throughout the last week or two of polls was the tendency for polls to be reported without the don’t knows figure, the assumption appearing to be that they don’t knows could be ignored. That created a lurking feeling of unease about the certainties of the quoted proportions. Margin of error is one thing, but misattributing don’t knows is another. Isn’t that where the discrepancy came from?

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