Labour continues to hold a small lead over the Conservatives as the nation entered the Christmas holidays. There is evidence of some voter movement towards UKIP which indicates that their true national level is around 4% or 5% and their General Election performance was distorted by so many of their candidates standing down.
Labour’s 2 point lead over the Conservatives disappeared during November and they now hold a very slight lead. There is evidence of some voter movement towards UKIP which indicates that their true national level is around 4% or 5% and their General Election performance was distorted by so many of their candidates standing down.
This is my first opinion poll tracker post since the General Election on 8th June 2017. Nearly 5 months have passed and only now can we say that politics is starting to move on from the election. I thought it was worth updating this post to see what current voting intentions are but this will not be an in depth post compared to earlier posts.
Since the election, Labour has been leading the Conservatives in the polls by 2% or so. This is mostly due to defections by some Conservative voters other than that, voter movements have been minor.
Ahead of the 2017 general election, I predicted that the opinion polls would be wrong again and that the Conservatives lead over Labour would be underestimated by 2.6%. I based this on data provided by Mark Pack who has systematically recorded every opinion poll published since 1945. In the event, I was right that the polls would be wrong but instead of an error favouring the Conservatives, the polls recorded the largest ever underestimate of the Labour vote. As a result, election forecasters were blindsided yet again and the result was a hung parliament which few saw coming.
This is my last update of the opinion before election day on June 8th. I will use my analysis of these polls to update my 2017 General Election Seat Predictions and you should read that post in conjunction with this one.
The latest situation is that the Conservatives now only hold a 7% lead over Labour which is down 2% from last week and only just above what they had in 2015. Labour’s vote share has recovered significantly to narrow the Conservatives lead and Labour are now capable under some scenarios of depriving the Conservatives of a majority. However, it has now become clear that pollsters are dividing into two groups and I have written a separate post that explores the implications of this and I strongly recommend you read that. This post reports on all posters combined rather than separate blocs.
Unlike the 2015 general election when the polls were essentially static (& wrong) throughout the election, the 2017 general election has seen some of the most extraordinary volatility in the polls that I can remember. If you are a Conservative supporter, the narrowing lead over Labour must be leading to anxiety and changed underwear. If you are a Labour supporter, you are probably starting to dream “can we? will we?!” It doesn’t help that your state of mind will depend on which poll you are reading and your memories of the pollsters’ failure in 2015 so how can you make sense of what is going on. I will show you how in 5 steps and to heighten the drama, I will leave the punchline to the end!
There are only 9 days of campaigning left before the voters go to the polls on 8th June. Between now and then, we can expect around 8 to 10 polls per week to be published and I will keep you up to date with what they are saying. I will use my analysis of these polls to update my 2017 General Election Seat Predictions and you should read that post in conjunction with this one.
The latest situation is that the Conservatives now only hold a 9% lead over Labour which is down 4% from last week. Labour’s vote share has recovered significantly to narrow the Conservatives lead and Labour are now polling above the level that they were just before the 2015 general election. The Lib Dems are back to where they were in 2015 whilst the Greens & UKIP continue to fade away.
The French pollsters are congratulating themselves for getting the first round of the French Presidential Election right last weekend. Recently Nate Silver criticised the accuracy of polling in the UK. For British pollsters, 2015 was a year they would like to forget and I am sure many of them will be nervous of the forthcoming general election but how nervous should they be?
I was one of the few people to predict the polls would be wrong in 2015 though the magnitude of the error was larger than I expected. Two years ago I based my conclusions on an analysis of polls between 1992 & 2015 but for the 2017 election I have analysed a longer time period from 1950 to 2015. I have made use of the excellent work done by Mark Pack who has systematically recorded every opinion poll published since 1945. Based on this, I am expecting the polls to be in error again with the Conservative lead over Labour underestimated by 2.6%.
The Prime Minister has called for a General Election on 8th June 2017 and parliament has approved this. For the next 6 weeks, opinion polls will be coming in thick and fast and I will do my part by keeping my opinion poll tracker up to date and explaining what the latest trends are. I will use these trends to update my 2017 General Election Seat Predictions and you should read that post in conjunction with this one.
The latest situation is that the Conservatives hold an 18% lead over Labour and are on track for a working majority of 171 seats. Labour are set for their worst general election vote share since 1918 and the Lib Dems have overtaken UKIP to regain 3rd place in the polls for the first time since December 2013.
As I have explained, I track the regional breakdowns to produce this chart. Every now and again, a full on poll takes place to explore a region in more detail and this allows me to check how good chart R1 is.