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UK General Election Exit Polls Forecast Accuracy

ElectionOracle / UK General Election May 07, 2015 - 12:50 PM GMT

By: Nadeem_Walayat

ElectionOracle

Over 50,000 polling stations are open today across the UK to cope with the expected demand from an estimated 32 million voters out of a total of approx 47 million eligible to vote. With all eyes turned to the next big event of the election, the EXIT POLL to follow within minutes of the polls closing at 10pm. Which unlike the multitudes of daily opinion polls that have hardly budged for the past 2 months, the exit poll should provide an accurate gauge of what is the probable outcome of the general election some 10 hours before enough seats have been counted to make the actual result clear.


Exit Polls Accuracy:

2010 General Election exit poll vs actual outcome:

  • Conservative 307 / 307 (0)
  • Labour 255 / 258 (-3)
  • Lib Dems 59 / 57 (-2)
  • Others 29 / 28 (+1)

2005 General Election exit poll vs actual outcome:

  • Conservative 209 / 198 (+11)
  • Labour 356 / 356 (0)
  • Lib Dems 53 / 62 (-9)
  • Others 28 / 30 (-2)

2001 General Election exit poll vs actual outcome:

  • Conservative 177 / 166 (+11)
  • Labour 408 / 413 (-5)
  • Lib Dems 44 / 52 (-8)
  • Others 30 / 28 (+2)

Therefore the exit polls have proved very accurate for the past 3 general elections in determining the outcome in terms of which major party would form the next government, also proving for more accurate than the opinion pollster forecasts such as that of the US election forecasting guru Nate Silver who got the 2010 UK general election badly wrong which I recently covered here - Nate Silver UK General Election Forecast 2015 as Wrong as 2010?.

Though of course this time the exit poll academics could yet get it wrong.

Opinion Pollster Seat Forecasts

Here is the last seat forecast update from the main opinion pollster analysts as we count down to the 10pm exit poll.
Market Oracle May2015 .com Electoralcalculus .co.uk ElectionForecast .co.uk The Guardian Exit Poll
 

28th Feb

5th May 5th May 5th May 5th May 7th May
Conservative 296 273 282 281 274  
Labour 262 268 275 267 270  
SNP 35 56 52 51 54  
Lib Dem 30 28 18 26 27  
UKIP 5 2 1 1 3  
Others 22 23 22 24 22  


The opinion pollster seats forecasts average to:

  • Conservatives : 277
  • Labour : 270
  • SNP : 53
  • Lib Dems : 25
  • DUP 8

If the opinion polls are correct then the UK is heading for an extreme hung parliament where -

Conservatives + Lib Dems = 302 - FAIL

Add DUP 8 seats = 310 - FAIL

Labour + Lib-Dems = 295 - FAIL

Labour + Lib-Dems + Plaid Cymru + Greens = 302 - FAIL

Therefore the only workable majority would be one of a minority Labour government that is supported by the SNP (53) to total 323. Which compares against my long standing forecast conclusion as of 28th Feb which is primarily based on economic and market analysis rather than opinion polls:

UK General Election May 2015 Forecast Conclusion

My forecast conclusion is for the Conservatives to win 296 seats at the May 7th general election, Labour 2nd on 262 seats, with the full seats per political party breakdown as follows:

Therefore the most probable outcome is for a continuation of the ConDem Coalition government on 326 seats (296+30) where any shortfall would likely find support from the DUP's 8 seats.

The alternative is for a truly messy Lab-Lib SNP supported chaotic government on 327 seats (262+30+35) which in my opinion would be a truly disastrous outcome for Britain, nearly as bad as if Scotland had voted for independence last September.

Another possibility is that should the Conservatives do better than forecast i.e. secure over 300 seats but still fail to win an overall majority, then they may chose to go it alone with the plan to work towards winning a May 2016 general election.

The bottom line is that the opinion polls do not reflect how people will actually vote on May 7th when they are faced with a stark choice of steady as she goes ConDem government or take a huge gamble on Ed Milliband's Labour party. So in my opinion several millions of voters will chose to play it safe with ConDem which thus is the most probable outcome.

Also available a youtube video version of my forecast:

And the most recent iteration in this video analysis:

The bottom line is that in my opinion a continuation of the Coalition government is the most probable outcome which means a combined total of at least 323 seats. Therefore come May 8th virtually all pollsters will have egg on their faces as the mainstream media will have flushed untold millions down the drain on commissioning opinion polls that turned out to be WRONG just as the polls were wrong in the run up to the Scottish referendum that was never a 50/50 proposition which at the time I concluded was mainly so as to allow pollsters to sell opinion polls and the mainstream press to sell copy and so it has been for the 2015 election campaign.

UK Saved From I.S. Threat But Scottish Independence Nightmare is Not Over!

There is another reason as well for why the polls were so close and that is one of SALES, the polling industry SELLING a tight election so that the gullible mainstream press would buy their polling services. Therefore painting a picture of a tight race by manipulating the data will have turned out to be a huge money spinner for the polling agencies.

My article concluded in the most probable forecast for the outcome of the result would be for at least show a 10% gap between NO and YES, and definitely not reflective of the mass hysteria.

Therefore the most probable outcome is inline with the polling ranges of before the YES campaigns intimidation and fear phase began to play a prominent role in the frenzy of campaigning of September that rather than a 50/50 tight race is more probably going to result in at least a 55% NO vote victory, and I would not be surprised if the NO vote even breaks above 60%!

Ensure you are subscribed to my always free newsletter for continuing in-depth analysis and concluding trend forecasts.

Source and Comments: http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article50570.html

By Nadeem Walayat

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Copyright © 2005-2015 Marketoracle.co.uk (Market Oracle Ltd). All rights reserved.

Nadeem Walayat has over 25 years experience of trading derivatives, portfolio management and analysing the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem's forward looking analysis focuses on UK inflation, economy, interest rates and housing market. He is the author of five ebook's in the The Inflation Mega-Trend and Stocks Stealth Bull Market series that can be downloaded for Free.

Housing Markets Forecast 2014-2018The Stocks Stealth Bull Market 2013 and Beyond EbookThe Stocks Stealth Bull Market Update 2011 EbookThe Interest Rate Mega-Trend EbookThe Inflation Mega-trend Ebook

Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication that presents in-depth analysis from over 1000 experienced analysts on a range of views of the probable direction of the financial markets, thus enabling our readers to arrive at an informed opinion on future market direction. http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

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© 2005-2018 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


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