ExIStA Seminar July 2015

This joint ExIStA and RSS South West Local Group seminar was held on Thursday 2nd July 2015 between 2 and 3pm at the University of Exeter, Building:One Bateman Lecture Theatre in the Business School (number 84 on the campus map).

Our invited speaker was John Curtice, Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde and President of the British Polling Council. John is a regular media commentator on both British and Scottish politics and has been involved in coverage of elections since 1979. Many of you will have seen John on the BBC on election night covering the exit and opinion polls.

John gave a talk on: The Performance of the Polls in the 2015 Election

The 2015 election looks as though it will join the 1970 and 1992 contests as elections when the polls were perceived to have got it ‘wrong’. Although on average the polls were no more than a percentage point adrift in their estimates of support for the smaller parties, they suggested that Labour and the Conservatives were in a dead heat when, in practice, the Conservatives proved to be nearly seven points ahead. Only when the results of the BBC/ITV/Sky exit poll were released did the first intimation come that in fact the Conservatives were well ahead.

In this talk Prof. Curtice described how the polls were conducted and assessed some of the possible reasons why they overestimated Labour and underestimated Conservative support.

Please note that John gave this talk in a personal capacity, and not in his role as President of the British Polling Council.

If you have any questions about this event, please contact us at events@exista.org.