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Remember that standard GE2017 polls are for GB only and exclude Northern Ireland

May 19th, 2017

Your cut out and keep guide

With 20 days to go it is time for my regular general election reminder to punters betting on vote shares. The standard voting intention surveys that we see are, unless stated otherwise, for Great Britain only and exclude Northern Ireland. This is because politics in the province operates with a very different party structure and generally GB based parties do not compete.

So the key numbers with which to compare new polls and to use for reference are the GB ones although there’s a strong tendency, as we saw in the Times yesterday, to make the UK figures the comparison point.

On election night we generally see the overall UK vote shares and it is only some time later that the GB figures are finally computed. It is the latter, of course, against which the pollsters’ final surveys will be judged.

It should be noted that in a few Northern Ireland constituencies the Tories have put up candidates which should boost their UK voting share but not their GB one.

A striking feature of the table above is the 14.9% share that the Scottish Conservatives achieved just two years ago. The latest Scottish polling from YouGov has that at 29% so almost double.

Mike Smithson