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At least one of the final polls, surely, will have got GE2017 right?

June 8th, 2017

No one can accuse the pollsters of herding this time

With just one firm still to publish, Ipsos-MORI for the Standard, the above Wikipedia list looks like the almost final polling table of 2017.

The variation between the firms is simply amazing and unprecedented in any previous general election. One thing is for certain some reputations will be made tonight and some will be trashed.

In many ways I admire the bravery of those pollsters who have not felt the need to follow the main pattern. ICM’s Martin Boon has remained very strong in his defence of his methodology as has Damian Lyons Lowe of Survation – the major firms at opposite ends of the divide.

Reputations are set to be made or broken as the results come in and I admire the strength of character of those not prepared to follow the trend.

This is a sharp contrast with two years ago when Survation refrained from publishing what would have been the most accurate poll of the campaign. They did this for fear that they were so out of line. As it was they had got it almost completely right.

At the other end of the scale is ICM which over the decades had built up a reputation as the gold standard of polling. That was when they were a telephone pollster. Their GE2017 surveys have all been online.

Survation has used both online and phone methodologies at this election producing pretty similar figures.

Given the outcome of the election, a continuation of TMay’s CON government in some form, appears not to be in doubt for election geeks GE2017 is an intriguing battle of what is the best way of surveying political opinion.

Well done to ICM and Survation. You might both be wrong and the answer lies somewhere in the middle but you were both brave enough to stick by your guns.

Mike Smithson