Friday, July 17, 2015

So why were the UK polls so wrong?

The polls for the May 2015 election had Labour and the Conservatives neck and neck. I was interviewed by Australia's ABC News 24 the day after the election. I had spent a long night at our local election count with my friend and MP Phil Wilson (who I'm delighted to say increased his vote share) -- Wilson succeeded Tony Blair as MP for Sedgefield. Many theories were sprung to explain the unbelievable.

But my view was - and remains - that Labour supporters were not sufficiently motivated to vote for our side. The Tories did much better than expected because their side was more motivated to turn out at the polls. The last few days of negative polling stoking worries about a Labour-SNP coalition that both Labour and SNP firmly rejected worked to get Tory voters in the election booth while ours stayed home. Or at least that's what I said on live television -- and also what I said in my column for The Journal (which is the UK's regional newspaper of the year). This is now confirmed by new research from the British Election Study.

Told you so first . . .

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