General Election 2015 Blog

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As the election is over, we will no longer be publishing new posts on this site. Please visit our sister blog, the LSE’s British Politics and Policy Blog, for expert analysis of recent developments across UK government, politics and policy.

Thanks for reading, and see you in 2020!

Party leader satisfaction ratings and election outcomes

In this post, Ruth Dixon argues that, in future elections, measures of party leader satisfaction are worth looking at in more detail, as standard voting intention polls led many forecasters astray in 2015.

As the plot below makes clear, satisfaction with party leaders of the two main parties would have predicted the outcome of the last nine UK general elections, […]

If not polls, then betting markets?

In this post, Chris Hanretty, Ben Lauderdale and Nick Vivyan investigate the predictive performance of the betting markets relative to their electionforecast.co.uk forecasting model. 

The failure of the opinion polls to accurately estimate national vote share has led some to suggest (here, here) that we should instead look to betting markets as a way of eliciting information about election outcomes.

National betting markets […]

The new “skew” of the electoral system in 2015

Historically, the electoral system has tended to help Labour in the way it translates votes into seats. In 2015, the skew changed, giving a significant advantage to the Conservatives, argues Tom Lubbock. 

A week before the election I wrote an article on this blog setting out how the electoral system was set to benefit each of three parties based on the forecast results […]

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    Why the pre-election polls get it so wrong: Is it time to take probability sampling seriously?

Why the pre-election polls get it so wrong: Is it time to take probability sampling seriously?

Many of the lessons from the polling debacle of 1992 have been learned, but it may be time to address the underlying causes of the error rather than just treating the symptoms, writes Oliver Heath.
The last time the pre-election polls got it this wrong was 1992 – when the polls predicted a slight lead for Labour only for the Tories […]

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    Did Britain’s right-wing newspapers win the election for the Tories?

Did Britain’s right-wing newspapers win the election for the Tories?

In the 2015 election campaign, almost all newspapers were extremely pro-Conservative and rabidly anti-Labour. Bart Cammaerts writes that if almost all media are so enthusiastically choosing the same ideological side, this will inevitably have a profound impact on public opinion which is dangerous for democracy.
The day after the unexpected defeat of the Labour leader Neil Kinnock in the 1992 election, […]

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    The ‘shy’ English nationalists who won it for the Tories and flummoxed the pollsters

The ‘shy’ English nationalists who won it for the Tories and flummoxed the pollsters

Most newspapers concluded that the Tories mainly won over Lib Dem and Labour waverers to score a surprising majority in the general election. However, as Eric Kaufmann shows here, it was really the English nationalist penumbra around UKIP, rather than Lib Dem or Labour switchers, that explains the great polling calamity. 

Like most who watched the election, I was stunned by the […]

Can the Union survive the election?

Not only could federalism work for Britain, it may be the only constitutional system which can now hold the country together. The real obstacle is that such a solution does not appear to be in the political interests of either of the two solitudes which ‘won’ the election, writes Stephen Tierney.

Thursday’s election leaves the Anglo-Scottish Union on the brink. A combination […]