The first by-election opinion poll got it right, whilst pundits got it wrong

The Fulham West by-election 1938 was won for Labour by Edith Summerskill, taking the seat from the Conservatives by 52%-48% in the face of widespread predictions by pundits that the Tories would hold on. Why mention this? Because the contest also saw the first by-election opinion poll in Britain, and it called the result correctly:

Extract from Opinion Polls by Nick Moon
From Opinion Polls: History, Theory and Practice by Nick Moon

Later, in 1945, Pathe produced this short film about her political career which was one of the most high profile in British politics at the time:

Get email notifications

Sign up here if you would like an email notification when there’s a new story about political polling on one of a carefully curated range of high quality sites (no more than one email a day and usually much less frequent):

  • If you submit this form, your data will be used in line with the privacy policy here to update you on the topic(s) selected. This may including using this data to contact you via a variety of digital channels.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

There is one comment

Share your views

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments and data you submit with them will be handled in line with the privacy and moderation policies.