Hello! I’m Mark Pack, author of 101 Ways To Win An Election, and the maintainer of the largest database of national voting intention polls in the UK, stretching back to 1943.
Although most attention understandably and rightly is on other things, the polling companies are now up and running again in this Parliament with semi-regular voting intention polls.
Below the table, you’ll find the option to sign up to email updates about new polls and also a set of answers to frequently asked questions about political polling.
General election voting intention polls
– indicates that party didn’t feature in the polling questions separate from ‘Others’ or that the data is not yet available.
nc = no change from previous comparable poll. na = not applicable, i.e. there isn’t a previous comparable poll.
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Frequently Asked Questions
- Margins of error
- What are the longer-term trends?
- What about the SNP and Plaid?
- What about Northern Ireland?
- Has the choice of parties biased the poll?
- Aren’t polls just wildly inaccurate these days?
- Are the opinion pollsters regulated?
- How come I don’t know anyone who has been polled?
Margins of error
A rough idea of the likely margin of error in any one opinion poll is to think that it’s pretty likely to be within 3 percentage points of the correct result. Anthony Wells explains here in more detail what this margin of error calculation means, and why it does not strictly apply to modern polls. Based on the historic record of polls, the British Polling Council requires its members to use this explanation of the margin of error:
All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error. On the basis of the historical record of the polls at recent general elections, there is a 9 in 10 chance that the true value of a party’s support lies within 4 points of the estimates provided by this poll, and a 2 in 3 chance that they lie within 2 points.
What are the longer-term trends?
When looking through the polling figures, remember the much ignored but still very relevant warning about individual polls.
To put the voting intention numbers above into longer context, take a look at PollBase, my database of general election voting intention figures from opinion polls going back to 1945. It is updated quarterly.
What about the SNP and Plaid?
Separate figures are not given for the SNP and Plaid because the relative size of Scotland and Wales means that the percentage vote share for each of the across Great Britain is too low for variations to mean much. (For example, at the 2017 general election, the SNP scored 3% of the total vote across Great Britain. A fall to 2% would be a move that is well within the margin of errors on polls yet also, if accurate, would be a massive hammering in the constituencies it contests.)
What about Northern Ireland?
These polls are for Great Britain, i.e. excluding Northern Ireland but including both Scotland and Wales, except for Survation, who include Northern Ireland. General election voting intention polls conducted over a smaller area, such as London only, are excluded.
Has the choice of parties biased the poll?
A plausible-sounding critique of voting intention opinion polls is over the choice of parties to ask about. These polls list some parties up front and then give an ‘other’ option, behind which sits other, much smaller parties. Labour, for example, will be in the first category but the Women’s Equality Party in the second. Which often leads people to complain that a poll is biased against party X because it is listed in the other section rather than in the main party listing. That sounds plausible, but the evidence is that this doesn’t unfairly depress the support for other parties.
Aren’t polls just wildly inaccurate these days?
Not so: the evidence is that they are still pretty good – and haven’t got worse. Here’s the data that does that myth-busting.
Are the opinion pollsters regulated?
Yes, by the Market Research Society and also by the British Polling Council, which all the reputable political polling firms are members of. The BPC’s rules include requiring pollsters to publish in full the exact questions asked for their polls, protecting against leading questions being secretly asked.
How come I don’t know anyone who has been polled?
You do now.
How can I find out more about understanding polls?
There’s a whole chapter on the subject in my book, Bad News.