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Introduction
What are Parties for
How Parties have Adapted to Change - Cadre Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Mass Membership Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Catch-All Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Cartel Party
Describing Party Systems
Theories of Party Systems -The Frozen Party System
Theories of Party Systems - The Downs Model
Theories of Party Systems - Satori
The New Party System
How do voters decide who to vote for
How do voters decide who to vote for - The Michigan Studies
How do voters decide who to vote for - Social Class
How do voters decide who to vote for - Partisan Dealignment
Issue Voting
Single Member Constituencies
Electoral Bias
Electoral Geography of Great Britain
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Conservatives
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Labour
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Liberals
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Plaid Cymru
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - SNP
Electoral Geography in Great Britain - UKIP
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Green Party
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Respect
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - BNP
General Election Campaign - Choosing the Date
General Election Campaign
General Election Campaign - The Media
General Election Campaigns - Three types of Media
General Election Campaigns - Opinion Polls
General Election Campaigns - turn-out
Why did people vote the way they did - Social Class
Why did people vote the way they did - Housing Tenure
Why did people vote the way they did - Age
Why did people vote the way they did - Gender
Why did people vote the way they did - Ethnicity
The result and government formation
Introduction
What are Parties for
How Parties have Adapted to Change - Cadre Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Mass Membership Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Catch-All Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Cartel Party
Describing Party Systems
Theories of Party Systems -The Frozen Party System
Theories of Party Systems - The Downs Model
Theories of Party Systems - Satori
The New Party System
How do voters decide who to vote for
How do voters decide who to vote for - The Michigan Studies
How do voters decide who to vote for - Social Class
How do voters decide who to vote for - Partisan Dealignment
Issue Voting
Single Member Constituencies
Electoral Bias
Electoral Geography of Great Britain
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Conservatives
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Labour
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Liberals
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Plaid Cymru
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - SNP
Electoral Geography in Great Britain - UKIP
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Green Party
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Respect
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - BNP
General Election Campaign - Choosing the Date
General Election Campaign
General Election Campaign - The Media
General Election Campaigns - Three types of Media
General Election Campaigns - Opinion Polls
General Election Campaigns - turn-out
Why did people vote the way they did - Social Class
Why did people vote the way they did - Housing Tenure
Why did people vote the way they did - Age
Why did people vote the way they did - Gender
Why did people vote the way they did - Ethnicity
The result and government formation
parties and voting banner

University 18 Yrs + | Parties and Voting

The use of Opinion Polls in UK Elections

The opinion polls generally provide a good picture of voting intention but in 1970, 1992 and with the Liberal Democrat vote in 2010 most did not get it right. This was further exemplified in the 2015 General Election, UK Referendum on membership of the European Union (although there was less data to match against) and overseas the election of Donald Trump as U.S President.

The overall pattern is important as any one poll can deviate because of sampling error and papers, who buy a stream of polls, may just pick the one that gives the story that they want, but even the overall pattern is hardly exactly right. The polling industry has exploded in the last few years with Sky News ticker-tape showing at least 5 different polls at any one time. The predictions for the 2015 General Election were particularly damming and led to some heads of polling companies being brought before a Parliamentary Select Committee. In 2015 the Conservatives won an overall majority to form a government by themselves. The polling companies for weeks had suggested that this would not happen, it was too close to call and the likely scenario was another coalition. Indeed the Conservative Party during the campaign capitalised on the fear of the Labour Party going into coalition with the Scottish Nationalist Party. There can be no doubt that when some people went to vote these polling figures were influencing their choice. Even at their basic form people may be influenced to vote for the under-dog (very British) or not feel the need to turn ouot to vote after a long day at work because it looks like their favourite has victory secured. The extent to which polls will be taken seriously in 2020 is in doubt.

In addition, variation in swing between constituencies can be considerable. ukpollingreport.co.uk is very good on the latest polls and the problems of interpreting them and has an historic archive of national polls back to 1970.

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