The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Polls and the vote in Britain

Polls and the vote in Britain
Polls and the vote in Britain
Little is known about the evolution of electoral sentiment over British election cycles. How does party support converge on the eventual election outcome? Do preferences evolve in a patterned and understandable way? What role does the official election campaign period play? In this article, we begin to address these issues. We outline an empirical analysis relating poll results over the course of the election cycle and the final vote for the three main political parties. Then we examine the relationship relying on vote intention polls for the seventeen British general elections between 1950 and 2010. Predictably, polls become increasingly informative about the vote over the election cycle. More surprisingly, early polls contain substantial information about the final outcome, much more than we see in presidential and congressional elections in the US. The final outcome in Britain comes into focus over the long campaign and is to a large extent in place well before the official election campaign begins. The findings are understandable, we think, but raise other questions, which we begin to consider in a concluding section.
0032-3217
129-154
Wlezien, Christopher
e5c172ce-90fc-4bb3-989f-f11e4acb7e53
Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Fisher, Stephen
4cc1195b-b2d3-44e9-a7fa-7fbb1dbb348f
Ford, Robert
f2f320f9-15df-4a16-ab41-505f831a5ed1
Pickup, Mark
9f23d950-f879-448e-b7a6-4b7f55ebe999
Wlezien, Christopher
e5c172ce-90fc-4bb3-989f-f11e4acb7e53
Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Fisher, Stephen
4cc1195b-b2d3-44e9-a7fa-7fbb1dbb348f
Ford, Robert
f2f320f9-15df-4a16-ab41-505f831a5ed1
Pickup, Mark
9f23d950-f879-448e-b7a6-4b7f55ebe999

Wlezien, Christopher, Jennings, Will, Fisher, Stephen, Ford, Robert and Pickup, Mark (2013) Polls and the vote in Britain. Political Studies, 61 (S1), 129-154. (doi:10.1111/1467-9248.12008).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Little is known about the evolution of electoral sentiment over British election cycles. How does party support converge on the eventual election outcome? Do preferences evolve in a patterned and understandable way? What role does the official election campaign period play? In this article, we begin to address these issues. We outline an empirical analysis relating poll results over the course of the election cycle and the final vote for the three main political parties. Then we examine the relationship relying on vote intention polls for the seventeen British general elections between 1950 and 2010. Predictably, polls become increasingly informative about the vote over the election cycle. More surprisingly, early polls contain substantial information about the final outcome, much more than we see in presidential and congressional elections in the US. The final outcome in Britain comes into focus over the long campaign and is to a large extent in place well before the official election campaign begins. The findings are understandable, we think, but raise other questions, which we begin to consider in a concluding section.

Text
Wlezien et al Pol Studies Post Print.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only
Request a copy

More information

Published date: 18 March 2013
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 343613
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/343613
ISSN: 0032-3217
PURE UUID: c579033b-8f50-43cc-897f-91eb59801ade
ORCID for Will Jennings: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9007-8896

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Oct 2012 11:10
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 03:39

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Christopher Wlezien
Author: Will Jennings ORCID iD
Author: Stephen Fisher
Author: Robert Ford
Author: Mark Pickup

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×