Driven by data; ridden with liberty.
In the United States, polling aggregation and forecasting have major websites, including Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight and Real Clear Politics. This article aims to highlight similar websites in UK politics.
Before we proceed, ask yourself: do you need to see a list of polls or a forecast?
What vote share some party has received in a recent sample of Great British adults should not be determining who you intend to vote for. It is a secondary matter to that of public policy and who you wish to be your elected representative for the next parliament.
Polling — recognising that there is an inherent possibility of sampling error — is not necessary for you to make that democratic decision. Forecasting adds another layer of uncertainty (since data and history has to be modelled over 650 constituencies), and again, should not be a determinant in your vote.
For Westminster voting intention polls, there are a number of websites who collate this information, from the various active polling companies in the British Polling Council.
This website is run by YouGov’s Anthony Wells, who publishes the headline figures for individual polls, normally directing to the survey computer tables, as well as analysing some of the secondary questions.
At the time of writing, this was the latest poll on UK Polling Report:
This is a volunteer website, run by Ben Walker and friends. Whilst rarely linking to the poll data tables, there is an impressive summary and graph of latest polling. There is also a rather pretty polling average graph.
It is just an user-geneated encyclopedia, but Wikipedia does have the following: the latest polling vote shares, sample size statements, fieldwork dates, links to the data tables and a summary graph.
Be a little cautious, as I have noticed some errors.
Websites created by NatCen Social Research also aggregate polls on particular topics.
What UK Thinks EU looks at all polling by British Polling Council members at questions relating to the UK’s EU membership and exit from the EU.
What Scotland Thinks compiles public opinion polling of Scottish adults on matters of Scottish independence and unionism.
A number of these websites have Twitter and Facebook versions, so you can follow and receive the latest polls, including Number Cruncher Politics.
In the UK, it is not just vote share that determines how well political parties do in general elections. It is of prime importance how many seats they win in the House of Commons.
There are modelling exercises that take historical relationships, responses from panel studies, as well as current opinion polling, and produce estimates of seat numbers in the upcoming House of Commons.
Run by Martin Baxter, Electoral Calculus provides estimates relating to vote shares, seat counts and estimates for each constituency. Probabilities are then assigned to each outcome.
This website is run by Dr Chris Hanretty, and provides a central estimate for the latest prediction, as well as 90% confidence intervals for the House forecast and for vote shares in individual seats.