Can we trust the 2017 election polls?

The 2015 General Election was the most significant polling error in the UK since the annus horribilis of the industry in 1992. The collective failure of the 2015 polls prompted the British Polling Council and Market Research Society to launch an Inquiry into its underlying causes (Sturgis et al, 2016)*. Allied with other recent high-profile polling misses, including the EU Referendum, public confidence in the accuracy of the polls is at a historically low ebb. This half-day symposium considers how the polling industry has responded to the recommendations of the Polling Inquiry, assesses the current state of the polling evidence, and evaluates the likelihood of a second successive general election polling miss occurring on 8 June.

The event is organised jointly by the National Centre for Research Methods, the Political Studies Association and the British Polling Council. 

Chair: Sharon Witherspoon, Academy of Social Science


09.30-10.00 Registration

10.00-10.05 Welcome and Introduction (Chair)

10.05-10.30 What went wrong in 2015? - Patrick Sturgis, University of Southampton

10.30-11.00 British Polling Council - John Curtice, University of Strathclyde

11.00-11.30 Political context of the 2017 election: voter flows and turnout - Jane Green, University of Manchester

11.30-11.45 Tea/Coffee

11.45-12.15 Assessment of the current state of the opinion polls - Will Jennings, University of Southampton

12.15-12.35 YouGov’s approach to polling the 2017 election - Joe Twyman, YouGov

12.35-12.55 ICM’s approach to polling the 2017 election - Martin Boon, ICM

12.55-13.00 Concluding remarks (Chair)

13.00 Close

Register for your free place here.


* Sturgis et al, 2016 - full report available at