Election Seminar Papers

Election Countdown - A BPC event

A British Polling Council Event for Early Careers Researchers

22 November 2023, 2-5pm

London School of Economics,

The Marshall Building, Room 1.1o

London WC2A 2ES

The British Polling Council is delighted to be holding its first-ever event for Early Careers researchers working in market and social research.

With the next election fast approaching, the event will focus on the latest developments in UK opinion polling, as we consider what may be in store over the next 12 months.

Our presenters include some of our industry’s emerging stars, alongside seasoned polling professionals.

The programme is designed with a particular emphasis on those early in their polling and research careers, but is open to anyone interested in understanding and using opinion polls – whether in market research, academia, journalism, politics or indeed as a member of the general public. All are welcome!

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Professor Sir John Curtice, President of the British Polling Council
  • Kieran Pedley (Ipsos)
  • Calum Weir (Opinium)
  • Cameron Garrett (Ipsos)
  • James Blagden (Onward)
  • Owen Winter (Stack Data Strategy)
  • Anna Ayers (ORB)

Chaired by Professor Jane Green (University of Oxford)

The BPC would like to thank Professor Patrick Sturgis and the Department of Methodology at LSE for their kind support with this event.

Download the Slides (6.6Mb pdf)

The Next General Election

It is now nearly three years since Boris Johnson won an 80-seat majority at the 2019 General Election. The intervening period has seen Britain leave the European Union, undergo the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and, just a few weeks ago, replace its Prime Minister.

With the next election now closer than the last, the British Polling Council  held a special seminar on 2nd November to explore the latest developments in opinion polling.

The programme was designed for anyone interested in understanding and using opinion polls: market researchers, academics, journalists, party organisations – and of course the public at large.

Our agenda topics:

  • Lessons from the 2019 General Election
  • The new companies on the British polling scene
  • Developments in MRP polling
  • New analysis strategies
  • Panel discussion on The State of Polling Today

Our speakers included:

  • Professor Sir John Curtice, President of the British Polling Council
  • Simon Atkinson (Ipsos)
  • Adam Drummond (Opinium)
  • Chris Holbrook (Find Out Now) 
  • Erik Larsen and Matt Goodwin, People Polling 
  • Professor Ben Lauderdale (University College London)  
  • Martin Baxter (Electoral Calculus) 
  • Patrick English (YouGov)
  • Professor Paula Surridge (University of Bristol)
  • Professor Patrick Sturgis (London School of Economics)
  • Dr Mark Pack, President of the Liberal Democrats and author of Polling Unpacked

The event was chaired by Jane Frost CBE, Chief Executive of the Market Research Society

Download the presentations from the day (ppt). Benjamin Lauderdale’s paper is available here (pdf).

Election 2019: The Brexit Campaign?

The 2019 General Election

The British Polling Council, the Loughborough University Centre for Research in Communication & Culture and the British Polling Council brought together expert representatives from leading media, polling and party organisations at a one-day conference on 31st January 2020. Held at the Loughborough University campus in London, the objective of the event was to provide some immediate retrospective analysis of the December 2019 General Election.

The conference, Election 2019: The Brexit Campaign, is the latest in a series of political communications events, of which one has been held after every UK General Election since 1979. This year’s conference convened eyewitness accounts of the 2019 General Election campaign from four different angles: coverage, broadcasting, parties, and voters.

Please visit The 2019 General Election: a retrospective for a review of the event, including a summary of the presentations.

In December 2021, the British Polling Council, Loughborough University and Ipsos MORI hosted a launch event for Political Communication in BritainCampaigning, Media and Polling in the 2019 General Election. This volume includes chapters from many of the speakers at the conference referred to above. BPC President, Professor Sir John Curtice, was a keynote speaker at the event.

The 2017 General Election

The British Polling Council, Political Studies Association and National Centre for Research Methods convened an open seminar during the run-up to the general election titled: Can we trust the 2017 election polls? This was held on 26th May 2017 at the British Academy.

Access the presentations at: Can we trust the 2017 election polls?

The 2016 EU Referendum

The National Centre for Research Methods, BPC and Market Research Society ran an open seminar on the performance of the opinion polls at the referendum. This event, Opinion Polling in the EU Referendum: Challenges and Lessons, was held at the Royal Statistical Society on 8 December 2016.

Access the presentation at: Opinion Polling in the EU Referendum: Challenges and Lessons

The 2015 General Election

In the wake of the opinion polls’ performance in the 2015 General Election, the British Polling Council and the Market Research Society appointed Independent Inquiry under the Chairmanship of Prof. Patrick Sturgis to investigate why the inaccuracy arose and to make recommendations about how polls should be conducted and published in future.

The BPC’s Press Release can be found in: press releases.

The Inquiry’s report is at: Report of the Inquiry into the 2015 British general election opinion polls (pdf).

The 2010 General Election

The National Centre for Research Methods and the British Polling Council ran two seminars to cover the 2010 UK General Election.

The pre-election seminar was held on 20 January 2010. For more details, see: Taking the Electoral Pulse: Three Approaches to the Methodology of Election Polling

The post-election conference was held on 22 November 2010. For more details, see: The polls in 2010: learning the lessons

The 2005 General Election

The British Polling Council held a post-election seminar in June, to review the performance of the polls and to reflect on the lessons that could be learned from the 2005 election for polling in the future. Papers were presented to the seminar on different aspects of election polling by BPC members. These are listed below and most of them can be viewed by clicking on the relevant title.