Friday, May 8, 2015

Tories Win; Pollsters Lose

In a stunning and unexpected result, the UK Conservative Party swept to a parliamentary victory in Thursday’s national election.

The UK polling industry, which included participation from the U.S.’s most famous election polling guru, Nate Silver, was misleadingly off in their final prediction of the overall vote, but especially wrong in their translation of the data into parliamentary seats.

One poll that mostly got it right was the exit poll that showed a Conservative near majority (326 seats) in the making and started the beer flowing in Tory pubs. (It appeared the Washington Post was getting some of the election flavor at the Blue Boar, “a swanky restaurant near the Conservative headquarters.” – Washington Post, May 8, 2015).

There will be a lot of political casualties. Ed Miliband resigned as Labour leader, Nick Clegg is out as head of the liberal Democrats (the current governing partner) and Nigel Farage of UKIP lost his seat and resigned as party leader.

Pollsters will also be on the defensive and, no doubt, start an inquiry.

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