Following previous successes, the exit poll yet again produced a remarkably accurate result. The exit poll was conducted by GfK in partnership with Ipsos MORI, on behalf of the BBC, ITV, and Sky News, and got every party almost exactly right:
In terms of telling the main story – that despite all expectations the Tories were going to fall short of a majority – the exit poll did as well as could realistically be expected, and this was merely the latest in a series of exit poll successes. This was the fourth election in which GfK had worked together with Ipsos MORI to produce the exit poll, and the fourth to be a success.
In 2005 Labour achieved exactly the 66 seat majority predicted by the poll. In 2010 the Tories fell 19 short of an overall majority, again exactly as predicted by the exit poll.
In 2015 the exit poll did slightly less well – predicting the Conservatives would fall short of a majority when in fact they achieved a small one – but it was far more accurate than the opinion polls, which had all predicted Labour as at least the largest party.
At a time when the opinion polls are under great scrutiny, the continuing success of the exit poll is an important proof of the robustness of survey research.
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