‘Unrepresentative’ poll samples in the general election

The failure of pollsters to forecast the outcome of the general election last May was largely due to “unrepresentative” poll samples, an inquiry has found. The polling industry came under fire for predicting a virtual dead heat when the Conservatives ultimately went on to outpoll Labour by 36.9% to 30.4%. A panel of experts has concluded this was due to Tory voters being under-represented in phone and online polls. But it said it was impossible to say whether “late swing” was also a factor. The majority of polls taken during last year’s five-week election campaign suggested that David Cameron’s Conservatives and Ed Miliband’s Labour were neck-and-neck.