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Two weeks from election day – how much could the polls change?

Recent history suggests a lot could happen in the next fortnight

Ballot boxes are carried to a polling station (Jane Barlow/PA)
Ballot boxes are carried to a polling station (Jane Barlow/PA)

By Ian Jones, PA

Exactly two weeks from today, millions of people across the country will be voting in the General Election.

Opinion polls continue to suggest the Conservative Party enjoys a comfortable lead over Labour.

The latest poll averages put the Tories on 43%, with Labour on 31%, the Liberal Democrats 14%, the Brexit Party 4% and the Greens 3%.

(PA graphic)

What are the chances of the polls shifting decisively between now and election day?

At this point in the 2017 election campaign, the polls showed the Conservatives on 44%, with Labour on 35%, the Lib Dems on 9%, Ukip on 4% and the Greens on 2%.

But on election day, the Tories finished on 43% – one point below where they had been two weeks earlier – while Labour had risen six points to 41%.

The Lib Dems dropped one point to 8%, while both Ukip and the Greens finished on 2%.

The change was enough to deny the Tories a majority and produce a hung parliament.

(PA graphic)

There was movement in 2015 as well, albeit on a smaller scale and with different consequences.

Two weeks before polling day in 2015, both the Tories and Labour were averaging 34% with Ukip on 14%, the Lib Dems 8% and the Greens 5%.

These figures pointed to a hung parliament – but come election day, the Tories opened up a seven-point lead over Labour to finish on 38% while Labour ended on 31%.

Ukip, the Lib Dems and Green finished on 13%, 8% and 4% respectively.

This was enough to give the Conservatives a small overall majority in parliament.

(PA graphic)

The pattern in 2015 and 2017 suggests a lot can change in the two weeks before polling day.

It also serves as a reminder that polls are not predictions, merely snapshots of opinion at a certain point in time.



From Belfast Telegraph