From polls to votes to seats: Forecasting the 2010 British general election

Stephen D. Fisher, Robert Ford, Will Jennings, Mark Pickup, Christopher Wlezien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper outlines and discusses techniques for three stages in forecasting parliamentary seats from British opinion polls: adjusting and aggregating published vote-intention figures from across different polls; forecasting how public opinion might change before election day; and predicting the seat totals from the forecasted election-day vote shares. Specifically, we consider a state-space model for opinion polls which correct for house effects and other sources of survey error, the estimation of the historical relationship between polls and the election-day share of the vote, and a probabilistic approach to predicting the winner in each constituency. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-257
Number of pages7
JournalElectoral Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • British elections
  • Forecasting elections
  • House effects
  • Opinion polls
  • State-space model


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