Voting day is finally here, and across the UK people are making their mark on ballot papers to express their preference for the next government.
As we vote, we are contributing towards valuable data collection, which presents a snapshot of the UK population on the 7th of May 2015.
The first indicator of how we may have voted is the exit poll. Research companies Ipsos MORI and GFK NOP interview voters in key constituencies after they have voted. They do this on behalf of the BBC, ITV and Sky News broadcasters. It is against the law to forecast or reveal how voters may have voted until after the polls close at 10 pm. However, as soon as the polls close, the data are analysed and used to provide content for the broadcasters while they wait for the count results to come in through the night.
The House of Commons Library, which provides impartial information for MPs, produces material on UK elections, such as the UK Election Statistics 1918-2012 and Elections: Sources of Statistics (2015).
The Office for National Statistics, the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics, has published data on all types of UK elections, from local to national and European elections.
The European Commission monitors public opinion throughout the European member states in the Eurobarometer publication. Special Eurobarometer Report “Europeans in 2014” contains UK public opinion statistics regarding trust in the Parliament, Government and in the European Union.
If you would like assistance obtaining official statistics on the election (or any other subject), please visit the Maps, Official Publications and Statistics Unit on Level 7 of the library. We’re open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, or we can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org