What time will the exit poll come out tonight and how accurate will it be?


TONIGHT’s exit poll will give an indication of who will win the 2019 General Election, after Brits cast their vote at the polling station today.

And with politics more volatile than ever, tonights exit poll will be very closely watched by voters and party insiders up and down the country.

But what time will the exit poll come out tonight and how accurate will it be?


Boris Johnson speaks at his final election rally

What time will the exit poll come out tonight?

Like prior general elections, just after 10pm, the main broadcasters will announce the findings of this years exit poll.

Find out what time the winner will be announced here.

What is an exit poll and how does it work?

An exit poll is a survey of a small proportion of voters across the UK.

The exit poll will estimate how many seats will be won by each party.

The exit poll is based on 144 constituencies in England, Scotland and Wales.

The constituencies are chosen to be demographically representative of the country.

They are balanced between urban and rural seats.

They are also weighted slightly in favour of marginal seats.

The same constituencies are surveyed from one election to the next so it’s consistent.

Exit pollsters are based at a selective poling station in a chosen constituency.

Some voters emerging from the polling stations are asked – every 10th voter, for example – by people employed by polling specialists Ipsos Mori to fill in a replica ballot paper without anyone watching.

They then put the replica ballot paper into a box and it’s opened later.

The exit poll is primarily used to calculate turnout and electoral swing – the extent of change in voter support compared to the previous election.

The results are then analysed by a team of experts at a location in London.

Data can’t be released before the polls have closed.

Boris Johnson was the first party leader to cast a vote with his dog today

Are they accurate?

Due to only a small sample of voters filling out the replica ballot papers, those doing so are likely to be younger, so this may skewer results.

Also, voters head to the polls at different times so a single exit poll may not give a true reflection of the overall outlook of the national vote.

However, pollsters tend to return to the same polling stations at the same times at each election.

And by comparing these results it is possible to work out how voting has changed in that particular constituency.

Have there been any issues with exit polls in the past?

A famous example of an election poll error happened in 1992.

Two exit polls predicted a hung parliament – but the actual vote revealed the Tory government under John Major held their position.

Investigations later revealed a number of causes that led to the miscalculation – including the shy Tory factor and inadequate demographic data.