1997 ITN/MORI General Election Exit Poll

MORI interviewed a total of 15,761 voters as they left polling stations on 1 May 1997. Interviews were conducted at one polling station in each of 100 Conservative-held marginal constituencies (those where the Conservative notional lead in 1992, using the Rallings & Thrasher figures to compensate for boundary changes, was less than 20% of the votes cast). Respondents were selected at random using a fixed interval, and asked to fill in a (secret) ballot paper to indicate how they had just voted. Refusals (15% of those approached) were replaced with similar voters outside the fixed interval. The exit poll was conducted for ITN, and the data available at 10 p.m. (based on those who had voted by 9.15) was used as the basis of their broadcast seats projection.

   Exit Poll Projection  Result
   Seats Seats
Labour 410 419
Conservative 180 165
Liberal Democrat 43 46
Other (GB) 8 10

Results were telephoned back through the day and the data were processed by MORI On-Line Telephone Surveys. The poll measured the average change in the vote for each of the three main parties, and the cumulative results through the day at each phone-in cut-off time are shown below. (The poll was not intended to make any national measurement of the vote, only to allow predictions in the 100 constituencies that had been chosen as most useful in projecting the number of seats, so comparisons are made with the outcome in the constituencies polled rather than with the national result.)

  Number of inter- views Cum- ulative turnout % of final vote Con Lab LD
      % % %
1992 result (in the 100 seats polled) 46.6 31.5 20.2
Votes up to 10 a.m. 1,991 13% 18% 33.7 42.6 19.5
-12.9 +11.1 -0.7
Votes up to 12 noon 4,246 27% 37% 35.0 41.9 19.1
-11.6 +10.4 -1.1
Votes up to 3 p.m. 6,445 30% 41% 34.1 42.5 19.2
-12.5 +11.0 -1.0
Votes up to 5 p.m. 7,984 38% 52% 34.0 42.4 19.2
-12.6 +10.9 -1.0
Votes up to 7 p.m. 10,768 50% 68% 33.5 43.0 19.1
-13.1 +11.5 -1.1
Votes up to 8.15 p.m. 13,716 63% 86% 33.6 42.8 19.3
-13.0 +11.3 -0.9
Votes up to 9.15 p.m. 14,888 69% 95% 33.8 42.5 19.4
-12.8 +10.9 -0.8
Votes up to 10 p.m. (close of poll) 15,761 73% 100% 33.7 42.2 19.6
-12.9 +10.7 -0.6
Actual result 1997 (in the 100 seats polled) 34.6 42.1 18.7
-12.0 +10.6 -1.5

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