Voting expert John Curtice apologises for predicting more damage to Tories

PUBLISHED: 12:38 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:42 13 December 2019

While Curtice says that the polls and predictions made throughout the campaign were broadly accurate, “a lot of the commentary focussed disproportionately on the potential downside risks,” for which he has apologised. Photo: BBC

While Curtice says that the polls and predictions made throughout the campaign were broadly accurate, “a lot of the commentary focussed disproportionately on the potential downside risks,” for which he has apologised. Photo: BBC

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The polling and elections expert John Curtice, largely responsible for the exit poll which predicted a large majority for the Conservatives, has apologised for polling predictions he made during the election campaign.

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While Curtice says that the polls and predictions made throughout the campaign were broadly accurate, "a lot of the commentary focused disproportionately on the potential downside risks," for which he has apologised.

Speaking on the BBC on Friday morning, Curtice said: "What was inevitably true during the election campaign was that we were constantly emphasising the potential damage to the Conservative Party because in a sense we knew that it really didn't matter whether the Conservatives got 350, 360 or 370 votes, that meant that Brexit would happen.

"So apologies for the fact that probably a lot of the commentary focused disproportionately on the potential downside risks.

"Downside risks that in the end were not realised. But that reflected the fact that it was whether or not the downside risks were going to realise, it was going to be crucial to the outcome of the election."

However, the Strathclyde university professor of politics was on the nail with the exit poll, and added that many polls predicting the Tory majority were correct.

"The truth is this is precisely the kind of outcome to which most of the opinion polls were pointing," he said.

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He continued: "The Conservative vote actually fell back on average in the most pro-Remain parts of the country but conversely rose by six points or so as compared with two years ago amongst the most pro-Leave.

"The truth is it was all there, the evidence was there in the polling both in terms of the broad level of support for the party, the lead it had over Labour, and the fact that it was going to be very clearly reflected in people's views about Brexit."

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