Exit poll may be overestimating Labour’s performance in election, first two results suggest

Voters don't appear to have switched to Labour as much as pollsters had predicted

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Indy Politics

Labour is performing less well than the exit poll had estimated, according to results in the first two seats.

The exit poll has suggested that the Conservatives will be the largest party but that it won't achieve enough seats to form a government. But the Tories might do better than that projection, according to the first two seats.

In the first two seats to call – Newcastle and Sunderland – the Labour was re-elected as MP. But the results were less positive than the poll had suggested – potentially meaning that the Conservatives could score more seats than it predicted.

Labour increased their seats in both seats. But they did so by a smaller amount – in Sunderland, the exit poll had them achieving a swing of 7 per cent, but in fact it was only 2.

The difference in the results may be a consequence of how those behind the poll calculated people would vote based on their ballot in the Brexit referendum.

John Curtice, who worked on the exit poll that has called all recent elections correctly, pointed out the difference between the projected and actual results but did not appear to worry that his projections could be dramatically wrong.

Polling expert Professor John Curtice said the result indicated that Mrs May had failed in her bid to get a greater mandate for Brexit but he could not rule out the possibility that the Tories would still gain a smaller majority

He told BBC News: "It seems to me that unless the exit poll is incredibly wrong then the Prime Minister has failed to achieve her principal objective, which was that she was going to achieve a landslide, or at least a very big majority for her party in the next House of Commons, and thereby provide her with rather more wriggle room over Brexit."

The BBC/Sky/ITV poll suggested the UK was heading for a hung parliament, with Conservatives 12 seats short of the 326 they need for an absolute majority in the Commons.

The poll put Tories on 314 seats, with Labour on 266, the Scottish National Party on 34, Liberal Democrats on 14, Plaid Cymru on three and Greens on one.