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  1. ITV Report

Times the election polls got it wrong

Theresa May's failure to gain a majority has defied poll predictions. Credit: PA

The stunning General Election result is yet another example of a political result defying the vast majority of polling predictions.

The Conservatives saw Theresa May's unprecedented 20-point advantage in the polls plummet on the disastrous campaign trail.

However nearly all final polls anticipated a clear Tory victory before the shock exit result indicated Britain was heading for a hung parliament.

Here are the other times polls have got it wrong:

  • Brexit (EU Referendum), June 2016
The majority of pollsters thought the Remain vote would win in the EU referendum Credit: PA

Numerous pollsters wrongly predicted that the UK would vote Remain ahead of last year's Brexit vote, with reportedly only 55 of the more than 150 polls carried out predicting the Leave campaigners would win.

Former YouGov president Peter Kellner predicted Remain would win by 8.5% the day before the vote, meaning he had a "embarrassing" wake up call when it became clear as votes were counted that it looked like Leave had won.

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Kellner was not alone in his incorrect prediction though.

A poll carried out by Ipsos Mori for the Evening Standard also tipped Remain would lead, by four points, and at one point pollsters Populus even put the Remain vote ahead by 10 points.

  • UK General Election 2015
Pollsters had predicted a hung parliament in 2015 but the Tories defied the polls to take office Credit: Matt Dunham/PA

In the run up to the 2015 election most polling companies had Labour and the Conservatives within one or two percentage points of each other and predicted a hung parliament.

However, on election day the final count showed the Conservatives took 37.8% of the vote and Labour 31.2% - giving the Tories a much more comfortable margin of 6.6 percentage points - with David Cameron's party securing an unexpected parliamentary majority.

Various explanations for the discrepancy between the predicted votes and the actual outcome have been put forward in the years since the vote, including suggestions that perhaps pollsters just asked too many Labour supporters.

  • UK General Election 1992
John Major’s 1992 election win came as a big surprise after polls forecast a Labour win Credit: Jim James/ PA

Public opinion polls carried out before the 1992 General Election predicted Labour was ahead of the Conservatives by around 1.5% on average - meaning when the Tories eventually claimed 7.6% more votes than its main opposition it came as a huge shock.

Some experts called the failure of the polls to get it right as a "statistical disaster", while others put it down to the responses of "shy Tories" who had been wary about admitting their voting intentions.

The end election result saw John Major’s Conservatives win more votes than any party in British history.

  • US Presidential Election 2016
Donald Trump won the US election despite polls predicting a Clinton win Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci,

Polls suggested that Hillary Clinton was leading by around 5% in the 24 hours ahead of last year's vote, which saw Donald Trump elected US president.

According to an Ipsos forecast published the day before American's cast their votes, Mrs Clinton was leading 44% to 39% among likely voters and was said to have as high as a 90% chance of winning the election.

Yet it was Mr Trump who won the votes to enter the White House.

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