School of Politics and International Relations

Boris Johnson: Row over poll predicting landslide election win for Tory leadership hopeful

13 June 2019

A new poll, conducted by ComRes for the Daily Telegraph, said Boris Johnson was the only leadership contender who could offer victory for the Tories in a general election, translating to a majority of 140 seats. However several experts cast doubt on the interpretation of the figures, with one saying it was "bonkers" to project national opinion polls onto constituency results during such political uncertainty. Philip Cowley, Professor of Politics of Queen Mary University of London, said voters are "terrible at predicting their own future behaviour at the best of times", let alone during the Brexit chaos. He added: "Projecting from national opinion polls to constituency results is always tricky. When the vote is splitting all over the place as here, it is just bonkers."

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Professor Cowley also published an article on the conservative leadership contest for Prospect Magazine