Election Forecasting


This event will introduce and explain a wide variety of different election forecasting methods for UK general elections, including aggregate opinion poll modelling, multi-level regression and post-stratification (MRP), citizen forecasts, betting markets, elite surveys and combined forecasts. The historical track record of the different methods are reviewed, including accuracy of opinion poll methodology. 

The afternoon is scheduled in the immediate run up to the 2024 local elections. Projections for local council seat gains and losses will be reviewed, along with methods for forecasting a general election from local election results. Depending on the timing of the next general election, the session will either review the forecasts for the upcoming general election or analyse the performance of the forecasts if the election has already happened.

As well as pre-election forecasts, the day will cover exit poll methodology and seat prediction from early constituency results.

There are no pre-requisites for this event except a broad familiarity with the basic ideas of random sampling, statistical significance and regression. The ideas and methodology will be presented as much as possible in a way that would be accessible to a general reader interested in elections, but there may be a few simple equations presented. Methods will be explained and discussed on a conceptual level. Some of the practical issues with implementation will be discussed, but not detailed computer coding. Note: this is not a hands-on practical workshop.

Please note: this event will close to enrolments at 23:59 BST on 17 April 2024.

Programme details

Forecasting methods

Tea/coffee break

Evaluating election forecasts

End of event


Description Costs
Course Fee - in-person attendance (includes tea/coffee) £65.00
Course Fee - virtual attendance £55.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit or are a full-time student in the UK you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Prof Stephen Fisher

Stephen Fisher, is Professor of Political Sociology at Trinity College, University of Oxford. He has worked as part of the BBC election-night prediction and analysis team for general and local since 1997.  He has published various academic and media articles on election forecasting, and additional discussion of forecasting on his blog at ElectionsEtc.com.


Please use the 'Book' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form. 


Accommodation is not included in the price, but if you wish to stay with us the night before the course, then please contact our Residential Centre.

Accommodation in Rewley House - all bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.  Please contact our Residential Centre on +44 (0) 1865 270362 or email res-ctr@conted.ox.ac.uk for details of availability and discounted prices.

IT requirements

For those joining us online

We will be using Zoom for the livestreaming of this event. If you’re attending online, you’ll be able to see and hear the speakers, and to submit questions via the Zoom interface. Joining instructions will be sent out prior to the start date. We recommend that you join the session at least 10-15 minutes prior to the start time – just as you might arrive a bit early at our lecture theatre for an in-person event.

Please note that this course will not be recorded.