Exit poll springs surprise in UK election

The UK general election exit poll published as voting closes shows the ruling Conservative party doing better than expected, surprising drinkers in a London bar.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM (MAY 7, 2015) (REUTERS) – Londoners voiced their surprise at the exit poll released as voting ended on Thursday (May 7) for a general election that was believed to be the closest race in a generation.

The exit poll showed the Conservatives were just short of a majority despite opinion polls repeatedly showing a neck and neck race that was too close to call in the run up to the vote.

“A little bit surprised, especially given the last few days where the polls have been showing them evens or one percent ahead for Labour so pleasantly surprised. Obviously I would be gutted, gutted right, if Labour get into power,” said Brian Barrignton, a conservative supporter.

Alexander Mavroneon, a labour supporter, said he is hoping the exit polls emerge as significantly undermining Labour.

“The exit polls aren’t always right, look at ’92 and you’ll see that it’s flawed sometimes. But I still think that we’ll have a strong seat for opposition, we’ll always be able to put in our demands, and the Tory party isn’t so right wing that it’s going to ruin the country,” he said.

Another Labour supporter still had hope that Labour could find a way into Downing Street.

“Hopefully we’ll get a government that is progressive and we’ll get a coalition of progressive parties that are actually going to change society further than the same old, same old,” said Anna Mainwaring.

The poll forecast the Conservatives would win 316 of 650 seats in the lower house of parliament and the main opposition Labor Party 239.

If accurate, that would be center-left Labor’s worst result in almost three decades and it faced being wiped out in its former Scottish stronghold.

While politicians from all sides expressed caution, early results from 37 seats also suggested Labor was attracting much lower levels of support than it had expected. Pollsters are not ruling out an overall Conservative majority.