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School of Social Sciences

SoSS's Jane Green commended in ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize

23 June 2017

SoSS researcher Professor Jane Green has been commended in the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Celebrating Impact Prize, in the Outstanding Impact in Society category.

Professor Jane Green

Research by Professor Green and her colleagues at the British Election Study on the shock result of the 2015 General Election led to more accurate polling methods that have been adopted by many leading pollsters. 

The ESRC praised Professor Green and her colleagues - Professor Edward Fieldhouse and Dr Chris Prosser (also from The University of Manchester), Professor Geoffrey Evans and Dr Jon Mellon (University of Oxford), and Professor Colin Rallings (Plymouth University) - for the impact of their research, which included:

  • providing new weighting procedures to ensure more accurate future polls
  • underpinning the findings of the independent inquiry into the 2015 British general election opinion polls, co-written by Professor Green, and commissioned by the British Polling Council and the Market Research Society
  • providing recommendations to improve polling accuracy, causing leading polling experts to change their methodology - major polling organisations ICM and TNS adopted the advised method (using turnout weighting methods), and YouGov also increased efforts to recruit non-voting respondents
  • a major 'vote validation' exercise, in partnership with the Electoral Commission, providing a benchmark of the voting population for scholars and non-academic data users
  • increasing understanding of the 2015 'polling miss' through presentations to industry and academic conferences, as well as the media
  • gaining extensive coverage across TV, radio, newspapers, blogs and social media, and being recognised as the first to forecast the Leave vote during ITN's referendum broadcast
  • contributing the only external analysts to Labour's official internal review of their 2015 election defeat, presented to Margaret Beckett MP and Labour's Chief Executive, Iain McNichol.

The ESRC's Celebrating Impact Prize is an annual opportunity to recognise and reward the successes of ESRC-funded researchers who have achieved, or are currently achieving, outstanding economic or societal impacts. The prize celebrates outstanding ESRC research and success in collaborative working, partnerships, engagement and knowledge exchange activities that have led to significant impact. 

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