UK History and Visits

Custom Search

Welcome

Weather for this week:

London, Birmingham, Edinburgh

Historical Motorway Stops

Prime Ministers

Politics

Military

Exploration And Empire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share 

 

Houses of Parliament 

Opinion polls did not foresee the result of the general election. What is the history of this form of fortune telling? See below...

 

Welcome to InfoBritain, for historical visiting information in the UK. InfoBritain tells you what happened and where it happened. We have articles and visits relating to all historical periods from prehistoric Britain to recent times, and to the lives of major British authors, artists, musicians, scientists, politicians, military and royal figures. You can use our site search, or our various menus to find suggested visits relating to times or people. Alternatively go to the regions menu, find a place to visit in a particular area, and then link back to the history relating to it. We also have a full accommodation booking service for all parts of the mainland UK. We specialise in historic accommodation, but we also have comprehensive lists of hotels of all types and price ranges. See the regional menus on the right. Enjoy!

An alphabetical index is available below.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y

A Personal Note (Archive)

May 10, 2015

So the election is done, and one of the most remarkable things about it was the way no one realised what would happen until the last moment. All the polls except the exit poll indicated a virtual dead heat between Labour and the Conservatives.

Polling in its earliest days was very simple. The first known opinion poll was organised by the Harrisburg Pennsylvanian in 1824 amongst its readers. Local opinion happened to reflect the national mood, and the Pennsylvanian correctly predicted that Andrew Jackson would defeat John Qunicy Adams in 1824s presidential race. In 1916, as a publicity exercise the Literary Digest mailed out millions of post cards to its readers asking what they would do in the presidential election that year. In this way the Digest correctly called the victory of Woodrow Wilson, and continued this success with correct predictions for Warren Harding in 1920, Calvin Coolidge in 1924, Herbert Hoover in 1928 and Franklin Roosevelt in 1932. Until this point the readership of the Digest seemed to reflect national opinion. But then in 1936 things went badly wrong, when a built-in Republican bias amongst the Literary Digest's relatively prosperous readership led to an incorrect prediction that Alf Landon would beat Roosevelt. After this, the Literary Digest went out of business and polling became more sophisticated. Today polling gives very detailed attention to bias, but even now it is not always easy to find a small group of people which typifies the opinion of everyone.

Best wishes

Martin

The InfoBritain view of history (with thanks to The Simpsons)

 

Historical news for May

2015 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Winston Churchill. His former home of Chartwell, now a National Trust property, is marking the event with a special exhibition. The exhibition displays personal items and documents which have rarerly been seen in public before. The exhibition runs 25th April - 25th July 2015.

An exhibition of salted paper prints, one of the earliest forms of photography, is currently being staged at the Tate Britain. Dating back to 1839, the fragility of these prints means very few survive, making this a rare opportunity to experience some of the world's earliest photography. The event runs 25th February - 27th June 2015. For more details go to http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/salt-and-silver-early-photography-1840

Meanwhile in Bradford, at the National Media Museum, the world's oldest photographic society, the Royal Photographic Society will be displaying 200 of its most historic images. The exhibition begins on 20th March, and runs until 21st June 2015. For more information go to http://www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/planavisit/exhibitions/drawn-by-light/about

 

 

 

Anniversaries for May

5th May 1980: The SAS storm the Iranian Embassy in London, where a group of six men wanting independence for the Khuzestan Province of Iran, are holding hostages.

9th May 1958: Alfred Hitchcock's film Vertigo has its world premiere in San Francisco. It was the first film to use a technique known as the "dolly zoom" which creates a sense of disorientation.

15th May 1940: Richard and Maurice McDonald open a restuarant, called McDonalds, in San Bernadino, California. They built their fast food service on principles established by the White Castle hamburger chain, in the 1920s.

18th May 1980: Mount St Helens erupts in Washington State. Lakes near the volcano were party covered with felled trees for thirty years after the disaster.

21st May 1932: Amelia Earhart lands in a field in Derry, Northern Ireland, and becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.

22nd May 1807: The Devonshire village of Chudleigh is destroyed by fire. During the 1980s J.K. Rowling studied French at university at Exeter, and referenced Chudleigh in the Harry Potter books she went on to write. The Chudley Canons are one of thirteen quidditch teams to play in the British league.

26th May 1897: Bram Stoker's novel Dracula is published by Archibald Constable and Company.

Enter the InfoBritain Shop via the Royal Opera Arcade, the first shopping arcade built in Britain. Here you will find a range of products and services we've put along side the information offered on InfoBritain.

Click on the image to enter the shop.

Please be aware

We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our information, but it is always advisable to check details of any visit beforehand using contact details provided. If you spot a mistake please let us know by contacting us.

Almost all photography on InfoBritain is by InfoBritain or by named contributors. All educational use is permitted, but copyright is reserved for commercial uses. Occasionally we have used copyright free stock images which are available for any use. A note will identify these images.

Thank you to photo contributors Danielle Davis, Jean Edwards, Vicky Eagle of Portsmouth Dockyard, Kevin Edwards, Derick Fusco, Julian Jones, Richard Jones, Jackie Lewis, Debbie Lowless, Judy Mills of the Corinium Museum, Jane Barron of the World Rugby Museum, and Susan Stuart of Old Spitalfields Market.

Privacy Policy

Your privacy is important to us, and we will never store or pass on personal details without your express permission. All personal details related to purchases on InfoBritain affiliate sites, or to hotel bookings, are held by the affiliate companies. InfoBritain holds no personal details.

We use software provided by Statcounter.com to track the use people make of our website, information we use to enhance the website. We do not track computer use in any way that identifies individual computer users. Statcounter has an optional cookie which can be used to identify repeat visitors. We have disabled that cookie, so that Statcounter does not leave any cookie on a computer used by a visitor to our site.

We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to know more about this practice, and to understand your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.

 

 

About Us |Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2011 InfoBritain