Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Do you trust the Polls

The BBC has an interesting post-mortem item on the polls and why they (the pollsters) got it wrong.

So I wonder:

In all seriousness, I can understand parties wanting to do internal polling to help them:

  • decide on allocation of resources
  • monitor reception of certain key messages
  • (possibly) tune their message (but don’t let the polls decide your message!)

However outside of that, do we the public need the polls? Can they help us in any useful way? I think we have a tendency to want to be seen to be voting for the “winners” – it makes us feel more comfortable and less alienated, so polls can illegitimately amplify slight changes.

Without the polls, would the media be forced to actually examine issues?


If you run your browser with scripts disabled – you need to enable scripts from Polldaddy to see the poll embedded inthis post.

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