ELECTION 2017: How to get the most out of opinion polls without being led up the garden path
After the polling miss at the 2015 general election, many politicians and journalists loudly declared they would never trust polls again. Two years later, opinion polls have regularly been leading the election news. First they foresaw a Conservative landslide, including a resurgence in Scotland, and more recently they’ve pointed to a shock Labour fightback.
Election pollsters put their methods to the test – and turnout is the key
Trust in election forecasting is probably as low as it has been since 1948, when political polling suffered possibly its worst ever humiliation. In that year’s US presidential election, the 8-1 underdog Harry Truman defied all predictions to defeat his Republican challenger, Thomas Dewey. “Dewey Defeats Truman” screamed the now-infamous newspaper headline printed before the actual votes were counted.