While Brits who wanted to see the EU bugger off celebrate this morning, pollsters in the You-Kay need to huddle and try to figure out why it is they got the outcome wrong. Again. Adios Brussels won by three points. Some polls yesterday had Remain winning by as much as six points. Pollsters also blew the parliamentary general election in May and the Scotland leave/stay vote.
It’s not just in Britain that pollsters have been wrong. The last Knesset vote in Israel and several American primary votes this year saw pollsters wide of the mark (see California).
Could it be that in our complex contemporary world getting a representative sample of the universe to be measured, and getting folks in this sample to respond to pollsters, is not as easy as it once was? My usual response when I get a call of an evening and learn that, “This is Acme Opinion Polls and we would like to know…,” my usual response is, “It is my opinion that people who call other people that they don’t know at dinner time and try to pester them with questions should be hanged.” Click.