By Kathy Frankovic
It’s not often that pre-election polls go horribly awry. If anything, pre-election polling has improved over time. In retrospect, the furor over polling in the 2015 UK election and the 2016 US race has dissipated, and many agree there wasn’t all that much wrong in the polling. The analysis and reporting may have been a different story.
Perhaps not as much as you think
By Kathy Frankovic
ESOMAR and WAPOR (the World Association for Public Opinion Research) launched the sixth study last year to examine the limitations on the publications of election polls near election day. The first study was in 1984. Which countries set limits on the public’s right to know, and which do not?
Excellent Exit Polls – very revealing pre-election polls
By Richard Hilmer
In the run-up to the German election there was a vivid debate about how reliable polls would be. The background of this discussion, of course, was the impression the German public had that the polls in the British Brexit decision and the American presidential election had been altogether incorrect and misled the public. The main reproach was that polls underestimated populistic in the British and US population.
How research and insight markets itself as an industry and how it markets its products – insights – to clients have been a hot topic of conversation in recent years, but how does this look going forward?
In the final feedback from our panel we see two consistent themes – a better outward facing image and a more engaging approach to client management – appear, whilst reminding us that ‘methods’ may be terminology of yesteryear.
by Kathy Frankovic, former director of surveys at CBS News and a member of ESOMAR’s Professional Standards Committee
Election polling is the most visible part of market, opinion and social research. It carries the heavy burden for getting things right, but its previous successes have also brought high and perhaps unearned expectations for its accuracy. This year, and the U.S. presidential election in particular, provides a good example of what happens when people forget the limitations of polls, that sampling and non-response may matter, and that ascribing too much precision to polling estimates in times of change can make pundits and journalists look as silly as the pollsters they berate.