Can we still trust the opinion polls ? An MRS speaker evening write up

Speaking – Simon Atkinson from IPSOS

Groundhog Day? Haven’t we been talking about this forever? Certainly feels like it sometimes.

Historically elections are cut and dried: We can expect Continuity or ‘throw the bums out’. However recently, we’ve faced several disruptive elections and referendums and faced many many challenges to our methods, results, reporting. Some of these we have stood up and faced and others we need to work on.

A key message for me was the challenge of weighing data or leaving it well alone. In some cases, had we left the data alone and not weighed for voter turnout we would have been closer to the real results.

One issue is the young people voting for the first time; for whom we often have no prior behaviour on which to predict future action. I’m not sure there’s an answer for this yet…

Cracking questions from the audience before we wrap up for drinks. I think we could probably talk about this all night! The story isn’t over by a long shot; roll on 2022?

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Philipp Kemser

About Rosie Ayoub

Rosie is the Managing Director at Norstat UK. Feel free to drop her a line at

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