In the run-up to the general election, the results of opinion polls will be given a lot of prominence. But how do the polls work and how valuable are they? What is an opinion poll?Opinion polls provide a snapshot of people's views on a particular issue. They are widely used when elections are approaching.People can be asked which party they would vote for, which issues most concern them, or for their views on party leaders.Opinion polls can be useful to see how different parties are doing, but they may not reflect the make-up of the next Parliament.The UK's first-past-the-post voting system means that the local candidate in each constituency who receives the most votes becomes an MP. And the party with the most winning candidates nationally normally forms a government. So, a party that is predicted to have 10% more of the vote than its main rival, for example, will not always end up with 10% more MPs.How accurate are the results?They are not perfect, but the average of errors on polls … [Read more...] about General election 2019: What is an opinion poll?
Liberians head to the polls in historic delayed election
Once again the polls, taken as a whole, were not a good guide to the election result. Over the course of the campaign the gap between the main two parties narrowed but, with one exception, the final polls all suggested a clearer Conservative lead than the actual outcome.Having said that, it wasn't an unmitigated disaster. Every poll throughout the campaign put the Conservatives ahead - and that was indeed the result. The final polls were fairly accurate about the Conservative and Lib Dem shares. It was Labour where they were uniformly wrong. They also overestimated UKIP and the SNP. Final polls Con % Lab % LD % UKIP % Green % SNP % Con lead% Survation 41 40 8 2 2 4 1 Kantar Public 43 38 7 4 2 4 5 YouGov 42 35 10 5 2 7 Opinium 43 36 8 5 2 5 7 Ipsos Mori 44 36 7 4 2 5 8 Panelbase 44 36 7 5 2 4 8 ComRes 44 34 9 5 2 4 10 ICM 46 34 7 5 2 5 12 BMG 46 33 8 5 3 4 13 Average 43.7 35.8 7.9 4.4 2.1 4.4 7.9 Actual result (GB) 43.5 41.0 7.6 1.9 1.7 3.1 2.5 Survation were … [Read more...] about How wrong was the election polling?
Following the outcome of the 2015 general election, a mixture of anger and contempt was showered on the pollsters who had spent six weeks suggesting a different result. I understand those feelings, but I do not share them. Prior to working in the media I was employed in three polling companies and therefore have some sympathy with their plight. The purpose of this piece is not to beat them up even more, but to set out what evidence I have gathered and offer some personal views about some of the explanations that have surfaced in the immediate aftermath of the election. A serious investigation is about to begin, which will have the advantage of viewing the mass of data generated by 92 campaign polls. Like you, I await the findings with anticipation.Under-achievement On the day we awoke to a new majority Conservative government, the British Polling Council, supported by the Market Research Society, issued a statement. It said: "The final opinion polls before the election were clearly not … [Read more...] about Election 2015: How the opinion polls got it wrong
The opposition leftist Vetevendosje (Self- determination) party looked set to come first in Kosovo's parliamentary poll, but it will have to negotiate a coalition to form a government. Preliminary results showed it had won 26% of votes with 82% of ballots counted, while another opposition party — the centre-right Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) — won 25% of votes. Supporters celebrated in Pristina on Sunday evening. The early election happened after Prime Minister Ramush Harra-din-aj resigned ahead of questioning in the Hague by an investigation into war crimes in Serbia two decades ago. The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) was third with 21% while a list headed by the outgoing prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj, got 11.5% of votes. It signals a new era for politics in the Balkan nation, whose leadership was previously dominated by figureheads from the country's late-1990s ethnic conflict and war of independence. Kosovo became independent from Serbia in 2008. Key issues for … [Read more...] about Opposition parties overturn Kosovo politics with election victory
Kosovars will cast their ballots on Sunday, October 6, to pick a new parliament in snap elections. Rampant corruption, widespread unemployment and sour relations with neighbouring Serbia are themes dominating the poll — and must be addressed if the country is to make progress toward EU membership. The election was triggered when Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj resigned after a war crimes court in The Hague summoned him for questioning as a suspect. It concerned his role in the 1998-99 insurgency against Serb forces. Here's what you need to know about the elections. Kosovo and Serbia: still at odds Predominantly Albanian Kosovo declared its independence in February 2008, when Serbia rejected the declaration as illegal but Europe's major powers and the United States recognised the move. Where do things stand 20 years since the former Yugoslav territories were at the centre of one of Europe's most violent conflicts? In short, Serbia considers Kosovo part of its territory but Kosovo … [Read more...] about Kosovo: What you need to know about the country’s snap elections