It’s fair to say that pollsters won’t be looking back on 2016 with any fondness. Wrong on Brexit and spectacularly wrong on Trump, the polling industry has taken such a dent to its reputation that it will likely take a long time before it’s fully trusted again.
But just why did the pollsters get it so wrong when, in the past, they have got it so right ? It’s a complex question to answer but let me try to explain… Firstly, for many reasons, it’s really hard to get a representative sample. The decline in use of landlines and the fact that people would seemingly rather take a poll about the colour of Donald Trump’s hair than a legitimate poll are just two contributing factors.
Author: Michael Upchurch