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European elections: the polling data has been good but the analysis has been terrible

This campaign has been plagued by wilful misrepresentation of the numbers. So what is the true picture?

By Peter Kellner  

What are his chances this week? Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/PA Images

It is tempting, but not quite true, to say that there are lies, damned lies and opinion polls. Polls, like other statistics, are often vital if we are to understand what is going on. But when they are twisted, then danger lurks.

With this week’s elections to the European Parliament, and the wider divisions in Britain over Brexit, high quality data and rigorous analysis are especially vital. The weekend polls provided examples of both good data and terrible…

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