Magazine
Latest Issue

Should you believe the polls?

The Conservative lead is greater than any polling miss in history

By Chris Hanretty  

Prime Minister Theresa May walks during a campaign stop in Mevagissey, Cornwall ©DYLAN MARTINEZ/WPA Rota/Press Association Images

After the 2015 general election and the 2016 European Union referendum, many people are sceptical of opinion polls.

That scepticism is warranted. In 2015, the polls got the gap between Labour and the Conservatives wrong by six and a half percentage points. Last year, an average of referendum polls put Remain two points ahead when it finished two points behind.

Neither polling miss can be explained away by invoking the “margin of…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect