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Want better polling? Give the electoral commission more powers

The British Polling Council should also be strengthened

By David Lipsey  

Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire/PA Images

How would our politics be without opinion polls? Well, pretty certainly pretty different. I go back with polls a long time (having been polls adviser to the Labour Prime Minister Jim Callaghan) and can remember both the struggle to establish them as accurate data and then the pluses and pitfalls of their existence.

The struggle first: the left of the Labour Party did not like opinion polls because they tended to show their shibboleths—nationalisation, nuclear disarmament—were not popular. The right liked them because they…

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