Sweating ballots: UK pollsters struggle to call looming election


Sweating ballots: UK pollsters struggle to call looming election

After some notable prediction fails, polling firms are testing new questions, new data and new analysis methods

William James and Kylie MacLellan

British pollsters have a big problem to solve as the country heads towards an election: Brexit has scrambled traditional political allegiances and they say it is harder than ever to know whether voters are telling them the truth.

Polling companies, many of whom underestimated support for Brexit in the 2016 referendum and miscalled an election the previous year, are changing who they ask and how, and trying new ways to get to know voters better than they know themselves.

With the Brexit process still unresolved and financial markets on edge, the stakes are high. But the divisive national debate over whether and how to leave the European Union has complicated the pollsters’ art of finding a few thousand people who reflect the mood of millions of voters...

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