Why Were the UK Election Polls So Wrong? A Statistical Mystery

Why Were the UK Election Polls So Wrong? A Statistical Mystery

by Amos Zeeberg

“But this framing misleads by putting the emphasis in the wrong place. It’s more enlightening to say that the uncertainty in the measurement of the electorate’s opinion was too great to make any confident call about the outcome. A pithier wording would be, “We just don’t know.” Saying the race is “too close to call” gives the impression that polling is very precise and the race was extremely close; the truth of the matter is that polling is pretty inexact, and for all we knew, the race could have yielded anything from a clear win for the Conservatives to a big win for Labour. Polling firms do mention their margins of error, but the significance of that uncertainty often gets forgotten in the eager surge to provide a tidy, confident answer.”

From Nautilus

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