Annoying article about polling error


The Royal Statistical Society has published a ‘report card‘ detailing various problems with various polling methods.

Actually, that’s all the article really does – points out all the problems with different survey methodologies, and suggests folks should keep all these in mind when interpreting results.

NEWS FLASH: The potential sources of error for any methodology are endless. All survey methodologies have advantages and disadvantages. I could write pages and pages on error sources within each of the methodologies they mention.

The article might give a reader the impression it’s actually possible to carry out a ‘perfect’ survey. It’s not possible. It has never been possible since the dawn of population surveys. The data are flawed!

As I’ve said numerous times on this blog, the pollster’s job is not to carry out the perfect survey. It’s their job to understand why they can’t.



2 thoughts on “Annoying article about polling error

  1. Eh. If you ignore the title, which probably wasn’t the writers’ fault, and remember that Significance is directed at the public, I think it’s not a bad summary of the strengths and weaknesses of the main UK pollsters.

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