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The mathematics does not lie: why polling got the Australian election wrong

6 166 0
20.05.2019

Everyone in my office grew sick last week of my continual complaints about the state of the political polls. Not because of any insights into the results they were predicting, but because they were all saying the same thing with a collective similarity that violates the fundamentals of mathematics.

Since the election was called, there were 16 polls that published two-party preferred results ahead of Saturday’s vote. Every single one of them predicted the LNP winning 48% or 49% of the two-party preferred vote, with Labor winning 51% or 52%.

These polls were central to the public’s perception of this election, with everyone, including the media, ignoring the polls’ underlying uncertainties. These uncertainties typically far out-weighed most of the conclusions drawn from the poll results.

In 2019 it’s hard to get a poll right. No longer is there an easy way to phone a random sample of people at home using the White Pages. Those people who are contacted are less likely to agree to........

© The Guardian