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Monday, 26 April 2010

It's all Polls to me

Rather brief post from me today. I opened the curtains and sensed a very big day on the horizon, and I have not been proved wrong.

Favourite snippet from the radio today can on Radio 4 and the mighty John Humphries (although I notice he is not so hot and muck-spreading and is giving up his Welsh farm). During an item on the validity and accuracy of polls, I was surprised to hear the MD of a polling company telling us how good they are, and the neutral Polling Correspondent from the BBC taking a more balanced line. It turns out that they can kind of work out the margin of error based on wizzo maths. They can also prove that, in general, and in a normal year, the polls are accurate to within one percentage point or so. Except in an exceptional year. Which may well be the type of year we are having now.

Anyhow, they were discussing whether polls influenced voters, and mentioned that in some countries they ban polls in the final run up to an election. "Are people influenced by polls?" asked John. "In a recent poll, 56% of people said they were not influenced by polls." answered the MD. I often say, to hilarity all round, that I do not believe in astrology because us Librans are very sceptical.

I was also introduced, or more likely brought up to speed, with a new phrase "Cleggxtasy" as in ectasy for Clegg. Or something. Whatever next. Or maybe just wotevah.

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