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Are we suffering from polling overload?

August 15th, 2014

Are we getting too many polls?

I know that might be a churlish thing for us polling addicts to say but the below graph shows the comparison of the number of Westminster VI polls conducted by BPC pollsters, in July 2009 and July 2014.

We’ve gone from eight polls in July 2009, to forty-four in July 2014, even if we remove the YouGov daily tracker, the number of non You-Gov polls has increased from five to twenty in the same period.

These figures do not include the various marginal/seat specific polls we get, or the Scottish Independence referendum polls.

Some days, we’re getting the same number of polls, that we would only get at the business end of a general election campaign.

So what’s the downside of all this polling?

I suspect, because there’s a newer poll out very quickly, and we move on to that before we’ve given the previous poll the care and attention that it deserves. Parties and their supporters don’t like one poll (an outlier), there’ll be one along shortly that will be more favourable.

Politics, is often about momentum, for example the last two Guardian/ICM polls would have dominated PB and the wider political narrative for a few days or longer five years ago,  in 2014 within a few hours, there was a newer poll, and we moved on from the Guardian/ICM poll.

PBer Gin1138 named it #MegaPollingMonday the two occasions last month we had four Westminster VI opinion polls on a Monday.¬†Tomorrow night is a perfect example of what I’m talking about, I’m anticipating three Westminster Voting Intention polls, and at least two Indyref polls, so people will pick and choose the poll the suits them the best.

Polling maybe the epitome of less being more.

TSE