Germany’s election – where did the polls go wrong?

Germany’s election – where did the polls go wrong?

    What will be the eventual shape of the new parliament in Berlin?

Today’s results from the German General Election have completely blown apart what the opinion polls were predicting.

The final surveys had the CDU/CSU on 41.5-42% with the SPD on 32.5-33% and the FDP at 7.5-8%. Yet from the results that have been coming in all evening it looks as though the CDU/CSU will finish up on 35.4%; the SPD on 34.2% and the FDP on 10%.

  • So for every seven CDU/CSU voters that the final polls predicted the party has only got six.
  • For every three votes that the pollsters said the FDP would get they have in fact got four
  • These are mega-margins and are a good lesson to all who bet or try to predict elections not to rely too much on polls. They can go horribly wrong.

      For the German pollsters today is a disaster on the scale of the 1992 UK General Election when the pollsters had it neck and neck but John Major’s Tories came in 8% ahead in the popular vote.

    Now the big interest is on how the parties will line up in a coalition to run the country.

    Mike Smithson

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