Can Nick Sparrow make Populus the top pollster?

Can Nick Sparrow make Populus the top pollster?

Will we see more innovation?

The big news in the world of polling is that the founder of ICM and occasional PB guest slot-writer, Nick Sparrow, is joining Populus as a special adviser. He will provide guidance on issues including business growth and methodological innovation.

Nick launched ICM in 1989 and was at the helm when it was sold to Creston in 2006. He left the firm in 2009 and since then there’s been a lot of speculation over what he would do.

Nick built his reputation as an innovator after the great polling disaster of 1992 when almost all the industry failed to predict that John Major’s Tories would come home with a seven point vote margin in the general election.

Nick was the pollster who created past vote weighting to ensure politically balanced samples as well as the spiral of silence adjustment. He was also a pioneer in constructing some of the best polling questions in the business.

He has been a vocal critic of YouGov – particularly the firm’s system of newspaper weightings.


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