Old Faithful – Can we trust polling in the UK? | Nessa of Two Evils

I was off gallivanting around for some holidays in recent weeks, resulting in the radio silence here. Nevertheless politics has still been on my mind – most significantly on my holidays actually, as the day I left for sunnier pastures, PM Theresa May called a General Election for June 8th. As a note, as always I am ineligible to vote (it would be great if YouGov gave me an option to express that in their polling instead of making me look apathetic or like a protester).

The break also means I am somewhat behind in my podcast library. A few mornings ago, one particular episode of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast stuck with me, from April 19th (oh boy. A month ago). In the last segment they open to questions from the floor, with a noticeably British woman asking about the state of polling in the UK.

I attended university under the tutelage of the UK’s answer to Nate Silver and his FiveThirtyEight team, Chris Hanretty, and as such my interest in the answer to this question was picqued. As such, please find below my favourite tweets and links from tweets (the most up-to-date and accessible outputs by my former lecturer if you’re out of academia, as far as I can tell) on the state of polling in the UK, and his capable assessments thereof, from the last week.

Ain't Nobody Got Time For That
Do I really need to scrape beyond that?

Sunday 14th May: Boost and bumps in polling. The man only goes ahead and contemplates the question of how much today’s polls tell us about election day polls. It features Lost references, which is always a plus. It however also strongly relies on logs, and exponential algebraic maths was among my least favourite maths. Not following maths hinders understanding of statistical analysis, sadly.

Monday 15th May: It’s worth looking at the preceding thread tweet, and the pre-tweet to that (the opposite of a quoted tweet), to look at Labour’s potential lot in the election.

Monday 15th May: A thread explaining better phrasing around elections to make things simpler both in words and maths. I’m always a fan of that.

Monday 15th May: The appreciation of amusing pick-up lines is on fire.

Tuesday 16th May: Hanretty points out a nifty tool for those who are eligible to vote in two places (obviously only vote in one)!

Tuesday 16th May: Always time to promote his own subject of study, and I can’t fault him for it. Studying Politics at UEA is an excellent choice if I do say so myself.

Tuesday 16th May: It’s important to point out self-bias, so let’s not forget social desirability bias, as Hanretty so helpfully reminds us.

Tuesday 16th May: Throwback to his article in The Times (£) which includes the point that voters are static in their perception for parties, even when they read manifestos that don’t match with their perception of said parties – a point admittedly under contention, but important to consider.

Tuesday 16th May: Last one for Tuesday, a reply GIF from The Breakfast Club.

Wednesday 17th May: An intermittent assessment of the constituency of my alma mater

Thursday 18th May: How to conduct voter outreach to young people; and finally

Thursday 18th May: A comparison of latest polling forecasts to the previous iteration.

Any further questions? I can’t say for certain, but I’d say that based on my previous experience with him, Chris Hanretty is open to them, so get on Twitter and be polite!

(Photo credit goes to secretlondon123)


Let me know what YOU think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: