Unravelling the complexities of political polling

Richard Colwell looks at how opinion polls can come up with such different findings

2nd October, 2010

With three polls in the past week all telling somewhat different stories, the public may be forgiven for asking how they could each give such different results.

Polls can tell different stories because of a variety of factors, such as the method with which they are undertaken, the accuracy of their sampling, the way their questions are asked, the order the questions are asked and who they include in the final sample.

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