Can We Trust The Opinion Polls?

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0120160117

Last year's general election should have been an easy result to predict. There was a constant stream of opinion polls, many more than in previous campaigns. But they turned out to be highly misleading, suggesting a hung parliament. The actual result was a huge shock to the polling industry. So went wrong with the polls, and why? And how easy will it be to put it right?

In the first part of a series examining the role of opinion polling in British politics, David Cowling looks at the track record of polls in previous elections. He explores why their results matter and whether there were warning signs that should have indicated they were going wrong before last year's general election.

Producer: Martin Rosenbaum.

0220160124

Last year's general election should have been an easy result to predict. There was a constant stream of opinion polls, many more than in previous campaigns. But they turned out to be highly misleading, suggesting a hung parliament. The actual result was a huge shock to the polling industry.

In the second part of a series examining the role of opinion polling in British politics, David Cowling why the opinion polls got the last election result so badly wrong. He considers the analysis produced by the industry's inquiry into what went askew, and asks how easily if at all it can be put right in the future.

Producer: Martin Rosenbaum.

03 LAST20160131

Last year's general election should have been an easy result to predict. There was a constant stream of opinion polls, many more than in previous campaigns. But they turned out to be highly misleading, suggesting a hung parliament. The actual result was a huge shock to the polling industry. So went wrong with the polls, and why? And how easy will it be to put it right?

In the final part of a series examining the role of opinion polling in British politics, David Cowling asks if polling will be more reliable in future and if the industry can restore its reputation in the wake of its errors at the last general election.

Producer: Martin Rosenbaum.