The Challenges of Polling
The final results of the Brexit vote was 51.9% to leave and 48% to stay (17,410,742 against 16,141,214) Turnout was 72.2% which is higher than they normally get for an election. This election meant a great deal to many people.
The polls were off on this election, they expected the result to be to stay in the EU. This article goes into some detail about why the polls were so far off.
Jo Cox a 41 year old Member of Parliament and mother of 2 was shot and stabbed in her home town Yorkshire, Northern England. This murder added an emotional dimension to the vote that was missing before her death.
The emotions of those who believed as she did that the UK should get out of the EU had a significant impact on the election. It provided urgency to the turn out. The same thing is happening now with our election. Trump’s supporters have that sense of urgency and impending doom that will push them to the polls.
Hillary’s supports plan on holding their nose as the vote for her. She brings nothing exciting or new to the table.
Young people were another big reason that the Brexit polls were so far off. The Remain vote relied on younger voters to support it, but they didn’t turn out in the numbers expected. That threw the polls off.
Cell phones are not part of the polling strategy, you can’t send a programed phone call to a cell phone number and that impacts the quality of the polls, many people only have cell phones and can’t be counted on a land line.
The sudden murder of Jo Cox added a dimension that was never anticipated by the pollsters. The media piling on Trump and propping up Hillary is a similar event. It’s pushing Trump supporters to get out and vote for him and its turning some of Hillary’s supporters away.
I think the biggest reason the polls aren’t measuring the mood of the electorate right is the enthusiasm. Hillary is an unlikeable candidate and Trump appeals to so many different groups that they can’t gauge how to build a realistic poll to measure
According to SurveyMonkey’s Chief Research Officer, Jon Cohen, young voter turnout and the death of Lawmaker Jo Cox are the likely largest factors in the discrepancy between polls and the final outcome.
“The Remain campaign was heavily dependent on support among younger voters and they simply didn’t show up,” Cohen told CNBC.
The murder of Cox in the days leading up to the vote, triggered new challenges in polling, even though it was difficult to determine how the tragedy would influence polling.
“After the assassination, the Remain side became more vocal and were willing to share their opinions about Brexit than were leave voters,” Cohen said. “It was a very difficult environment to gauge an opinion in.”
Here’s why the majority of Brexit polls were wrong
Uptin Saiidi | @uptin
Monday, 4 Jul 2016 | 12:39 AM ET