One of the stories of the general election was how wrong all of the polls were during the run in. The day of the election itself had both the Tories and Labour tied; none of them predicted the Tory landslide on the way. Or at least what looked like a landslide after what the polls had been telling us to expect.
Usually by this stage, almost two weeks post-election, we would have had a clutch of national voting attention polls. It keeps the data fresh, and is also incredibly fascinating to geeks like me. I just love to see how people say they’re going to vote next time, having just done so. Do they feel buyers remorse already? Will the Lib Dem now be higher or lower than 8%? Will UKIP’s meltdown of the last week or so affect them negatively in the polls? I need answers to these questions, goddamit; I’m having some sort of polling delerium tremens.
Clearly the polling companies are smarting from having called it all so wrong, but I think they should just get over it. When you look at the very different methodology each of the companies involved employ, I can think of only one reason why they were united in giving forth almost identical, incorrect answers: because the people being polled were lying, or at the very least being untruthful when they told the pollsters where their crosses would end up (in other words, they were being honest with their answers at the time; they just ended up voting differently on the day). It does seem odd that this affected so many people, but hey, human beings can be odd from time to time (see: Miliband, Edward).
So I think the pollsters are at present like the guy whose girlfriend dumped him, sat at home, eating junk food, watching day time television and avoiding the world. They need to put down those Doritos and rejoin the human race. People like me need to know what percentage of people plan to vote Green on a semi-daily basis, so don’t worry, all is forgiven.