Why Were The Election Polls So Wrong: Did They Lack Insight?
The Labour party suffered its worst election defeat in almost 30 years, finishing 99 seats behind the Tories. Ed Miliband has taken to the skies and jetted off to Ibiza to avoid the scathing backlash from the likes of his older brother David and Alan Sugar.
I have to ask though, with all that data and months and months of polling, how did it go so wrong for Ed, the Labour party and the pollsters?
The problem seems to be one of relying too much on a ‘black box’ predictions without the application of any insight. Let’s consider some facts that should have rung some very loud bells and caused the figures to be questioned.
Cameron consistently scored higher than Miliband as being the Prime Minister of choice; The Tories consistently scored higher than Labour as the party most trusted with the economy; according to a number of independent economic organisations the economy is heading in the right direction; employment figures are dropping; the threat of the Scots Nats tail wagging the English dog was playing well on the doorstep; Cameron has a record in leading the country (regardless of what people think of it); Miliband was an unknown quantity; in uncertain times people are frightened of change. Was it likely that a majority of the public would totally turn their backs on all the above and leap into the dark? Or were the questions not asked because the answers, however wrong, were what some of the media wanted (not naming any organisation in particular). Even in my local pub there were people predicting a small majority for the Tories (including Labour voters). Politicians are continually labeled as being out of touch but maybe we should be looking at the pollsters, perhaps they need to get out more!
Continuing down the line of being out of touch, did Labour not see what was happening to their party leader on social media? If you don’t know what I’m talking about search “Ed Miliband bacon sandwich,” you’ll see what I mean. Days before the election pictures of Miliband were trending. Social Media has without a doubt become one of the biggest influencers of people and the polls don’t consider how quickly these platforms can change a person’s view/vote. How Labour expected the British public to vote for a person, being so embarrassingly mocked, to lead this country is beyond me. Poor Ed, it’s still happening now, just take a look at what the internet is doing to his Ibiza holiday pictures.
It’ll be interesting to see what lasting effects, if any, this will have on the Labour party. Will the new leader be able to shake off the legacy Miliband left behind? Will the party change how they monitor campaign effectiveness and how will they get back in touch with the British public? Only time will tell.
Let us know what you think