Why is opinion polling becoming harder and less reliable?

All the pollsters failed to forecast accurately the result of the British General Election in May 2015. We are still awaiting the outcome of an inquiry by the British Polling Council to determine what went wrong and how it can be fixed.

Most of my work as a consumer advocate involves working  with regulators and companies who are constantly surveying the views of customers, consumers, users, citizens (the terminology varies from sector to sector and survey to survey). The mantra of all government departments and local authorities is that there should be more consumer and citizen engagement.

But if more and more polling is being done of ever busier people in a changing context of technology and life style, how reliable are these polls and surveys? This important question is discussion in this short article.

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