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A moving target? An analysis of the impact of electoral context on polling error variation in both British and international general elections / Jack Tudor, Matthew Wall

Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, Pages: 1 - 23

Swansea University Author: Matthew Wall

Abstract

This article argues that electoral context affects the projection mechanisms inherent in polling. This insight applies both to the estimation of party vote shares by pollsters and to poll-driven substantive political expectations. We test this contention by analysing 794 in-campaign polls covering t...

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Published in: Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties
ISSN: 1745-7289 1745-7297
Published: Informa UK Limited
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa58301
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Abstract: This article argues that electoral context affects the projection mechanisms inherent in polling. This insight applies both to the estimation of party vote shares by pollsters and to poll-driven substantive political expectations. We test this contention by analysing 794 in-campaign polls covering the UK’s 21 post-war general elections, as well as an updated version of Jennings and Wlezien’s (2018) international polling dataset. We demonstrate that the election level accounts for a significant portion of the observed variance in polling error. This finding is shown to be valid across several modelling approaches and measures of polling accuracy.
Keywords: polling error; electoral context; multi-level modelling; British general elections; intra-class correlation
College: College of Arts and Humanities
Start Page: 1
End Page: 23