Pollsters Blindsided Again: Australian Labor Party's Surprise Defeat Echoes Hillary, Brexit

Dec 2014
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The Milky Way
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Most polls are conducted by the left, with strong attempts at influencing the outcomes. They have failed repeatedly over the past several years.


Australia's Labor party was supposed to have won yesterday's election handily. Their surefire formula for victory of increased taxes, heightened spending on climate change and engagement with China would bring in the votes. Then the unexpected happened: Labor lost.​
Australia’s Liberal-National Coalition government has returned to power in the 2019 federal election, despite polls consistently predicting victory for the opposition Labor Party. The most surprising result for Labor came from the state of Queensland. Now, many people are comparing the shock result to the 2016 US election and the UK's Brexit referendum, which both defied opinion polls.​

Few if any of the pollsters predicted it. The resulting bafflement was expressed by one tweet: "How could polls, from every company, for months including exit polls taken on election day not just be wrong but spectacularly wrong?" It was a massive intelligence failure and one worthy of examination. All political parties presumably pay for accurate polling, even if it shows them losing, because possession of the true facts is the only way to adjust their strategy. But after three failed predictions in three major Anglosphere elections, it may be time to ask how the polls got it wrong.​
David Cameron called the Brexit referendum confident Remain would win. "At 10pm on Thursday, David Cameron’s team thought they were going to win. The prime minister had enjoyed dinner with his wife, Samantha, in Downing Street, and a circle of close advisers were present to watch the results come in."​
On Election Day 2016 the Hillary Clinton victory fireworks were already laid out. "Law enforcement officials and the FDNY have been told to prepare for a barge-launched pyrotechnic display off Manhattan’s Javits Center ... The aerial detonations would last for two minutes, with the triumphal celebration permitted to start as early as 9:30 p.m. — a mere half-hour after the polls close in New York, sources said."​
Australian bookies had already paid those who had bet on Labor to win. "If you think Scott Morrison is happy after Saturday's stunning election victory, consider the lucky punters who walked away with a total of $1.3 million despite backing the wrong team. Sportsbet was so confident in Labor's chances, as were many pundits, punters and pollsters, it paid out all early bets on Bill Shorten's team two days before Australians went to the polls."​
In each case the unthinkable had happened: the sure thing lost. Just as historians will forever wonder why the Titanic's lookouts didn't see the iceberg, political scientists will argue over how pollsters, presumably in honest search of the true facts, with vast sampling resources at their disposal, got it so totally wrong.​
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Pollsters Blindsided Again: Australian Labor Party's Surprise Defeat Echoes Hillary, Brexit
 

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