Predicting elections: a 'Wisdom of Crowds' approach

Opinion polls are the currency of politics. They are used by media organisations to evaluate the performance of governments, and by governments and political parties to test the policies that shape manifestos and reform agendas.

Predicting elections: a ‘Wisdom of Crowds’ approach

Martin Boon

ICM Research


The 2010 general election featured as much diversity in political polling data collection methods as the collective insight of the research industry could possibly muster. All three quantitative interviewing methods were utilised, with online (51 polls from the day the election was called to election day itself) and telephone (33 polls) featuring extensively, and even the, nowadays rarely employed, face-to-face interviewing technique enjoying a handful of outings (four polls). But that diversity still depended on one obvious concept: asking people directly how they themselves planned to vote.


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