Are we getting worse at political polling? Analysis of historical polling errors in elections

This paper is a summary of analysis of an international database of over 30,000 polls from 473 elections between 1936 and 2017, to assess accuracy trends within opinion polling in light of recent criticism.


This paper is a summary of analysis conducted of an international database of 31,310 polls from 473 elections and voting events across 40 countries around the world from 1936 through to 2017 compiled by Kantar.

When examined at a global level polls are generally very accurate, the average error of polls conducted within seven days before an election is +/-2.5%.

WARC subscribers can sign in to keep reading

Not a subscriber?

WARC helps you to plan, create and deliver more effective marketing

  • Prove your case and back-up your idea

  • Get expert guidance on strategic challenges

  • Tackle current and emerging marketing themes

WARC consistently delivers valuable insights that help to make me look like an expert in front of my colleagues and clients.

Dasha Boryso
Strategy Partner, Fetch

You’re in good company

We work with 80% of Forbes' most valuable brands* and 80% of the world's top top-of-the-class agencies.

* Top 10 brands