Opinion polling and political research share a deep, historical alignment. Rooted in the science of predication, political research has long relied on opinion polling as a methodology. Opinion polling though is a volatile science that faces challenges in credibility and quality. Political research should not be completely reliant on opinion polling, and effective research draws on innovative methods, considering the wider voter context and its insights. The proliferation of digital technologies has opened up a wealth of new data sources and opportunities for political research, however researchers should approach these with caution.


Opinion polling refers to a human research survey of public opinion from a particular sample, usually designed to represent the opinions of a population, by conducting a series of questions and then extrapolating generalities in ratio or within confidence intervals.

Political research is any research that deals with systems of governments, and the analysis of political activities, political thoughts and political behaviour.

Key Insights

1. Polling research needs to be less black and white