Sample assize

I just did a Twitter search on the term “trust polls”, and the results weren’t good. Nobody wants to trust polls. The polling industry stands accused of a list of crimes; the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the 2015 general election, the 2016 EU referendum and US presidential election and now, just to prove that they haven’t mended their criminal ways, they’re refusing to clearly say what the outcome of this election is going to be.

Some rogues are saying that the Tories still have a double-figure lead, while others have the gap as slender as a couple of points. They won’t simply tell you whether the ruling party is going to gain or lose 20 seats.

After getting all those things wrong how dare they toy with you like this?

ukip poll
Accurate polling, pictured yesterday in 2015

Well, let’s talk about you. Yes, you. And, frankly, it’s about time we had a chat about your unreasonable behaviour. Since the dawn of humanity you’ve been demanding to know the future. “Read the chicken entrails!” you demand, “Interpret my dreams”, “Deal the Tarot”, “Look for patterns in the heavens”, “I’ve come all the way to bastard Delphi and you won’t even tell me next week’s lottery numbers!”

And when the chicken entrails lie, or your dreams were just dreams, or the Tarot card you pick is no more exciting that the 4 of cups, and your lottery numbers don’t come up, well then it’s the fault of the fortune teller, not your greed for certainty in an uncertain future.

Cassandra, who was cursed to speak only true prophesies, to men who were too busy staring at her boobs to listen

Let’s face it, you devour polls. You weave your narratives around them, they become crutches for your lame political biases, you distribute them to laud, you distribute them to mock, when your back’s against the wall you’ll even call them up, like a mugged drunkard summoning his well-kicked dog, to defend your arguments, and, by and large, you pay not a penny for them. Yet you deride them as inaccurate, you call them biased, you accuse them of being tools of influence, rather than reflection.

You need to wind your fucking neck in, mate.

Do you not understand polling? The polls tell you no more than you told them. In 2015 you told them – you promised them – that you were going to vote Labour. And then you didn’t. Then you demanded to know why the polls had reported your lies as if they were truth. Why didn’t they find the shy Tories? Why didn’t you spot the lazy Labours, why did they stick to statistics when we needed to see psychology, why…oh, hang on, it’s time for another general election – yes, I’m voting for Labour.

Never mind whether you trust the polls, the killer question this election is whether the polls trust you.

trust graph




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