School of Politics and International Relations

Why Prime Minister Boris Johnson really is on an upward trend

19 November 2019

Professor of Politics, Professor Philip Cowley, wrote an opinion piece for Daily Mail discussing Boris Johnson’s positioning in the opinion polls. He writes: “Of the 28 nationwide opinion polls carried out since Parliament voted for an election, all agree that the Conservatives are ahead – yet they vary hugely on by how much. One, for example, has suggested the lead is 17 percentage points, while another puts it at just six. How are you supposed to make sense of that? Well, perhaps the single most important thing to remember with opinion polling is that results are not as precise as they are sometimes presented. Even a poll run by a reputable company that has agonised for hours over its question wording and targeted a representative sample of the population has the potential for error of plus or minus three percentage points on any single finding.”
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PDF available on request: Scottish Daily Mail