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BPC/MRS Enquiry into Election Polling 2015: Ipsos MORI Response and Perspective

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BPC/MRS Enquiry into Election Polling 2015 : Ipsos MORI Response and Perspective. / Mortimore, Roger Geoffrey Michael; Baines, Paul; Worcester, Robert M; Gill, Mark.

In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARKET RESEARCH, Vol. 59, No. 5, 01.05.2017, p. 285-300.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Mortimore, RGM, Baines, P, Worcester, RM & Gill, M 2017, 'BPC/MRS Enquiry into Election Polling 2015: Ipsos MORI Response and Perspective', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARKET RESEARCH, vol. 59, no. 5, pp. 285-300. https://doi.org/10.2501/IJMR-2017-009

APA

Mortimore, R. G. M., Baines, P., Worcester, R. M., & Gill, M. (2017). BPC/MRS Enquiry into Election Polling 2015: Ipsos MORI Response and Perspective. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARKET RESEARCH, 59(5), 285-300. https://doi.org/10.2501/IJMR-2017-009

Vancouver

Mortimore RGM, Baines P, Worcester RM, Gill M. BPC/MRS Enquiry into Election Polling 2015: Ipsos MORI Response and Perspective. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARKET RESEARCH. 2017 May 1;59(5):285-300. https://doi.org/10.2501/IJMR-2017-009

Author

Mortimore, Roger Geoffrey Michael ; Baines, Paul ; Worcester, Robert M ; Gill, Mark. / BPC/MRS Enquiry into Election Polling 2015 : Ipsos MORI Response and Perspective. In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARKET RESEARCH. 2017 ; Vol. 59, No. 5. pp. 285-300.

Bibtex Download

@article{c821abb016444fc1b9b1561e5ee9be2f,
title = "BPC/MRS Enquiry into Election Polling 2015: Ipsos MORI Response and Perspective",
abstract = "This Forum article considers the unsatisfactory results of pre-election opinion polling in the 2015 British general election and the BPC/MRS enquiry report into polling by Sturgis et al., providing a response from Ipsos MORI and associated researchers at King's College London and Cranfield Universities. Whilst Sturgis et al. (2016) consider how to perfect opinion poll forecasting, why the 2015 prediction was inaccurate when the same methodology returned satisfactory results in 2005 and 2010 at Ipsos MORI is considered here instead. We agree with Sturgis et al. that the inaccurate results were not due to late swing or the {\textquoteleft}shy Tory{\textquoteright} problem and with Taylor (2016) that the underlying problem is a response rate bias. However, Sturgis et al. critique pollsters in their report for systematically under-representing Conservative voters but the Ipsos MORI final poll had too many Conservatives, too many Labour voters and not enough non-voters. The Sturgis et al. conclusion is convincing that the politically disengaged were under-represented due to quotas and weighting mechanisms designed to correct for response bias. Nevertheless, for Ipsos MORI, this explanation does not account for why the polling methodology was inaccurate in 2015 when it had performed accurately in 2005 and 2010. For Ipsos MORI, a more likely explanation is that Labour voters in 2015 became more prone to exaggerate their voting likelihood. We offer various postulations on why this might have been so, concluding that to account for the inaccuracy requires a two-fold response, to improve: (i) sample representativeness and (ii) the projection of voting behaviour from the data. Unfortunately, the BPC/MRS report offers no blueprint for how to solve the problem of sampling the politically disengaged. Whilst Ipsos MORI have redesigned their quotas to take account of education levels, to represent those better with no formal educational qualifications and reduce overrepresentation of graduates, polling in the referendum on EU membership suggests that the problem of drawing a representative sample has been solved but difficulties in how best to allow for turnout persist.",
author = "Mortimore, {Roger Geoffrey Michael} and Paul Baines and Worcester, {Robert M} and Mark Gill",
year = "2017",
month = may,
day = "1",
doi = "10.2501/IJMR-2017-009",
language = "English",
volume = "59",
pages = "285--300",
journal = "INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARKET RESEARCH",
issn = "1470-7853",
publisher = "Market Research Society",
number = "5",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - BPC/MRS Enquiry into Election Polling 2015

T2 - Ipsos MORI Response and Perspective

AU - Mortimore, Roger Geoffrey Michael

AU - Baines, Paul

AU - Worcester, Robert M

AU - Gill, Mark

PY - 2017/5/1

Y1 - 2017/5/1

N2 - This Forum article considers the unsatisfactory results of pre-election opinion polling in the 2015 British general election and the BPC/MRS enquiry report into polling by Sturgis et al., providing a response from Ipsos MORI and associated researchers at King's College London and Cranfield Universities. Whilst Sturgis et al. (2016) consider how to perfect opinion poll forecasting, why the 2015 prediction was inaccurate when the same methodology returned satisfactory results in 2005 and 2010 at Ipsos MORI is considered here instead. We agree with Sturgis et al. that the inaccurate results were not due to late swing or the ‘shy Tory’ problem and with Taylor (2016) that the underlying problem is a response rate bias. However, Sturgis et al. critique pollsters in their report for systematically under-representing Conservative voters but the Ipsos MORI final poll had too many Conservatives, too many Labour voters and not enough non-voters. The Sturgis et al. conclusion is convincing that the politically disengaged were under-represented due to quotas and weighting mechanisms designed to correct for response bias. Nevertheless, for Ipsos MORI, this explanation does not account for why the polling methodology was inaccurate in 2015 when it had performed accurately in 2005 and 2010. For Ipsos MORI, a more likely explanation is that Labour voters in 2015 became more prone to exaggerate their voting likelihood. We offer various postulations on why this might have been so, concluding that to account for the inaccuracy requires a two-fold response, to improve: (i) sample representativeness and (ii) the projection of voting behaviour from the data. Unfortunately, the BPC/MRS report offers no blueprint for how to solve the problem of sampling the politically disengaged. Whilst Ipsos MORI have redesigned their quotas to take account of education levels, to represent those better with no formal educational qualifications and reduce overrepresentation of graduates, polling in the referendum on EU membership suggests that the problem of drawing a representative sample has been solved but difficulties in how best to allow for turnout persist.

AB - This Forum article considers the unsatisfactory results of pre-election opinion polling in the 2015 British general election and the BPC/MRS enquiry report into polling by Sturgis et al., providing a response from Ipsos MORI and associated researchers at King's College London and Cranfield Universities. Whilst Sturgis et al. (2016) consider how to perfect opinion poll forecasting, why the 2015 prediction was inaccurate when the same methodology returned satisfactory results in 2005 and 2010 at Ipsos MORI is considered here instead. We agree with Sturgis et al. that the inaccurate results were not due to late swing or the ‘shy Tory’ problem and with Taylor (2016) that the underlying problem is a response rate bias. However, Sturgis et al. critique pollsters in their report for systematically under-representing Conservative voters but the Ipsos MORI final poll had too many Conservatives, too many Labour voters and not enough non-voters. The Sturgis et al. conclusion is convincing that the politically disengaged were under-represented due to quotas and weighting mechanisms designed to correct for response bias. Nevertheless, for Ipsos MORI, this explanation does not account for why the polling methodology was inaccurate in 2015 when it had performed accurately in 2005 and 2010. For Ipsos MORI, a more likely explanation is that Labour voters in 2015 became more prone to exaggerate their voting likelihood. We offer various postulations on why this might have been so, concluding that to account for the inaccuracy requires a two-fold response, to improve: (i) sample representativeness and (ii) the projection of voting behaviour from the data. Unfortunately, the BPC/MRS report offers no blueprint for how to solve the problem of sampling the politically disengaged. Whilst Ipsos MORI have redesigned their quotas to take account of education levels, to represent those better with no formal educational qualifications and reduce overrepresentation of graduates, polling in the referendum on EU membership suggests that the problem of drawing a representative sample has been solved but difficulties in how best to allow for turnout persist.

U2 - 10.2501/IJMR-2017-009

DO - 10.2501/IJMR-2017-009

M3 - Article

VL - 59

SP - 285

EP - 300

JO - INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARKET RESEARCH

JF - INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARKET RESEARCH

SN - 1470-7853

IS - 5

ER -

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