torsdag 26 maj 2016

Forecast error: European referenda, past and present

From Significance 
Should we stay or should we go? That is the question being put to voters on 23 June as the UK holds a referendum on its membership of the European Union. It is an important decision: voting to leave will bring about important changes to the economies of both the UK and the EU. Those in favour of ‘Brexit’ believe the outcome will be positive in the long term; those against fear the effects on whatever timescale.

With so much riding on the outcome, politicians are inevitably paying close attention to polling to try to understand the effect of campaign messages. Pollsters, mindful of their failure to correctly gauge the General Election outcome last May, are interpreting their results cautiously whilst noting the difficulty in correctly assessing key aspects of this referendum. Votes such as these are held so infrequently in the UK, it is difficult to know exactly who will vote, and whether those who are still undecided are more likely to vote one way or the other.