The French pollsters are congratulating themselves for getting the first round of the French Presidential Election right last weekend. Recently Nate Silver criticised the accuracy of polling in the UK. For British pollsters, 2015 was a year they would like to forget and I am sure many of them will be nervous of the forthcoming general election but how nervous should they be?
I was one of the few people to predict the polls would be wrong in 2015 though the magnitude of the error was larger than I expected. Two years ago I based my conclusions on an analysis of polls between 1992 & 2015 but for the 2017 election I have analysed a longer time period from 1950 to 2015. I have made use of the excellent work done by Mark Pack who has systematically recorded every opinion poll published since 1945. Based on this, I am expecting the polls to be in error again with the Conservative lead over Labour underestimated by 2.6%.