Recent elections in the United States and United Kingdom have been characterised as a challenge to the reliability of public opinion polling. Many research firms predicted Hillary Clinton to win the White House, while 'Remain' was believed to be the choice of most UK voters, and Jeremy Corbyn was thought to be thrashed at this year’s British election. In these cases, not all the poll results were accurate.
Does this mean polling is a dead-end for understanding public opinion, and what does this mean for politics? Are new survey techniques the answer to gauging the mood of voters? Is the situation with polling in the United States and United Kingdom comparable or different to what is happening in Australia?
At this public event, the ABC's Annabel Crabb and the United States Studies Centre's CEO and polling expert Professor Simon Jackman appeared in conversation with the founder and CEO of innovative global survey company YouGov, Stephan Shakespeare. Together they discussed what innovations are being used to keep polling accurate and relevant to understanding politics in the future.
ABC writer and presenter
Annabel Crabb is an ABC writer and presenter who has covered Australian politics for 20 years as a news reporter and columnist. She is the creator and presenter of Ms Represented, presenter and writer for the ABC-wide Australia Talks project, and co-host of the initial and 2021 return series of Tomorrow Tonight, with Charlie Pickering. She has written and presented the documentary series on life inside Parliament The House, With Annabel Crabb as well as six seasons of the ABC's Kitchen Cabinet.
CEO and Co-Founder, YouGov plc.
Stephan Shakespeare is CEO and co-founder of YouGov plc. One of the pioneers of internet research, Stephan has been the driving force behind YouGov’s innovation-led strategy. He writes daily polling analysis for The Times’ Red Box briefing, a weekly column for City A.M. and is also regular contributor to the BBC’s Daily Politics programme.
Professor Simon Jackman
Professor Simon Jackman was Chief Executive Officer of the United States Studies Centre from April 2016 to May 2022. Between 1996 and 2016, he was a Professor of Political Science and Statistics at Stanford University. Jackman's teaching and research centres on public opinion, election campaigns, political participation, and electoral systems with special emphasis on American and Australian politics.