Recent events have famously—notoriously—called into question the validity of opinion polling. The British general election of 2015 and the referendum of 2016, and the apparently irresistible rise of Donald Trump: all these have proven problematic for the pollsters. True enough, it has always been possible to find some polls that, with hindsight, cleaved closer to the end result than others. In fairness, it must also be acknowledged that the final percentages which yielded Tory victory, Brexit, and President Trump were closer to most of the polls than many critics have acknowledged. But the fact that even psephologists seem baffled—apparently unable to find a representative sample of people or ask them the right questions or interpret their answers appropriately—is disquieting nonetheless.

If this is true of professional, supposedly scientific polling, then it should lead...

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