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Polling and public opinion: The good, the bad and the ugly

So, how do polls work? What can they teach us about public opinion? What role does and should they play in our democracy?

In Summary

• Friends of polls could note that the public, however grudgingly, agrees that polls are one tool for gauging public opinion and that leaders should consult public opinion.

• They could thus “prove” that the public embraces polls. Both ways of looking at the findings would use reality to distort reality.

As we hurtle down to the 2022 elections, be prepared to be inundated with all sorts of opinion polls, from the interesting to the preposterous.

Indeed, if you seek public opinion about polls, ...