Polling UnPacked: The History, Uses and Abuses of Political Opinion Polls

Polling UnPacked book cover and Sunday Times review quote

Rather excited to see that after both the fun and the slog of writing it, Polling UnPacked is now available. It’s a guide to and history of political opinion polls.

What’s the origin of polls? Are political opinion polls accurate? Can you trust the answers to polling questions?

Find out the answers to all these and more in Polling UnPacked: the History, Uses and Abuses of Political Opinion Polls.

“Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand modern politics … comprehensive yet surprisingly fun” – Sunday Times

As the book’s blurb says:

Opinion polls dominate media coverage of politics, especially elections. But how do the polls work? How do you tell the good from the bad? And in light of recent polling disasters, can we trust them at all?

Polling UnPacked gives you the full story, from the first rudimentary polls in the nineteenth century, through attempts by politicians to ban polling in the twentieth century, to the very latest techniques and controversies from the last few years. In equal parts enlightening and hilarious, the book needs no prior knowledge of polling or statistics to understand.

But even hardened pollsters will find much to enjoy, from how polling has been used to help plan military invasions to why an exhausted interviewer was accidentally instrumental in inventing exit polls.

Polling UnPacked shows you which opinion polls to trust, which to ignore and which, frankly, to laugh at. It will change the way you see political coverage forever.

You can order it from Bookshop.org (independent bookshops), Waterstones, Amazon (including Kindle version) or direct from the publisher.*

Features alien invasions, Sherlock Holmes, a politician disguised as a chicken farmer, the slaying of popular polling myths and more.

* List includes affiliate links that generate a commission for each sale made.

5 responses to “Polling UnPacked: The History, Uses and Abuses of Political Opinion Polls”

  1. The fundamental flaw is that everything is expressed as if the “leader” in polling where truly a “leader” in votes. They are not. They are the largest minority. On the day polling “experts” put things that way, always, and the press do the same, we have a chance of moving to a properly democratic system.

    It is surprising, given the political inclination of the author that this site does not do so. It is probably the most important message NOT conveyed in British politics.

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