6 reasons to read Polling UnPacked: the history, uses and abuses of political polling

Polling UnPacked book cover and Sunday Times review quote

You may just have heard that I’ve written a book about political opinion polls. If you aren’t one of those who have read it yet, here, with apologies to Melting Asphalt, are six good reasons I hope you will:

1. There’s nothing else like it

That may sound surprising given how much time and attention is given to political polling and how many smart things are written about it. But if you want an accessible guide to the history of polling, to how it works and to how you can best make sense of it, there isn’t another book that does this for British polling.

2. It’s “essential reading” says The Sunday Times

Yes, I did rush around shops to find a hard copy of The Sunday Times to buy when this lovely review from Tom Calver appeared. Not many books each year get that sort of treatment from the paper.

3. It’ll make you smarter

The book includes a guide to how to make sense of the polls we see in the news. You only need a few tips to start spotting how many stories about polls aren’t telling the full story – and to work out what we should really learn from them.

4. It tells the truth about George Gallup

Most accounts of polling give George Gallup a saintly place as the pioneer of modern, scientific polling. But his polling wasn’t as accurate as the myths claim and there’s a dark story about the way his polls discriminated against Black Americans and against women.

5. It actually explains what MRP is all about

We all love pouring over the individual constituency figures when a new MRP survey comes out. But what is MRP and is it likely to be right?

6. It is fun to read

I would say that, but read it and you’ll see I am telling the truth. After all, it’s the only book about polling with a fish-based pun…

Grab your own copy and read away…

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

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments and data you submit with them will be handled in line with the privacy and moderation policies.