Last week, The New York Times published the article, “Telling Sign? Many Supporters of ‘Brexit’ Expect Defeat,” by Peter Eavis. Eavis discussed the impact and accuracy of opinion polls with the aid of a study by U-M Professor Justin Wolfers and David Rothschild (Microsoft Research and Statistics Center).
Eavis wrote that this study found, “asking people to predict a result of an election has, over time, provided more accurate forecasts than asking people their voting intentions.” With ‘Brexit,’ 26 percent believed the vote would go to ‘leave,’ 40 percent to ‘remain,’ and 36 percent were unsure. With the vote behind us, we see that the final results were 51.9 percent to ‘leave’ and 48.1 percent to ‘remain.’
“As the results came in, it became clear that just about every forecast -- those based on standard opinion polls, these voter expectations questions, and betting odds -- missed the result. Scholars are already hard at work figuring out why,” explains Wolfers. All eyes are on the United Kingdom and the European Union to see what happens next.
Read “Telling Sign? Many Supporters of ‘Brexit’ Expect Defeat,” by Peter Eavis.
Learn more about Justin Wolfers and his work!