Do polls that try to predict the outcome of elections have any credibility?
The correct answer is probably sometimes.
But polls failed to correctly predict the outcome of the 2015 General Election, the 2016 EU referendum and the 2016 US Presidential election.
Here in the UK poll results that are often used are those from YouGov.
So would it surprise you to read that YouGove was founded in 2000 by two men Stephan Shakespeare and Nadhim Zahawi.
Who are these men?
Over to Wikipedia for Shakespeare:
"In 2012, Shakespeare was appointed as Chairman of the Data Strategy Board (DSB), the advisory body that was set up by the government to maximise value of data for users across the UK. In October 2012, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Cabinet Office ministers announced that he would lead an independent review of Public Sector Information; the "Shakespeare Review: an Independent Review of Public Sector Information" was published in 2013. He has been a member of the Government’s Public Sector Transparency Board and a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, London. He is the former owner of the websites ConservativeHome (now owned by Lord Ashcroft) and PoliticsHome (now owned by Dods Parliamentary Communications Ltd) which he launched in April 2008 after closing down his Internet television channel 18 Doughty Street."
Does he sound an independent and unbiased entrepeneur to you?
Nadhim Zawahi is the Tory MP for Stratford on Avon and has been since 2010.
A Zahawi refresher from 2013.
"Zahawi was one of many British politicians accused of expenses fiddling in late 2013 in particular of claiming gas and electricity expenses for their second homes. It was as cash strapped members of the British public learned of huge energy price increases and PM David Cameron's advice was nothing but wear a sweater.
Mr Zahawi's apologised for an 'error' in his energy expense claims but don't pass judgement just yet.
It seems that his expense claims included "expenses for electricity to supply his stables and a mobile home in the stable yard"!
Zahawi and other politicians fail to recognise that claiming such expenses for their second homes is not on. In fact having any allowances for second homes stinks. It would be cheaper and more sensible for the government to buy up rows of empty shops and convert then into flats for politicians attending Westminster.
That may at least prevent the corruption we have learned about in recent years including expenses for a duck house!
In 2013 Sunday BBC News reported:
The MP said he had contacted the expenses watchdog.
Mortified? Nearer £4,000? I will be paying it back?
Earlier UK Deputy PM Nick Clegg, Lib Dem, defended the expense system for MP's. The system he explained is there to help MPs meet the cost of living and working in two places. Yes my heart truly bleeds for them.
The problem is many people look at these politicians and see public school educated twits who have never had a "proper job", have no idea how hard it is for some people to just get by, how little some people are expected to live on and yet these people are making and breaking the rules."
The front bench of the government under Messrs Cameron, Osborne and Clegg was called Millionaires Row.
The MPs expenses system was originally implemented when the Labour party was in its infancy and ordinary working men, and women, became MPS. They had no money to fall back on.
Now it is used by all MPs and is seen by the general public as an outdated and abused perk.
As for YouGov polls how can you trust them at all?