Or – Why you should never listen to the polls.
The opinion polls have varied hugely over the past week or two, from predictions of a safe Conservative majority to a hung parliament.
With three days to go to the election, polls are being published almost daily, but the truth is, pollsters regard this as one of the most unpredictable elections of recent history.
Big, reputable companies such as ComRes, YouGov or Ipsos MORI adhere to strict guidelines about sample size and the wording of questions, but even so only one poll accurately predicted the outcome of the last general election.
Why? People change their minds, and let’s face it, it’s not just politicians who lie. According to the British Election Survey, up to 40% voters changed allegiances in the 2015 and 2017 elections.
This election more than ever, the changing face of British politics has made us unsure, with many people leaving it till the last minute to make up their minds.
Ruth Cadbury (Labour), Helen Cross (Lib Dem), Seena Shah (Conservative) candidates for Brentford & Isleworth at The Chiswick Calendar debate
At our election debate with candidates for Brentford & Isleworth: Ruth Cadbury (Labour), Helen Scott (Liberal Democrat) and Seena Shah (Conservative) around a third of the audience of more than 200 people said they hadn’t yet made up their minds.
Brexit has cut across traditional party lines, polarised opinion and split the main parties. Both Conservative and Labour have moved away from the centre ground and an oft repeated refrain is that people don’t want to vote for either of their leaders.
The issue of trust (or lack of it) in politics has also made it harder than ever for people to choose.
So don’t believe whatever the latest polls say and think you needn’t go out and vote because your candidate is sure to win, and it’s raining. Get out and exercise your right to vote!
You can watch a video recording of our debate on The Chiswick Calendar website, with timecodes for different sections of the debate on Brexit, the NHS, Crime, Heathrow & Climate Change, the Econony, what to do to save our High streets and how great a liability is your party leader.
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
See also: Business as usual for Chiswick’s two MPs