Public trust in pollsters


A chara, – The article “Ireland shares in backlash against politicians” (February 9th) suggests that “the huge drop in the public’s trust of pollsters, from 60 per cent to 46 per cent, in this latest survey is worrying”.

It is worrying only in the sense that it is obviously yet another unreliable polling result.

Following the almost comedic performance of polling companies over the last number of years – with disastrous consequences, as they led David Cameron to believe he would never be returned as prime minister except in a coalition, and thereby emboldened him to promise a Brexit referendum – that figure is simply not plausible.

Presumably it is an error which is explained by the fact that most people are basically nice.

So, if a worker from a polling company calls them or stops them in the street and asks them if they trust polling companies, it is a lot simpler to not risk causing offence and simply say “Yes”.

Perhaps the polling companies should apply one of their famous arithmetical tweaks, which are nothing but error-correction based on a combination of guesswork and a review of past inaccuracies, to this figure and reduce it to, oh let’s go wild, 23 per cent.

That would look more like it. – Is mise,



Co Kildare.