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Determinants of polling accuracy: The effect of opt-in Internet surveys

Journal article
Authors Jacob Sohlberg
Mikael Gilljam
Johan Martinsson
Published in Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties
Volume 27
Issue 4
Pages 433-447
ISSN 1745-7289
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Political Science
Pages 433-447
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1080/17457289.2017.13...
Subject categories Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)

Abstract

With the changing polling environment and the difficulties in correctly measuring public opinion, it is crucial to study the effects of polling practices. Elections provide an opportunity to examine how well polls measure support for political parties and how polling practices influence the accuracy of polls. Based on 110 pre-election polls conducted in Sweden, a multiparty system, we find that probability-based samples yield more accurate polls compared to opt-in Internet samples. Thus, our results point to a tradeoff between inexpensive online polls and accuracy.

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