Better than reputation: poll projections for federal elections

Better than their reputation: poll projections for federal elections with and without surveys

16.06.2019 | Claude Longchamp

Equating projections with elections is a fool’s errand. An overview for fools, their admirers and their critics.

Christian Hoops, a German author who writes about poll projections, rushed to praise the Swiss predictions overnight after the 2015 Federal Council Elections. And rightly so: the terrible reputation of poll projections in this country tends to be unwarranted. The three polls conducted in the run-up to the Federal Council Elections turned out to be very close to the actual election results. For the seven largest parties, the final survey by the gfs.bern and sotomo research institutes only deviated from the final results by an average of 0.47%. They were as accurate as the exit poll. ‘OpinionPlus’ achieved an average deviation of only 0.54%, making it more accurate than the prediction market of the Tagesanzeiger newspaper, which had an average deviation of 0.64% – even though it was produced closer to the election date.

Click here to read the full article, published in the 2019 VSMS annual.