Journalistic developments in the use of opinion polls: Panel discussion

Date of publication: June 15, 1980

Author: Peter Kellner


I should like to spend a little time not talking so much about the finer statistics of "Sunday Times" polling when the "Sunday Times" is being published, but about some of the more general problems that we have had in recent years in the British Press. Yesterday one of the speakers accused the Press - not just the British Press - of treating polling during election campaigns as a horse race. I have news for you: it is a horse race. Anybody who thinks that journalism during an election campaign is not ver largely about that horse race; and anybody who thinks that the reason why newspapers spend money on polls is other than principally to analyse the progress of that horse race and predict their result as accurately as possible, is just not living in the world of journalistic considerations and newspaper budgets.

Peter Kellner


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