Interesting Insight from the Brexit Vote

"Financial markets are rallying on optimism that Thursday’s Brexit referendum will end with a vote for “remain,” but investors will have to wait longer than usual to get the result.

Unlike normal general elections there won’t be any exit polls at 10 p.m. London time, or 5 p.m. Eastern Time, when the voting stations close, so anyone nervously waiting for the outcome will have to stay awake and watch for local results to trickle out overnight.

That’s because none of the British broadcasters have commissioned any exit polls because of concerns over accuracy, according to the Telegraph newspaper."

I think this sums up the difference between US and European media standards pretty nicely, we would never let innane details like “accuracy” get in the way of viewership and instant gratification.

pretty sure karl rove still believes Romney won based on his polling. Exit polling is probably a waste of money, not sure who watches election night coverage I just do something else with my life and turn on the tv around midnight or the next day and see what happened.

US polls are not perfect, but in general, they have high predictive power over election outcomes. The Brexit debate has been issue focused (for the most part) and is a contrast to the media hype in the US. However, where polling is concerned, US agencies are generally more developed and more accurate, and produce real and reliable information on real time voting.

Unless it’s an extremely close election, in which case the margin of error of a poll would likely contribute to misinformation. Anyhow, the point was not that we use polls and they don’t. It’s simply that in this scenario I can virtually guarantee based on their track record of sloppy reporting that the US news (in this same scenario with a questionable tool available to them) would still run the polls rather than exercise restraint, particularly if other outlets did not, thus giving them a leg up.

Its all about that perceived value add, not how much value is actually added.

My point is that US polling agencies are generally more developed and better organized than those in the UK. One of the most cited Brexit polls, for instance, has been YouGov, which is random internet people. If UK had the same quality of agencies as the US, they would perhaps be emboldened to conduct polls, since they have better confidence in their ability. Thus the lack of UK exit polls is not necessarily a lack of “money grab”, but also a lack of quality of UK polling agencies with respect to producing reliable results.

I understand the point about some US news agencies having lower standards of integrity compared to those in the UK, but I don’t know if this is a fair statement. For every Fox News there is a Daily Mail. Furthermore, if US politics produces events of questionable quality (like that of the Trump saga), we cannot blame US news content to reflect this. In addition, there is likely some bias in the types of UK news that we receive in the US, and this might give rise to some bias in how we perceive the UK media. I read BBC or Financial Times, for instance, but I am probably insulated from whatever trashy local news there is in the UK, like there is in most countries.

There may be a daily mail for every fox news, but there isn’t a US equivalent for every BBC or telegraph and you’re putting waaay to much faith in the US polling system.