The US election count is a disaster for professional polling

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

We still haven’t got a definitive result but right now Donald Trump is the clear favourite to win the US presidency over Hillary Clinton.

Global markets are crashing, gold is surging, and bond yields are plunging as uncertainty grips markets.

But right now it bears the quick observation that the polls were wrong. Again.

Clinton was the clear favourite according to professional pollsters everywhere.

This happened in the Brexit referendum and it happened in Australia’s federal election: pollsters, who charge huge amounts of money for their research to media organisations and other institutions, appear to have severely underestimated the visceral depth of anti-establishment sentiment among the voting public in western democracies.

Whatever the result – and it’s increasingly looking like a win for Trump – there is clearly something severely lacking in the ability of opinion pollsters to read the public mood accurately.

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