Correcting for survey effects in pre-election polls



Pre-election polls can suffer from survey effects, causing biases in forecasted election outcomes. We advocate a simple methodology to estimate the magnitude of survey effects, by collecting data both before and after the election. This method is illustrated by means of a field study with data concerning the 2009 European Parliament elections in the Netherlands. Our study provides empirical evidence of significant positive survey effects with respect to voter participation, especially for individuals with low intention to vote. For our data, the overall survey effect on party shares is small. This effect can be more substantial, for example, if political orientation and voting intention are correlated in the sample.