TOM EATON: Pollsters fight it out in the game of polls
The stakes seem to be ramping up dramatically for Ipsos and the Institute of Race Relations ahead of the national elections
Game of Thrones, its more bookish fans insist, is a political drama, and perhaps they have a point. Yes, there are dragons and ice zombies and fairies who live under a tree, but when you think about it these aren’t much more fantastical than the EFF’s economic policies
The mythical world created by George RR Martin doesn’t generally go in for elections. Political negotiations are decided by meaningful looks, portentous swishing of capes and then a massacre. As Queen Cersei Lannister told us in back in season one when the writers were still trying: “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.” This week, however, I’ve been wondering how much bloodshed might have been prevented if they’d just used good pollsters to feel out the terrain before they sent in the dragons. How hard could it have been to ask a representative sample of northerners and Wildlings about Jon Snow’s likability as potential King In The North? Where was the focus group for followers of the Lord Of Light, unpacking their expectations of the Prince Who Was Promised? Assuming a 3% margin of error, given that the night is dark and full of terrors, is he Snow, or, after you know who did you know what to you know who this week, is the Prince Who Was Promised maybe a Princess...