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The Problem with Polling 

Bela Stantic, Rebecca Huntley, Antony Green

Our most recent federal election shocked almost everyone. Join the experts for insight on why the polls missed it, whether polling will ever be trusted again, and what it might look like in the future.  

Hosted by David Speers. Venue to be announced. All venues are located within the Sydney Opera House. 

Talks & Ideas | Antidote 

“It was not a miracle, it was a mathematical certainty.”


Bela Stantic 

Experts report on predicting the future

Opinion polls told us the 2019 Federal Election would belong to Labor. But after Australia went to the ballot box, we saw a shock Coalition victory, and commentators were left scratching their heads. How did the polls get it so wrong? 

Digging into this question is Antony Green, who has spent thirty years analysing elections, social researcher and social trend expert Rebecca Huntley, and Bela Stantic, a data scientist who correctly predicted the voting outcome from surveying two million tweets. Together they'll be exploring the questions of forecasting the future: how exactly does polling work? Can we trust opinion polls ever again? And in an era of information overload, what is the best way to understand our changing political landscape?

More about the speakers...

Professor Bela Stantic is internationally recognised in the field of efficient management and analytics of complex data. He has published more than 130 journal and conference publications, which in turn helped to attract external funding over several millions dollars. He is a founder and Director of Big Data and Smart Analytics Lab within the Institute of Integrated and Intelligent Systems at Griffith University, and is Head of School of Information and Communication Technology at Griffith University.

Dr Rebecca Huntley is one of Australians foremost researchers on social trends. She has a background in publishing, academia and politics. For nearly 9 years Rebecca was the Director of The Mind & Mood Report, Australia's longest running social trends report. She currently heads Vox Populi research, as part of the CIRCA research group. Rebecca is a broadcaster with the ABC and presents The History Listen each week on RN. She is the author of numerous books including Still Lucky: why you should feel optimistic about Australia and its people (Penguin 2017) and Australia Fair: Listen to the Nation, the first Quarterly Essay for 2019. Rebecca co-hosts with Sarah Macdonald a comedy storytelling night and podcast called The Full Catastrophe. She is an adjunct senior lecturer at the School of Social Sciences at The University of New South Wales.

Antony Green is the ABC's Election Analyst and is responsible for the ABC's election night results. Green has worked for the ABC since 1989, and is the face of election night coverage in Australia. He previously worked in the computer industry as a programmer and data analyst, and designed the ABC's election night system and a number of the ABC election site's analysis tools including the predictive pendulum and Senate calculators. Antony's expertise is in electoral systems, voter behaviour and election night result modelling.

David Speers is the award winning Political Editor at Sky News and anchor of agenda-setting political programs SPEERS and SPEERS on Sunday on Sky News Live.

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