French newspaper DITCHES POLLS ahead of election after failing to predict Trump...

French newspaper DITCHES POLLS ahead of election after failing to predict Trump or Brexit

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Le Parisien will no longer rely on surveys to guess the outcome of the voting, and will instead base its stories on journalists talking to “people on the ground” about their fears and expectations. Join today

“We have been thinking about it for some time now, especially since Brexit and the election of Donald Trump,” Stephane Albouy, Editor of Le Parisien told France Inter radio.

“It is not a question of defying the pollsters so much as experimenting with a different way of working ahead of the elections.

“But we want to avoid giving the sort of commentary that accompanies a horse race, always focusing on who is in the lead,” he said.

Pollsters were left red-faced in 2016 after failing to spot Britain’s historic vote to leave the EU and the victory of Donald Trump at the US elections.

As France prepares to vote on its next president in the coming months, there could be another shock victory as Front National leader Marine Le Pen looks set to run a close race.

Although the French newspaper says it would not forbid reporters commenting on polls commissioned by others, it instead wanted to concentrate on the candidates and their manifestos, by sending reporters to speak to “real” people.

Marine Le Pen

“It is about detecting what we call today the weak signals,” Mr Albouy continued.

“We will spend time with people, talk with them.

“What does it cost, besides energy, time and a bit of money, to pass some time at the exits of factories, popular neighbourhoods, etc? To take time to talk with people. That is, in the end, our job.”

The publication insisted the move was not about cutting costs, as it spends tens of thousands of euros each year on commissioning opinion polls.

“The media has come under a lot of criticism for being cut off from reality,” he said.

“So we are going to prioritise actual reporting. It will cost more than commissioning polls, and it will make us work harder.”

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