Opinion polling is a key tool in political campaigning. But it's also attacked as the bane of media coverage of politics and even a threat to democracy.

Implicit in this criticism is the idea that polling influences the behaviour of politicians and how voters respond to them, and it degrades media coverage. Polling is demonised as a substitute for integrity and core values in politicians, and rigorous coverage of policy by the media. The demonisation is usually stronger among proponents of the side of politics trailing in the polls.