With all but a few votes remaining to be counted for the lower house from the July 2 federal election, we now have a clear basis for assessing the performance of the opinion pollsters, who had scarcely less to prove at this election than the party leaders.

Scepticism of polling has been mounting internationally in recent years, owing to dramatically declining response rates and an industry-wide record of poor performance across much of Europe in recent years -- most memorably in Britain last May, when the Conservative vote was uniformly underestimated by around 6%.