But even this was topped today by Matthias Guyomar, general secretary, and Jean-Michel Galabert, president, of the Commission of Polls ("La Commission des sondages"), who announced their concern with the plethora of political polls and their pervasiveness in the media.
"There is a very clear increase in the surveys published which is coupled with a dominating place of polls in the (election) debate. That all the more reinforces the need, in the eyes of the Commission, to emit calls with prudence.
The polls are not that an instrument of analysis of the political life and not a tool of forecast of the electoral results."
What? Isn't a poll intrinsically an "instrument of analysis" to judge the current political mood of the nation? Aren't they taken to "forecast...electoral results"?
To give them credit, 2002 polls did not entirely predict Jean-Marie Le Pen's major upset in the first round, beating out Socialist Lionel Jospin, so caution is always needed. The US learned that only too well on the night of the 2000 election, when exit polls showed both Gore and Bush winning Florida at different times during the night. But accurate political polls, developed only within the past century, have become a crucial and integral part of the political debate. Ignoring them would only be ignoring reality.