I blogged earlier in the week about the training we provided for our Counting Agents, with particular emphasis on sampling. We even want as far as running a fake "count" with a real ballot box filled with almost 2000 (dummy) ballot papers with the tables set-up as they would be at the count. This allowed the Counting Agents an opportunity to practise their sampling in "real time" in as life-like an environment as possible.
A number of people asked if it was "worth the effort" and / or "was it sufficiently accurate" to be useful. To which the answer is a resounding "yes". By 2am, 6 full hours before the declaration, I was able to call Tracey Crouch and say "you've won by 11,000". We now also have a detailed picture from each of the 50 polling districts showing were out strengths and weaknesses lie.
The skill is having Counting Agents who are able to remain focused, dispassionate and thorough even when exhausted. Our guys did a great job.
Here is the summary of the sample with the actual result alongside.