Bandwagon effect:

The bandwagon effect is a phenomenon whereby the rate of uptake of beliefs, ideas, fads and trends increases the more that they have already been adopted by others. In other words, the bandwagon effect is characterized by the probability of individual adoption increasing with respect to the proportion who have already done so. As more people come to believe in something, others also "hop on the bandwagon" regardless of the underlying evidence.

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The bandwagon effect occurs in voting: some people vote for those candidates or parties who are likely to succeed (or are proclaimed as such by the media), hoping to be on the "winner's side" in the end. The bandwagon effect has been applied to situations involving majority opinion, such as political outcomes, where people alter their opinions to the majority view. Such a shift in opinion can occur because individuals draw inferences from the decisions of others, as in an informational cascade.

So I'd like to know if there are countries in which polls are forbidden completely or forbidden for a few months before elections take place. (Of course not opinion polls in general, but surveys on the upcoming election)

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Note: links point to websites in italian language.

I don't know of any country that forbids polls for a few months, but there is a country, Italy, where polls cannot be published for the last 15 days preceeding the election. The rationale is that forbidding opinions for months would be detrimental to the development of public opinion and the law is already controversial as it is.

The law is the 28/2000, also known as the par condicio law, which among other things related to media and political communication set rules related to the publishing and conformity of polls to a standard of scientificity1. Also, every poll published, at any time, must be also sent to a government website that collects and shows all polls about voting, politician approval, opinion of the general population about political issues and the like.

[1] For example, when online newspaper put up surveys so that their visitors can show their support or opposition for a specific issue they must also specify that they are not scientific polls.

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