from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. The study of political election trends (as by opinion polls).
After 40 years of psephology, swingometers and tactical voting, the electorate has over the past four or five general elections shown that it has at last worked out how to impose its will on the politicians, even, as last year, in a quite sophisticated way, under the current flawed dispensation.
What sort of victory Gordon Brown could claim if the capricious gods of psephology decree a plague-on-both-your-houses dead heat, one can readily guess.
Psephology is a new election-time word, used for the first time in print in Britain in 1952. It is a name applied to the pseudo-science of finding out how people voted last time, and how they will vote next time.
‘Psephology’ comes from the Greek ‘psephos,’ pebble, ballot, from the ancient Greeks' use of pebbles for voting.