Never mind an election every five years, we're constantly running polls on our site, to gauge the state of the nation and to check your thoughts and opinions.
We share with you five nuggets of knowledge that we've gained in the last four weeks. We thank you - all of this is invaluable stuff - we urge you to read on and bask in the astute judgement of your brethren.
In August 2014 we learned...
1. Guardians of the Galaxy Was Better Than The Avengers - and You're Not Sick of Superhero Movies Just Yet
Question: Is Guardians of the Galaxy better than The Avengers?
1. Yes 64.1%
2. No 35.9%
Question: Are you sick of superhero movies yet?
1. No 59.4%
2. Yes 40.6%
Conclusions: Guardians is the hit film of the summer and provided yet another box office smash for a superhero movie - and you guys rated it even better than the $1.5bn grossing Avengers movie from 2012. Despite the many, many more planned over the next few years, it seems that you're all still keen - and if they keep making the money they do, then Hollywood won't stop any time soon. Strap yourself in for more super action.
2. Fancy Is Not An Acceptable Song of the Summer
Question: Is 'Fancy' an acceptable Song of the Summer?
1. No 59.7%
2. Yes 40.3%
Conclusions: Last year we were blessed with two enormous summer hits: Get Lucky and then Blurred Lines. However, there's been a distinct lack of anything this time around. Fancy, an annoyingly catchy track featuring a Clueless tribute video, has arguably taken the crown, but you guys aren't having it. We could mention Magic!'s No. 1 hit Rude, but that is a song so hideous, we're taking our bucket and spade home and never coming out to play again. So we won't. Is it too late for something to come along and save us? It probably is.
3. Good Will Hunting Was Your Favourite Robin Williams Movie
Question: Favourite Robin Williams movie?
1. Good Will Hunting 31.7%
2. Dead Poets Society 25.7%
3. Good Morning Vietnam 23.8%
4. Aladdin 18.8%
Conclusions: August was marred by the sad death of the legendary Robin Williams. But rather than dwell on his passing, most people celebrated his enormous talent and wonderful movies. Any one of these would have been a deserving winner, but you plumped for Good Will Hunting. Rest in peace Robin.
4. You Still Prefer Real Books to E-Books
Question: E-book or regular book?
1. Regular Book 78.3%
2. E-book 21.7%
Conclusions: E-books are selling well, but those old things made of paper and blood, sweat and tears are still proving remarkably resilient. So much so that almost 4 out of 5 of you still prefer the real thing. And you can't wedge a door open with a Kindle can you?
5. Andy Murray Wouldn't Win The US Open
Question: Will Andy Murray win the 2014 US Open?
1. No 80.0%
2. Yes 20.0%
Conclusions: It briefly looked like Andy was about to save his summer, with a scintillating run to the quarter-finals raising hopes that he could repeat his victory of 2012. You wise people weren't taken in though, correctly predicting that he wouldn't win it - and after an excellent match against old nemesis Novak Djokovic, you were proven right. Maybe next year eh Andy?
In July 2014 we learned...
1. You Predicted That Germany Would Win The World Cup - But Messi Shouldn't Have Won The Golden Ball
Question: Who will now win the World Cup?
1. Germany 42.9%
2. Netherlands 27.9%
3. Argentina 15.6%
4. Brazil 13.6%
Question: Should Messi have won the World Cup's Golden Ball?
1. No 84.9%
2. Yes 15.1%
Conclusions: Germany were the best team at the World Cup, but they were far from the favourites when it got to the semi-final stage and a match against hosts Brazil loomed large. But you guys called it right, tipping them as the winners, which they achieved after their final victory against Argentina. However, like most of the planet, you also couldn't quite believe it when Adidas-sponsored Lionel Messi went up to claim the Adidas-sponsored golden ball for the best player of the tournament. He managed to look both upset, and embarrassed, which is quite a feat.
2. You Choose Android Over iOS
Question: Are you android or iOS?
1. Android 54.2%
2. iOS 45.8%
The battle of the operating systems, this is like Blur v Oasis in 1995 - you can't be both sides. At the moment, Google's Android is winning, despite Apple's position as the none-more-cool poster boy for tech. It's close though - let's see where we stand a year from now.
3. Sam Smith Is Your Favourite New Artist This Year
Question: Best new artist this year?
1. Sam Smith 39.2%
2. Royal Blood 23.3%
3. Jungle 19.4%
4. George Ezra 18.1%
Conclusions: Four hot new artists, but which do you rate as the best? At the moment it's nu-soul singer Sam Smith, but Royal Blood register a second place which is particularly impressive, considering that they're the only one of the four options yet to have released their debut album. For now, though, Sam's the man.
4. Rory McIlroy Won't Complete The Grand Slam Next Year
Question: Will Rory McIlroy complete the golfing Grand Slam next year?
1. No 54.6%
2. Yes 45.4%
Conclusions: Rory swept to victory at the Open in July, securing his third major, leading some (well, us) to get carried away and think that he could well win golf's holy grail - the Grand Slam, all four majors in one calendar year - in 2015. Our readers are slightly more realistic, saying it won't happen - but 45% of you think he could. Let's wait and see.
5. It Is Acceptable For Footballers To Cry
Question: Is it acceptable for footballers to cry?
1. Yes 73.0%
2. No 27.0%
Conclusions: The old debate reared its head in the aftermath of Brazil's staggering 7-1 defeat to Germany, after David Luiz shed tears following one of the worst defensive displays of all time in his country's pitiful display. It seems Gazza well and truly broke the masculinity mould in 1990, as an overwhelming majority of you believe that it's OK for footballers to cry. If we'd played that badly we'd probably cry too.
In June 2014 we learned...
1. You Predicted England's First Round World Cup Exit
Question: What will be the result in Manaus on Saturday?
1. Italy Win 40%
2. England Win 34.3%
3. Draw 25.7%
Question: Will England qualify for the World Cup's last 16? (16th June)
1. No 65.2%
2. Yes 34.8%
Conclusions: In October last year you voted that England would reach either the 2nd Round or the Quarter-Finals. However, between now and then, clearly confidence went down as you correctly predicted both a win for Italy in the first group game and - following that coming true - a first round exit. Your lack of faith was duly rewarded as Roy's boys crashed out after just two games. Still, at least the rest of the tournament has been absolutely brilliant.
2. 22 Jump Street Is The Funniest Film Of The Summer
Question: Funniest film of the summer?
1. 22 Jump Street 46.2%
2. Bad Neighbours 33.2%
3. A Million Ways To Die In The West 20.6%
Conclusions: It's been a good summer for comedy with all three options here generating a fair share of laughs. However, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum's vehicle has been voted the chief chuckle-fest by you guys, so we'll bow to your wisdom and crown it this summer's comedy king.
3. You Watch Most TV Shows via Netflix
Question: How do you watch most TV shows?
1. Netflix 44.4%
2. Catch Up TV 30.8%''
3. Live TV 16.3%
4. Box Sets 8.4%
Conclusions: The rise of streaming and on-demand TV has completely shaken things up from the old days of four channels and a copy of the Radio Times to follow religiously. So much so that Netflix is now your main method of watching TV shows, with viewing live coming in a distant third. We remember having to manually tape stuff on video, adding 5 minutes either side and desperately hoping it didn't overrun. We're living in the future people.
4. Luis Suarez Is Going to Leave Liverpool
Question: Will Luis Suarez be at Liverpool next season?
1. No 66.5%
2. Yes 33.5%
Conclusions: Old Luis just can't keep his teeth to himself, and it seems that his latest biting episode - and subsequent ban - spells the end of his time on Merseyside. Despite constant rumours last summer, he ended up staying and nearly guiding Liverpool to the title; however, you think it will be different this time, with Liverpool seemingly content to cut their losses and offload the Uruguayan, probably to Barcelona in an £80m deal. Will the Premier League miss him? If the sublime Alexis Sanchez comes in as a replacement, then the answer to that will probably be no.
5. You're Generally In Favour Of Music Festivals
Question: Are you bothered about music festivals?
1. Don't care either way 47.8%
2. Yes, can't wait 38.3%
3. Hate them 13.9%
Conclusions: A good third of you are wholehearted fans of the many summer party-in-a-field events that take place in the UK, with just 14% of you taking a dislike to festivals. And what's not to like? Well, there's the toilets, the rain, the jester hats....but at the end of the day, you get to watch loads of great bands, indulge in a spot of general hedonism and escape the 9 to 5 (unless you're watching Dolly Parton of course) for a bit. Splendid.
In May 2014 we learned...
1. You're Happy With the Star Wars Cast
Question: What do you think of the new Star Wars cast?
1= I'm Excited 44.5%
1= I'm Not Bothered 44.5%
3. I'm Not Happy 11.0%
Conclusions: JJ Abrams finally revealed one of the most anticipated cast lists in Hollywood history right at the end of April and it seems that essentially you're all happy with his choices. Of those that are bothered about Episode VII, a whopping 80% were happy with the mix of new faces and returning favourites. So it's OK, JJ - you're free to proceed with filming now we've given it the thumbs up.
2. Fresh Prince Was Your Favourite TV Show as a Kid
Question: Favourite TV show of your youth?
1. Fresh Prince of Bel Air 47.5%
2. Saved By The Bell 21.9%
3. Grange Hill 15.5%
4. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 15%
Conclusions: A question that is endlessly debated in offices across the UK, but debate no more, for ShortList.com readers have spoken: and they declare the Fresh Prince of Bel Air to be the best. A highly-commended for Saved By The Bell - imagine how good it would have been if Will and Carlton had gone to Bayside High...
3. Batman & Robin Was The Worst Summer Blockbuster Ever & X-Men Is The Best This Year So Far
Question: Worst summer blockbuster ever?
1. Batman & Robin 38.9%
2. Speed 2 28.8%
3. Godzilla (1998) 16.2%
4. Pearl Harbor 16.0%
Question: Best blockbuster so far this year?
1. X-Men: Days of Future Past 50.3%
2. Captain America 2 23.0%
3. Godzilla 17.3%
4. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 9.4%
Conclusions: We're fully into summer blockbuster season now, so a chance to dwell on mistakes of the past, with nearly 4 in 10 of you declaring 1997's flop Batman & Robin to be the worst one ever, while X-Men: Days of Future Past is your favourite so far in 2014. However, with Edge of Tomorrow just hitting cinemas, this could well change as we head into the rest of the summer months.
4. Roy Hodgson Got The England Squad Right
Question: Did Roy Hodgson get England's World Cup squad right?
1. Yes 66.2%
2. No 23.8%
The World Cup is virtually upon us and the carnival is about to begin. For once, people seem to have realistic expectations about England's chances and, crucially, Roy Hodgson seems to have picked a squad that few can argue with: two thirds of you think he's made the right call in including the likes of Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling. Can Roy's boys outperform expectations? We're about to find out.
5. You Are Very Good At Sporting Predictions
Question: Which Madrid team will win the Champions League Final?
1. Real Madrid 65.2%
2. Atlético Madrid 34.8%
Question: Who'll win the rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves?
1. Carl Froch 58.8%
2. George Groves 41.2%
Conclusions: We asked you to predict two sporting outcomes and you got both right. Real edged out the valient effort of city rivals Atlético in the Champions' League final, while Carl Froch was triumphant in front of a sell-out Wembley with one of the greatest knockout punches ever. Can you tell us who'll win the World Cup? We'll be sure to get a few quid on.
In April 2014 we learned...
1. Louis Van Gaal Will Be The Next Manchester United Manager
Question: Who will be the next permanent manager of Manchester United?
1. Louis Van Gaal 48.9%
2. Ryan Giggs 28.1%
3. Jürgen Klopp 12.0%
4. Carlo Ancelotti 10.9%
Question: Who will be the next manager to get the sack?
1. Sam Allardyce (West Ham) 38.0%
2. Chris Hughton (Norwich) 27.1%
3. David Moyes (Man Utd) 22.0%
4. Paul Lambert (Aston Villa) 12.8%
Conclusions: We put this poll up the day after David Moyes was finally put out of his misery and speculation was rife across the board. Considering the whispers coming from Old Trafford, it looks like you guys called it right straight away. And with Giggs comfortably in 2nd place, and likely to receive an assistant role at United, it looks like a perfect prediction. High fives all round (apart from poor Moyes).
Meanwhile, the Premier League sack race poll took three months to be settled, as Chris Hughton beat David Moyes to the 'crown' by just 15 days. Allardyce and Lambert cling on, but with both of their teams in freefall approaching the end of the season, we could see a clean sweep before long.
2. It Was The Scariest Film As A Kid & You Still Haven't Got Round to Watching Citizen Kane
Question: Scariest film as a kid?
1. It 51.4%
2. The Witches 28.2%
3. Arachnophobia 12.0%
4. Return to Oz 8.4%
Question: Which classic film are you most embarrassed not to have seen?
1. Citizen Kane 34.9%
2. Seven Samurai 24.3%
3. Casablanca 21.4%
4. Gone With The Wind 19.5%
Conclusions: Stephen King's classic clown-based horror romped away with the title of scariest film seen as a kid, taking over half the votes: clearly Pennywise gave a lot of you some serious sleepless nights.
Meanwhile, the film that you're most embarrassed not have seen is Citizen Kane, although it was fairly close between all four titles. So what are you waiting for? Give one of them a spin this weekend. You're not going to though are you? OK, just watch Jurassic Park again then.
3. You're Not Bothered If Oasis Get Back Together Or Not
Question: Would you be excited about an Oasis reunion?
1. No 59.6%
2. Yes 40.4%
Conclusions: Despite telling us last month that you preferred Oasis to Blur - and the raft of '20-years-since-Britpop' articles that have proliferated recently - it seems you're not too fussed about them actually getting back together. Following the whirlwind of rumours that the Gallagher brothers were setting aside their differences to play Glastonbury, you had your say: and that was for them to not bother. To be fair, Noel said he'll only do it for half a billion pounds, or half a billion condoms, so unless Durex come up with the goods, it's not going to happen anyway.
4. You Don't Care About Wearing Designer Labels
Question: Do you care about wearing designer labels?
1. No 74.3%
2. Yes 25.7%
Conclusions: We all like to think of ourselves as stylish followers of fashion, but it seems you don't need the say-so of a designer brand to choose an item that you want to wear. This reflects the fact that ShortList readers are confident believers in their own taste; that, or you'd prefer not to spend $120 on a plain white t-shirt. Probably both we think.
5. Facebook is still King
Question: Are you more Facebook or Twitter?
1. Facebook 66.7%
2. Twitter 33.3%
Conclusions: The two dominant social networks are both having a little wobble recently, with some predicting that Twitter has plateaued and that Facebook is now losing its young users. Nonetheless, Zuckerberg's monster remains the dominant social network, with two-thirds of you favouring it over its younger brother, even if those constant baby pictures are making you lose the will to live.
In March 2014 we learned...
1. Liverpool Will Win The Premier League
Question: Which club do you now think will win this season's Premier League?
1. Liverpool 34.2%
2. Chelsea 29.7%
3. Manchester City 24.7%
4. Arsenal 11.4%
Question: Will Manchester City add to their silverware this season?
1. Yes 59.6%
2. No 40.4%
Conclusions: The Premier League is set for a nailbiting finish with the top 4 all in with a shout. Liverpool look to be in pole position - if they win all their remaining games then no one can catch them - but will their lack of experience challenging cost them? You don't seem to think so, ranking them clear of Chelsea to take the title. However, you're a confused lot - you thought City would add to their silverware this season and that's going to take the title to do it, as they're out of the FA Cup and the Champions League. Maybe they'll win the Fair Play Award eh?
2. Gravity Had The Best Use of 3D In Movie History
Question: Greatest Use of 3D?
1. Gravity 45.8%
2. Avatar 30.6%
3. Life of Pi 12.0%
4. Toy Story 3 11.7%
Conclusions: 3D has had a very mixed reception, not being quite the saviour of the industry that Hollywood thought it would be. However, it's had its moments and you rank Gravity as being the best of them. We're inclined to agree: Alfonso Cuaron's epic was a must-see in 3D - and you place it well clear of James Cameron's Avatar, a worthy runner-up. Mind out for that flying rock!
3. You preferred Oasis to Blur
Question: Were you more Blur or Oasis?
1. Oasis 57.2%
2. Blur 42.8%
Conclusions: Finally, 20 years on, we have a definitive answer. Blur were clever, cheeky and had an unbelievable way with a pop tune. But Oasis were cooler, louder and had Britpop's two biggest mouths in Liam and Noel Gallagher. The reunion hasn't happened yet, but we imagine a suitcase full of cash might just persuade them to put aside their differences at some point.
4. You love True Detective
Question: Is True Detective worth all the hype?
1. Yes 74.8%
2. No 25.2%
Conclusions: Continuing TV's amazing run of classics, True Detective has replaced Breaking Bad as the series that everyone's talking about. And you wholeheartedly agree, with 3 out of 4 you saying that it has lived up to expectations. We eagerly await news of a second season.
5. The DVD Is Not Dead Yet
Question: Do you still buy DVDs?
1. Yes 56.8%
2. No 43.2%
Conclusions: Netflix and the rest has seemed to cut a swathe through the TV and movie-buying market, but it seems the DVD isn't going anywhere quite yet, with over half of you still buying the shiny plastic discs. To be fair, if the internet ever stops and the apocalypse comes, we need to know that we'll still be able to watch Jurassic Park one last time.
In Feb 2014 we learned...
1. Wolf of Wall Street Was Definitely Amazing, But 12 Years A Slave Deserved to Win Best Picture
Question: What did you think of The Wolf of Wall Street?
1. Amazing 64.7%
2. It was alright 21.9%
3. Not a fan 13.4%
Question: Which film deserves to win Best Picture?
1. 12 Years A Slave 41.7%
2. The Wolf Of Wall Street 30.0%
3. Gravity 14.8%
4. American Hustle 13.4%
Conclusions: Well it seems the Oscars got it right this year according to our readers, who loved the on-screen riot that was Wolf of Wall Street, but thought that the epic 12 Years a Slave deserved the golden statue for Best Picture. So we're all happy then? Good? Good.
2. Manchester United Will Not Get Into the Top Four
Question: Will signing Mata be enough to get Man Utd into the Top 4?
1. No 82.1%
2. Yes 17.9%
Conclusions: A poll run just after Juan Mata had been sensationally let go by Chelsea to join their rivals (well, not according to Jose Mourinho it seems) for the title, our readers were still not convinced it would be enough to lift United out of their post-Ferguson slump - a belief that has been borne out by results since. As things stand, David Moyes' men lie 12 points off a Champions' League spot having played a game more, with just 11 to play. Not looking good chaps.
3. It is Perfectly Acceptable For Men To Cry At Movies
Question: Is it acceptable for a man to cry at a movie?
1. Yes 78.7%
2. No 21.3%
Conclusions: Well, it seems it's completely OK to cry at movies now. Thank goodness for that, we don't have to claim 'I'm not crying, it's just been raining on my face' when E.T. says goodbye any more.
4. The Last Of Us Will Triumph At The Video Game BAFTAS
Question: Who will win Best Game at the Bafta Games awards?
1. The Last Of Us 42.5%
2. Grand Theft Auto V 38.8%
3. Assassin's Creed 4 13.8%
4. Super Mario 3D World 4.9%
Conclusions: A very close-run thing here, with The Last of Us tipped to edge out Grand Theft Auto V at the upcoming Video Game Baftas. Will you all be correct? Let's wait and see when the results are announced on Wednesday (12th March).
5. TV is Producing Better Content Than Movies And The New House Of Cards Proves It
Question: Is TV currently producing better content than film?
1. Yes 68.5%
2. No 31.5%
Question: Has the second season of House of Cards delivered?
1. Yes 76.4%
2. No 23.6%
Conclusions: Breaking Bad, True Detective, The Wire...we could go on for days, but there's no doubt that TV is currently enjoying a true golden era - and even surpassing the current output of cinema according to our readers. And it seems you can add the new series of House Of Cards to that stockpile of great TV - 3 out of every 4 of you are happy with the second installment, which is marvellous news.
In Jan 2014 we learned...
1. Scientists Should Invent the Teleporter
Question: Which do you most want to see invented?
1. Teleporter 35.2%
2. Time machine 34.8%
3. Hoverboard 18.0%
4. Lightsaber 12.0%
Conclusions: A turn-up for the books here, as we expected a runaway Lightsaber win from all those Star Wars fans out there. But in fact it was teleporter which took the top spot, narrowly edging out time machine. Scientists - the public have now spoken, so just focus on that item please. Oh, and teleport it over when it's ready. Thanks very much.
2. Thin Crust is the Best Pizza
Question: Okay, so which is it?
1. Thin crust 61.3%
2. Deep pan 38.7%
Conclusions: One of life's great questions, settled at last. Less dough means more room for extravagant toppings. It makes sense people, it makes sense.
3. Sam Allardyce Will Be The Next Premier League Manager to be Fired
Question: Who will be the next manager to get the sack?
1. Sam Allardyce (West Ham) 46.8%
2. Chris Hughton (Norwich) 23.4%
3. David Moyes (Man Utd) 18.7%
4. Paul Lambert (Aston Villa)11.1%
Conclusions: Incredibly none of our tipped four have actually got the bullet yet, with Michael Laudrup coming in from leftfield to win our mini sack-race. With the Hammers firmly in the relegation mire though, we fancy ShortList.com readers will get this one right eventually.
4. That England's Tour to Australia Would Not Improve
Question: Will the England cricket team win a match in Australia?
1. No 69.6%
2. Yes 30.4%
Conclusions: Well, you guys didn't get this right - but you were basically correct. The question was asked at the halfway point of the tour - England went on to register just a single win in a competitive match on the entire, utterly disastrous tour, to finish with an aggregate result of 12-1 to the Aussies. If they were adopting the scoring system used in the women's Ashes, it would have finished 44-2. Oh dear.
5. Snowball Fighting Should Be An Olympic Sport
Question: Which event would you like to see added to the Winter Olympics?
1. Snowball fighting 42.9%
2. Ice sculpting 27.6%
3. Snowman building 15.5%
4. Car de-icing 14.1%
Conclusions: IOC: the results speak for themselves. We want to see competitive snowball fighting in 2018. And a nice bit of ice sculpting wouldn't go amiss either - perhaps this could take by the side of the rink while the figure skating is on? Don't worry - we'll do all your work for you, shall we?