A poll is a survey, usually used to garner the opinon of the public on an issue (an opinion poll).

Usually a poll is taken by asking a random sample of people a question. The sample is then calculated as a figure of the entire population. Pollsters maintain this is generally an accurate science, but it has some critics.

Polls are frequently used by politicians in democratic countries to determine policies. Some think this is a good idea, other say this leads to a phenomenon known as "governing by the polls" which is devoid of real leadership.