Thursday, January 14, 2016

Polling Problems report

A report published today by the National Centre for Social Research and authored by leading psephologist, Professor John Curtice into why most opinion polls were so misleading in their estimates of support in the 2015 General Election must be a candidate for the "No **** Sherlock Award," if there is such a thing.

According to Political Betting, the report suggests that the opinion polls were so far out in their predictions of the General Election mainly because the samples of people they polled were not adequately representative of the country as a whole.

Surely not!

Apparently "the report suggests that the polls’ difficulties arose primarily because they interviewed too many Labour supporters and not enough Conservatives."

You don't say!

They add that "More time and effort is needed to find Conservative voters."

The evidence from the British Election Survey quoted in the report suggests that those who are contacted most easily are less likely to be Conservative voters. As reported at PB,

"The survey made repeated efforts during the course of four months to make contact with those who had been selected for interview.

"Among those who were contacted most easily – that is they were interviewed the first time an interviewer called – Labour enjoyed a clear lead of no less than six points, a result not accounted for by the social profile of these respondents. In contrast, the Conservatives were eleven points ahead amongst those who were only interviewed after between three and six calls had been made."

Do you imagine people who have jobs and are paying taxes might be both harder to get hold of, and more likely to support re-election of a Conservative-led government, than those who for whatever reason, do not have a job and are claiming benefits? What a surprise!

Perhaps next year the National Centre for Social Research can bring us up-to-date news about the death of Queen Anne, the toilet habits of bears, and the religious affiliations of Pope Francis ... 

2 comments:

Jim said...

And now for the Sport -

In todays football -

Chelsea 3 Liverpool 1 - Liverpool manager in interview said the team probably lost because they scored less goals than they conceded.

And prior to the start of the next Formula 1 season Lewis Hamilton has declared his best chance of retaining the championship is by winning the most points next season, he continued, the best way to win each race is to cross the finishing line first.

Chris Whiteside said...

Exactly. And the best way to win an election is to persuade more people to vote for you than your most popular rival.