Polls: Not to be believed except when they are to be believed

The politics of polling


Monday night: the difference between earlier public polling and the election result demonstrates that Justin Trudeau is in over his head.

Tuesday night: the difference between public polling and the election result demonstrates that polls are not to be given much credence.

Actually, Forum Research’s last poll in Labrador was fairly reflective of the final vote—and Conservatives could point to that as evidence of Mr. Trudeau driving voters away, but then the 20-point drop they claimed on Monday night becomes a nine-point drop (from 57% in early April to 48% on by-election night).


Polls: Not to be believed except when they are to be believed

  1. Macleans – Mind The ‘Credibility’ Gap:

    The polling business has a problem: when most households had a single land-line telephone, it was relatively easy to sample the population cheaply and well—to estimate quantities like voter intentions in a clean, mathematically uncomplicated way, as one might draw different-coloured balls from a single urn to estimate the amounts of each colour amongst the balls on the inside. That happy state of affairs has, of course, been reduced to chaos by the cell phone.


  2. Polling numbers are an unwelcome distraction to election campaigns. Because of cell phone usage and because of false trend setting, polling results during elections should be outlawed. Voters can hear and read for themselves what the candidates have to say; they don’t need pollsters to point them in directions of any kind.

    And besides: it is not only the pollsters who had it wrong; many, many, if not most of the pundits had it completely wrong!!

    Dix was being protected by most of the media pundits and Clark’s shortcomings were over emphasized. Voters understand that.

    The same fate will befall Justin Trudeau if the pundits keep writing about Harper’s shortcomings only. Voters aren’t exactly stupid!

    • Voters aren’t exactly stupid!
      Then explain exactly how we ended up with a Harper majority…

      • Keith is right! Everyone and anyone who votes Conservative is a stupid person. Everyone who votes Liberal, NDP, Bloc or Green is a smart person. This has been scientifically proven.

        I’m not making this up.

        • Glad to see you’re on board!

        • Orson is right! Keith clearly said that anyone who votes Conservative is a stupid person…

    • You haven’t even come close to making the case that polling should be outlawed. Feel free to try again, though.

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