Thursday, September 08, 2005


Within the space of a few days, two supposedly reputable polls are showing radically different results.
Apparently it's because of a "volatile" electorate. I could be thinking a little outside the bubble here, but maybe the problem isn't "volatile" voters but the polls themselves. A popular technique among pollsters currently is to press undecideds into stating a preference and then counting it as firm support. Accompanying questions about "racist" policies or "talking down to people" could also taint the results.

In fact I would say that our own "Meaningless and Arbitrary Seat Predictor" does a better job of reflecting the changes in the public mood than any of the "scientific" polls, despite the fact our numbers are completely made up.
Maybe in light of these polls NZ's news organisations will stop wasting so much time and effort over-analysing polls and focus more on covering actual issues...
Fat Chance

1 comment:

t selwyn said...

Well done. At my count it's only me and you that have figured out that volatility = pollsters pressing undecideds into a firm vote. It's bullshit. And means whoever has the positive headlines that day (even that hour) will be up.