By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 0 Comments
So it is significant – though impossible to criticize – that a Green Party organizer emailed committed supporters a note headed “There is another poll tonight – be sure to pick up,” not long before the latest survey. “Word from Chris Turner’s Head Quarters is that another poll is being conducted at this very moment,” said the email from Green Party Volunteer Co-ordinator Natalie Odd to committed Turner supporters. “Please be sure to pick up any calls your receive this evening!”
The emails were followed up with phone calls to supporters, although the pollster actually appears to have called a day later than the party expected. In addition to such emails and calls, Mr. Turner’s supporters posted similar messages on Facebook and some people distributed the call-display number the polling company was using.
This bit of gamesmanship seems to involve two assumptions: that it’s possible to manipulate a poll and that a good showing in a poll can precipitate a good showing on election day. The sample sizes used so far in Calgary Centre have been relatively small, but I’m not sure what the relative odds are that something like this could be pulled off. I can imagine that poll numbers could influence turnout and the result, but what are the odds that alerting supporters to the possibility of a poll would result in enough people responding to a survey who normally wouldn’t to significantly impact the results of that poll? I invite any and all mathematicians in the crowd to sort that out.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 1:16 PM - 0 Comments
Bob Rae’s popularity is surging on word that he will be going away.
Bob Rae, the interim Liberal leader, meanwhile, jumped from 32.2 on the Nanos leadership scale to 41.5 when judged on the same qualities. Mr. Rae announced in June that he was out of the race for the leadership of his party. “Many times when leaders step down, people have a more favourable opinion of them,” said Mr. Nanos. Mr. Rae “has a little bit of an exit honeymoon.”
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 3:36 PM - 0 Comments
Eric Grenier notes an interesting distinction made in the latest polling data from Ekos.
This is the first publicly released report of federal vote intentions from EKOS since the May 2011 election, and the poll shows a much closer race between the Conservatives and the New Democrats than we’ve seen elsewhere. The Conservatives finished with 31.4% support in this survey, compared to 29.5% for the New Democrats and 24.8% for the Liberals … But EKOS also filtered these numbers out according to who voted in the May 2011 election, weighing them accordingly. With those weightings, EKOS pegs Conservative support at 36.7%, with the NDP at 27.8% and the Liberals at 21.9%.
That is quite a big difference between the voting intentions of the general population and the voting population. It does not surprise me that there would be a disparity, though this is larger than I would have expected.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, February 25, 2011 at 12:53 PM - 14 Comments
Any serious research firm is capable of providing an accurate, representative snapshot of the attitudes and opinions of ordinary Canadians. Election numbers repeatedly affirm that pollsters can produce good numbers. Considering those numbers with a reasonable degree of literacy – an understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the science – is not just a job for the number crunchers. It’s a job for all of us.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 9:12 AM - 103 Comments
When Nanos polled a thousand Canadians in January 2009 about what should happen if that year’s federal budget was defeated, 49% favoured an election, 42% said the opposition should be invited to form a coalition.
About two weeks later, when Ekos asked a thousand Canadians to choose between a Conservative government and a Liberal-NDP coalition, 50% favoured a coalition government, 43% favoured a Conservative government.
Last June, when Harris-Decima surveyed a thousand Canadians, 55% of respondents indicated some support for at least some kind of cooperation between the Liberals and New Democrats.
And now, in a new Ipsos Reid poll of a thousand Canadians, 55% state a preference for a Conservative minority government, 45% favour a Liberal-NDP coalition.