The Polling Post-Mortem Begins …

… starting off with Eric Grenier’s thoughts from – Polling industry dealt major blow in B.C. election

Why did they go wrong? I have no explanation this morning. In Alberta, there was the late swing. There was the novelty of the Wildrose Party. There was the relative lack of polling in the final days. There was the inexperience of the pollsters who were active. There was the immensely more well-oiled organization of the Progressive Conservatives.

In British Columbia, there was no indication of a late swing. If anything, there was a sign that Clark’s momentum had reversed itself. The New Democrats were not an unknown quantity. There was polling being done as late as Monday. There was the experience of two pollsters with long and successful histories in British Columbia. There was the much-vaunted GOTV organization of the NDP. And yet all the polls said the New Democrats would win, and all the polls were wrong.

Author: Tim Lavery

Aim High Salmon Arm It matters

4 thoughts on “The Polling Post-Mortem Begins …”

  1. It’s a big disappointment to me and really illustrates how effective the smear and attack type campaign is, which is, in itself, disappointing as well. It blows me away that the voters actually strengthened the Liberal position. So, we will have a pipeline through northern BC, we will have tankers on our coast, the rich will get richer, the poor will continue to lose services and get poorer, BC will remain one of the highest for child poverty in Canada and we will see an influx of (cheap) foreign workers…. 4 More years. I would think the mess will be enough to make people think differently for the next election.

  2. Every moment brings a new world. The polsters world is one in which we are invited to think big and so we say yes to the NDP’s hopes for change. The voting booth implies the question, ‘OK, so what are you going to do about it?’, and we say, ‘stability and restoration of a sound economy first, then I’ll worry about improving the world’ and We ‘X’ the Lib. candidate.

  3. I’m sure this lesson has given Stephen Harper a huge measure of solace as he sinks lower and lower in the polls. Conversely, the “second coming” of Trudeau should also take caution before making any of his anointment plans.

  4. Individuals always face the challenge of voting for the leader, the candidate or the party. I think that the polls or polling methods may have made an error in two areas. First – the may have reflected the electorate’s stance on Christy Clark as a trustworthy leader. The polling results would then be closer to the riding outcome, whereby the voters of Point Grey gave her a thumbs-down and instead elected Eby. Second, the polling selection bias may have given too much weight to a generally apathethic group of would-be voters that couldn’t be bothered to participate. Pete McMartin wrote a good column about this in the Vancouver Sun. In hindsight, should the NDP have tried to denigrate Clark and her murky links to the BC Rail scandal, or should they have tried to articulate an alternate and more progressive path? I’d give them credit for being principled and positive, even if it now seems this old fashioned and gentlemanly approach contains its own hazards. Churchill said there is no victory without honour. The Liberals did achieve a collective win, but I’d not consider it a victory. Perhaps in the era of venom and vitriol in campaigns, a victory may be almost extinct. Meantime, thanks Tim for seeking to keep us informed and good luck to the winning candidates for ethical and accountable conduct.

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