Friday, 10 August 2012

The Internet Produces More Reliable Poll Results Than Telephoning

Great story today in Le Devoir about voting intention surveys by internet.  I've spent more time than I would like to admit calling voters during elections, and I know that the universe of people who have land lines is shrinking.  What effect that has on reaching voters and guaging their voting intentions is something I've been musing about.

So have survey companies, with more and more of them going to internet surveys.  Isn't it harder to get a good sample that way?  Not really, it seems.  The most accurate  survey prediction during the 2011 federal election came from Léger Marketing who used panels of Internet respondants, supplemented by telephone calls.  It currently has a panel of 400,000 Internet users across Canada who are panelists, of which 185,000 are in Quebec. 

President Jean-Marc Léger notes that as many people are hooked up to the Internet as have land lines (85 per cent.)  He asserts that it is easier to reach the young, elderly and poor by Internet than it is to do so by telephone.

This doesn't mean that a high speed connection is what is going to make the difference in future elections, but it does mean that there are ways of finding out what people think, in the aggregate, besides the telephone.

No comments: