Editorial: Polling is a numbers game

Every politician and would-be MP or MLA knows, or at least they should, that polling numbers don’t translate into seats.

Polling figures from Nanos Research released this week show the governing Conservatives, Opposition NDP and the Liberals in a virtual dead heat among decided voters, with support ranging between 29 and 31 per cent.

But even if that was the last poll conducted before election day, it wouldn’t necessarily mean Parliament would split exactly down those lines.

There is always a huge glut of people who are undecided up until the late stages of a campaign – some estimates put it as high as 25 per cent. In a close election race, the number of people who make up their mind just before heading to the polling station is likely far more than politicians or parties would care to see.

It would be interesting to know how many people use polling figures to help them cast their vote.

Unfortunately, releasing polling data has become a public relations ploy, especially with all the parties commissioning their own polls at various times.

One firm hired by the NDP came back with numbers last week that said Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was trailing an opponent by 11 points in his own riding. A poll conducted for a national media company with a far larger sample size and different methodology found Trudeau to actually be leading by five points.

Political parties hire pollsters to come up with numbers they feel will help them. Without a doubt, if the numbers don’t flatter them, they don’t publicize them. While stats heads might find the pre-election numbers interesting, the only ones that count are on election day.

So what do we take from this? Voters can do their homework on local candidates and leave the polls for the parties to play around with.

 

-Black Press

 

 

Just Posted

YANA Ride cruises past fundraising goal

The 2018 ride is expected to meet last year’s total of $62,000

Mid-Vancouver Island air quality risk very high

Residents of the mid-Island area went to bed last night and awoke… Continue reading

Comox Valley Ground Search & Rescue kept busy across the province

CVGSAR had a busy week, sending rescuers as far away as Invermere

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Glacier View residents take a ride on the river

Ground Search and Rescue guides floaters on Puntledge

Documentary filmed in B.C. nominated in ‘Wildlife Oscars’’

Toad People is the only Canadian film to be nominated in this year’s Panda Wilderness Awards

B.C. man builds 10-foot sign thanking fire responders

Ken Rawson built his “thank u” sign on Saturday as helicopters responded to fires around the province.

PHOTOS: Olympian Patrick Chan helps B.C.’s ‘SuperChefs’ celebrate 10th anniversary

Former figure skater among those at event Friday in Surrey

Smaller B.C. bus service prepares to replace Greyhound

Kootenay-to-Okanagan run would require online reservations

Mother charged with homicide of Langley seven-year-old

Aaliyah Rosa’s 36-year-old mother charged with second degree murder: IHIT

Despite threats, Soldiers of Odin a no show at B.C. tent city

Nanaimo’s Discontent City held a counter rally on Sunday

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in 2019

PM Justin Trudeau gears up to run in next year’s election

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

A massive cloud of smoke hangs over B.C. and Alberta due to wildfires

Most Read