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On phone polling vs internet panels

An interesting article from the CBC talking with the BC Liberals internal pollster, who predicted a Liberal Majority with 48 seats, and was off by only 2 (and by 2 more – they eneded up with 50, pending any recounts).

Why was his polling better then every other public domain pollster? He says it’s because he used traditional phone polling, not these internet panels:

Pantazopoulos says where his findings differ from the other pollsters is that he relies entirely on traditional telephone polling rather than online research. He says that approach allows him to access a wider swath of the electorate. “Every resident of the province with a phone line has an equal chance of being selected,” said the pollster. “There’s probably more people who answer their phone than belong to any particular internet panel or participate in online surveys.”

And this blunt thing about younger voters and their propensity to use cellphones:

When asked whether traditional telephone polling excludes younger voters who do not own landline phones, Pantazopoulos responded that low youth voter turnout addresses that concern.

“The sad reality is that young people don’t vote.”

This is why I distrust internet panels for polling. On that note, there are 2 polls out now for Ontario that BigCityLib mentions at his site. Abacus uses the internet panel which shows a dead heat between the PC’s and Liberals, while Innovative Research used the traditional phone method, and shows a 7 point Liberal lead for the Kathleen Wynne led government.

At this point, seeing the performance of the internet panels out in BC, who would you be more inclined to believe?


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