Different Poll, Different Ratings

03. 11. 2011

Different Poll, Different Ratings

Opinion polls in the run-up to the general election have been showing a broadly consistent picture of party ratings overall, but individual figures have differed substantially. A new poll by the Faculty of Advanced Social Studies released on shows that how the questions are posed has a profound impact on the results

In a 24-27 October poll in which respondents were asked to chose their preferred party from a list, the Gregor Virant List emerged as the clear winner (23.8%), trumping the erstwhile front-runners, the Democrats (SDS), who got 20.5% and the Positive Slovenia of Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Jankovic (12.7%).


However, in a poll conducted just days earlier (20-21 October), in which the respondents needed to name a party unprompted, the SDS got 19.5% whereas Positive Slovenia was in second with 8% and the Gregor Virant list polled at a mere 6.3%.


All other parties were far behind in both rankings and the differences between both polls are consequently much narrower.



Furthermore, the share of undecided voters was much higher (48.2%) if respondents answered unprompted than if they were asked to pick a party from a list (24.1%).


Both polls were conducted by telephone and included just over 900 respondents.


The authors of the study note that unprompted replies tend to underestimate less established parties, which are less well known and do not have a firm electoral base.


On the other hand, they tend to get overstated when they are given as a choice, as they are picked by voters who would otherwise not necessarily remember them.


The poll is certain to rekindle debates about the effects of polling on the electorate, as the disparity of polls has frequently been cited as proof that some polling is designed to affect, not measure public opinion.


Source: The Slovenia Times

Different Poll, Different Ratings